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For the past year, I have been working in a small office with one other person. We worked well together until two months ago when a new employee was brought on to join us. She befriended my co-worker, and now it's the two of them against me. I am upset with both of them, and I'm not sure what to do now.

You are perched in the middle of two separate situations that social scientists have often found to be rather antisocial. In the first place, groups composed of three people are often noted to be particularly troublesome. While two people can work comfortably and productively together, it is not uncommon to find that groups of three soon fall into a two-against-one scenario.

Secondly, social scientists often point to increased levels of stress, tension, and aggressiveness in crowded settings. Since your office was fairly small prior to the arrival of your new co-worker, the tightened working conditions are probably adding to your level of distress.

The first step is to formulate a clear picture of the amount of time that you are actually being ignored, overlooked, or excluded by your fellow employees. After all, there are times when people in any group occasionally feel that they are being left-out.

If you find that you are being left-out more than left-in, the next step is to meet with your co-workers to discuss the problem. The idea is to review the specific instances that upset you and then suggest some ways for the three of you to work more amicably and effectively together.

This type of situation will improve in direct proportion to the amount of communication among the players. Since you are the odd person out, it will be up to you to initiate much of the dialogue in this area. At the same time, remember that the future can bring a realignment of alliances among the three of you, along with the possibility of having more employees in your cozy little department.

It is also worth remembering that management does not like situations that upset or divide the employees. If you find that your one-on-two meetings with your co-workers are having no impact, perhaps it is time for a one-on-one meeting with your manager.

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Posted by Website visitor on 2009-02-06 05:26:07
What would happen if it is my boss who was in the alliance with this co-worker? My situation is similar, where there are 3 of us, except it is my manager along with my coworker who are making me feel left out. What am I supposed to do?