Working the Bitches….

27 Jun

I was reading a well known women’s magazine recently, that featured an article offering advice about an age old problem – bitchy women.

The article attempted to cover ways in which to cope with work place witchery, however, the piece only succeeded in offering the same kind of advice you were once given from your school counsellor; try to work out why they’re doing it, seek to ignore them and if it gets too much, tell your teacher, ahem, your boss. Sounds like the bitch wins to me.

Sure, you may believe in karma! The universe will get’em one day and they will get their comeuppence. That’s all well and dandy, Pollyanna but for now, they’re making your life Hell! There’s gotta be a better way than just simply ignoring them?!

Before I go further, I’d like to highlight the difference between a woman of strong character and a bitch.

A strong, confident woman is also considerate, perceptive and open to communication. A bitch is someone who undermines you, is inconsiderate of you both personally and professionally and thrives on seeing you weak or affected. This post is most definitely about the latter.

Bullies travel in packs, so, you’re more than likely dealing with a co-bitch or co-bitches. Think of them as co-pilots in the repeated attempts at your assassination. They ride the coat tails of the alpha bitch,  allow the work place bullying to continue, and often, when you catch them alone, they struggle to make eye contact with you. It’s hard when you’re faced with more than one bully but you have to remember the co-bitches are the weakest individuals you will ever encounter. You’re really only dealing with one person here. You will always know exactly who the leader is.

Now that we’re clear, we can move on.

If you are forced to work with a ‘bitch’ you’re in trouble. Let’s not pretend you’re not. I’d love to say  – beat her at her own game, though, for those of us who are adverse to drama and quite frankly time poor, there has to be a better , cleaner way.

This lovely boy I knew in High School once said to me –  “Bullies hate it when you’re nice to them”. Pretty wise for a 15 year old and he was right. People are lost for reasons to dislike you when you’re nothing but nice to them.

How do you combat the bullies?

Here are some ideas, consider them experiments. Let me know how they go –

1. Be Sally Field for a day (circa The Flying Nun.) Bake cupcakes and share them with everyone at work, including the Bitch Brigade. Keep the happy greetings and goodbye’s flowing and never ever let the cracks show. Remember, these people survive on drama. You have to starve them of their energy source.

2. Be Dustin Hoffman (circa Working Girl) You are simply going to have to work harder at your job. Be prepared to hear them spout negative comments in your direction. Be a winner. Dress smarter, be smarter. Use their insecurities to feed your desire to rise above, literally. Who knows, if you find yourself in a higher position than them, you can always transfer them to another office!

3. Be Gwyneth Paltrow (after a Yoga class). Find activities outside of work that energize you and keep you positive. Mean people tend to bring you down leading you to eat more, work out less and struggle to put in the kind of performance you’d usually achieve quite easily at work. The only way to survive is to be able to see your workplace as a facet of your life and not your entire purpose. Mid week dinners with friends and rewarding weekends spent doing what makes you happy are the answer.

“This is your life, not theirs.” My dad said that to me just a few weeks ago and it’s spot on. You’re no longer in High School. Don’t let these women chart your future. Like my grandpa used to say, “You drive the car, the car doesn’t drive you!”

They’ve targeted you because you have something they don’t. Don’t let them crush you. Keep being great and watch them fall to bits.

That way, you win. Every time.

You might also want to add this track to your gym workout playlist –

….. Just run it out girls  🙂

Kristy xx

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4 Responses to “Working the Bitches….”

  1. Zoltan July 14, 2012 at 3:16 am #

    ‘People are lost for reasons to dislike you when you’re nothing but nice to them.’ I felt compelled to comment to say: this is potentially dangerous advice. It puts the onus back on the victim, and can make someone feel like it must be something they are doing to deserve being bullied. Trying to be as sweet as pie to win over bullies would likely be a heartbreaking, self-esteem destroying path to follow. Not only would you internalise the wrong-headed idea that if you are just perfect enough, they won’t have ‘reason’ to pick on you, but it there is no guarantee you won’t fare worse. Bullies don’t need a reason to bully. And many actually resent or are jealous of niceness, so it could easily be more fodder for them. That doesn’t mean you should let them stop you from being your nice self, but no one should be trying to win horrible people over by anxiously trying to be as nice as possible.

    I don’t know the best way to deal with these types at work, but I’m sure there is some solid advice around outside of some lazily written magazine filler article.

    Also, do you mean Tootsie and not Working Girl?

    • Kristy Best July 14, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      I did mean Tootsie. Thank you. 🙂 I don’t think you should try to ‘win’ them over with kindness, just confuse them. Haha. You’re right, bullies will bully regardless but if you’re strong enough, you won’t let them change your attitude.
      I looked further afield than that article and the focus seemed to be on the fact women just do this. It was weird and sad. I think I actually read in Forbes Women that women mostly have male mentors too. If only there was a way to combat the bitchiness, maybe starting at school?

  2. lindylou November 4, 2013 at 2:34 am #

    What about boss who allows this behavior in the first place? My boss won’t stand up to the bullies and does not like confrontations..so she tends to pick on the non-bullies and would like then to quit rather than deal with the mean girls…I have been threatened with physical attack, verbal, you name it, not even HR wants to help. In fact the head of HR asks one girl to “spy” on co-workers and report back..You wouldn’t believe the big name corporation I work for either!

  3. tina December 13, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    I do understand. I took the high road thought this b…… was just concerned about my capabilities and competing with her. I was genuinely conscientious asking about her day what help she needed assistance on projects only later to find out to be thrown under the bus on important projects she purposely sabotaged along with her minions, left out of meetings, being watched by hr and my boss, ignored all of a sudden by coworkers and the best part she hit me when I lost my loved one, and i was diagnosed with a serious illness so as the saying goes you may kick me when I am down but you are f….. when I get back up. So to your points yes to her face and in front of others be professional but like deserves like, record everything and let her know this is not acceptable put her on notice let your boss know that I cannot do my job and that it is costing me time errors and most importantly companies money to disrupt workflow.

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