In most cases, your boss is the person with the most influence over your ability to succeed at work. So it can be demoralizing and career-limiting when they appear to favor a colleague over you. Also, it’s a politically precarious position to be in: If you confront your boss, they’ll likely deny any favoritism, while making you appear insecure and resentful of your teammates.
But workplace favoritism is highly common, despite anyone gaslighting you into thinking it’s all in your head. In fact, a recent study showed that more than half of executives admit to having a favorite when deciding on internal promotions.
While it’s challenging and dispiriting to see your boss give preferential treatment to a colleague, even when you’re performing well, here are four strategies to protect your career and sustain your motivation to succeed.