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We’ve all come across them at some point in our working lives. It’s the colleague who takes credit for all your ideas or passes nasty comments about your appearance for no reason. She’s annoying as hell and will do almost anything to make your life miserable. But you don’t have to let her win, here are six tips to help you deal with the situation.


Is she really THAT mean?

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Be objective when you’re judging her behaviour because it might just be the case of you being super sensitive. It could also be as simple as her reminding you of someone you had a traumatic experience with before – the mean girl at school, perhaps – so you’re paranoid about everything she says and take it the wrong way.

The best way to handle this is to take notes of incidents you deem not okay, then look at it them with a calm head and see if there’s a pattern. If she’s just said something once to you that you think is out of line, be like Elsa and let it go.


Avoid her


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It might be easier said than done but one way to deal with her is to minimise your level of interaction. Most women are nasty because of their own insecurities, which means they’re reeking of negativity. Stay away from her negative aura and you won’t be affected as much. So if you don’t work with her directly, don’t even bother to say anything more than a ‘hello’ if you pass her in the office corridor.

The less you are exposed to her, the less harm she’s able to do. But if you have to work with her, keep your emotions in check and tune out to anything nasty that comes out of her mouth. She can only get to you if you allow her to so don’t give her that power.


Don’t react

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If she says something that annoys you, the worst thing you could do is reply angrily. If you react in a harsh manner, it validates her and gives her the satisfaction of getting what she wanted out of you.

Also, you’re bringing yourself down to her standards so don’t lower yourself because you’ll then look bad in other people’s eyes too. In fact, the best reaction is to be nice – smile in the face of her behaviour. You know the phrase ‘kill them with kindness‘? This totally applies in this situation.


Don’t dwell


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The more you talk about her, the more she will get to you. You’ll get worked up for no reason and be thinking about her 24/7 while she’s blissfully going on with her own life. Focus instead on the positive things in your life, or at least keep yourself occupied with things that will not remind you of her. It’s bad enough to have to see her in the office so don’t give her any of your time (or headspace) because she sure doesn’t deserve it.


Go to the top

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If it’s affecting your job – especially if she’s taking credit for your work or blaming you for mistakes you didn’t make – raise the issue with your bosses or someone from HR. Mention specific examples that took place; This isn’t the time to be vague or you might come across as petty and your concerns could be dismissed easily. If you’re close to someone superior in your company, you could also have an informal chat with them first, to seek further advice on the issue.


Move on

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If you really can’t handle her and the stress that comes with the situation, don’t be afraid to ask for a transfer or even look for a new job. Never put your health and sanity at risk just for a job or a colleague. And always find someone to talk to about things, internalising it will only make you feel worse and affect your life more.