5 signs you are the mean girl in your office
Have women gotten meaner? Or were we just better at hiding it before. Or do our mean sides come out at work? Selena Rezvani wrote in The Washington Post, “While workplace studies show women are routinely underestimated compared to men, we don’t give much credence to the fact that women hampering other women is also to blame….Many of us have witnessed the man who comments on a woman’s hotness just as she leaves the room. But what about the woman who criticizes another’s appearance (Did you see what she was wearing in there?) or frowns on a woman’s unapologetic use of power (Just who does she think she is?)?”
According to a 2007 Workplace Bullying Institute survey, though the majority of workplace bullies are men (60/40), female bullies target other women 71% of the time.
So why this mean behavior? Kathi Elster, co-author of Mean Girls at Work: How To Stay Professional when Things Get Personal told The Grindstone, “The workplace is competitive by nature. And many women are conflicted when it comes to competition: we want to be liked and we want to win at the same time. The result is covert competition – which often manifests as mean behavior. For example, a woman might be nice and friendly to her co-worker to her face, but say things that erode that person’s reputation behind her back.”
Watch out for these other signs that you are a mean girl in the office so you can nip it in the bud.
1) You belittle other people’s accomplishments
You make everyone look like whatever they did means nothing. We call that jealousy and it is not cool.
2) You try to sabotage others
You may do this very subtlely or not so subtlely but whatever it is, it is really bad.
3) You are known as the office gossip
Have people stopped telling you anything private? That is because you spread gossip like it is your second job.
4) You dismiss co-workers comments
If they aren’t helping you get ahead, you really don’t care what they have to say.
5) You have stolen credit for other people’s work
Except when there is a mistake of some kind. Then you are the first to remove yourself from the situation.
Katherine Crowley, co-author of Mean Girls at Work said, “If you feel harassed, abused, or targeted by another woman at work, we suggest you document everything that’s happening so that you have concrete evidence of the problem when you do approach HR. One of the big challenges with woman-on-woman competition is the fact that much of it takes place behind the scenes. Documentation is your best weapon.”