Summary of How to Deal With a Manipulative Coworker

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7 Overall

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When a co-worker undermines your authority, sabotages your work or engages in passive-aggressive behavior, you might be tempted to ignore the situation or to strike back in kind. Instead, Lifehacker writer Kristin Wong recommends taking the high road. Wong describes her own brushes with Machiavellian colleagues and outlines commonsense tactics that may work in your situation. getAbstract recommends this concise, actionable article to anyone who’s struggling to stay positive and productive in the company of a conniving colleague.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why people engage in manipulative behavior at work,
  • What tactics can defuse the manipulation and
  • How to stay positive when it happens to you.

About the Author

Kristin Wong is a contributing writer for Lifehacker and the author of Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford.



Manipulative co-workers can undermine, sabotage, blame, scapegoat and act passive-aggressively. They take credit for work they didn’t do, shift blame for their own failures and try to make other people look bad so they will look good in comparison. Sometimes a colleague appears friendly at first but then stabs you in the back. People can become manipulative and even hostile when they feel under pressure: Seeking to feel more in control, they act in ways they wouldn’t normally. Some people can be manipulative by nature – they don’t even realize they are.

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