How to Fight Off Those Mean Girls at Work (Politely)

Mean girls can literally exist anywhere. Don’t let the term “mean girls” soften the fact that mean girls are BULLIES. They’re not your friend and most likely they don’t have any true friends. Mean girls thrive off of trying to weaken another woman. But as a strong woman, you are entitled to stand your ground and get your point across as respectfully as possible. Bullies have one main objective: to get under your skin and cause you to react so you can seem like the one who has the problem. It’s fairly easy to spot a mean girl. She typically talks behind everyone’s back and intentionally tries to intimidate and outshine other women. The same girl who talked behind your back about your hair and your relationship in high school can be the same girl who never grew up mentally and is in your workplace stirring up trouble.

Two Friends Whispering Secrets in the Ear.The thing you have to understand about mean girls is that a lot of times they try to disguise themselves as the woman everyone wants to be or be with but they are just haters unhappy with themselves. They may try to steal your shine during the office meeting, take your ideas and spread nasty rumors but there’s a way to fight back without actually fighting. Mean girls love power and if you get upset and out of your character that’s a form of your power being transferred to them. The key to fighting a mean girl nicely is to take her power away. Don’t let her see you angry or like she’s negatively affected you. Imagine a play where a group of people are talking peacefully and one woman tap dancing in the corner trying to get everyone’s attention. If no one pays attention to the woman dancing, then the woman looks out of place and not worth anyone’s attention in the first place.  The mean girl is “tapping dancing” for your attention and if you show her that you’re interested in what she’s doing then you’re basically clapping along to her performance.

Don’t subscribe to the mean girl’s performance or anyone else who doesn’t have your best interest in mind.

The first step is to tell the person to stop.

A good way to get your point across is to put your hands up to create a barrier. Keep your comments to the person short. “Please stop and let me work” lets the person know you are tired of their behavior. If the behavior continues, visit your HR department or supervisor and explain how you approached the person and asked them to stop bothering you. Never escalate the situation by yelling.

The second step is if the bullying continues is to make a record of the occurrences.

If the bullying continues the best thing to do is make a record of everything the person says to you, when and where they say it and who witnessed what was said. After keeping a record, speak with higher management or the HR department and let them take control of the situation.

Working in the same place as someone who wants to see you fail can be difficult but the main thing is to stand up for yourself and if it gets out of hand, keep track of the behaviors. Everyone has the right to enjoy the places they have to attend every day and if you’re not enjoying those places then something needs to change. Don’t let anyone or anything dictate your enjoyment of your life, especially not someone who’s so unhappy with their own life that they try to sabotage someone else’s.



  1. Pingback: From A Wildflower, | How to Fight Off Those Mean Girls at Work (Politely)

  2. Ice

    July 20, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Unbvbieealle how well-written and informative this was.

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