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mean girls at work

(67 Posts)
bullseye2018 Sun 03-Mar-19 04:55:16

I’ve read a lot about mean girls at work because I’m struggling not to let the mean girls I work with get to me. Some theories suggest they target those they feel threatened by (more capable, more well-liked, more attractive), whereas others suggest they target weak/vulnerable women (submissive, less attractive, isolated).

Guess I’m curious to know what others think is the reality. And, given that, what characteristics might help buffer women from becoming the target.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 07:16:15

Has anyone ever taught you human biology Cole?

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 07:17:16

Well of course you would say that wouldn't you. Just because you say it, doesn't mean it's true.

ColeHawlins Sun 03-Mar-19 07:17:56

Yes thank you. And a decent wodge of social science too, thank goodness. smile

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 07:19:17

Are you talking to me kneehigim?

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 07:21:07

As for the actual OP and the question asked, I firmly believe they target women they feel threatened by - in the workplace particularly. In the playground, I think it's more of a bonding exercise i.e. by excluding the weakest in the flock.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 07:24:45

You see it with teenagers too. I've seen a lot of coverage lately of bullying and resultant suicide and in almost every case, the girl involved is very good looking, sporty, accomplished and popular with boys. The mean girls will certainly 'take her out'.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 07:27:59

Also, I think if you don't like going to lunches, discussing Love Island or whatever the latest trend is, and aren't simultaneously doing the latest fad diet, you will be excluded from friendship groups. The younger they are, the worse they are for it.

dimsum321 Sun 03-Mar-19 07:31:38

Mean girls and most definitely mean in a very different way to mean boys.

And I would far rather work with male colleagues/boss/managers as without exception in my 30+ years of working, if I have a nightmare/bitchy/micro managing boss it is 100% guaranteed to be a woman.

youarenotkiddingme Sun 03-Mar-19 07:31:54

Maybe OP is using 'mean girls' as a phrase because those being mean to her are woman?!

I'm sure if it was a man she'd had phrased it differently!

No idea how to help though. I have a colleague who spends her entire work life watching me and reporting me for any small mistake. Or always doing something else important when she's asked to do a job. (I'm senior to her). I've reported to my line manager and suggested they get OH involved hinting that it may be her MH as it's not healthy spending your whole working day assuming others are incompetent.

FWIW I'm fine as I asked my superiors to evaluate my work and give constructive criticism to improve what I do. They said it's not me and it's her!

For me the indirect approach of 'concern' rather than accusations has worked.

dimsum321 Sun 03-Mar-19 07:32:25


dimsum321 Sun 03-Mar-19 07:34:57

Furthermore, I have yet to encounter a mean male boss/colleague/manager. But that could just be random chance or luck.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 07:39:11

I'm more naturally drawn to male people. I find women to be incredibly insanely jealous and bitchy. Maybe men find other men to be the same? I don't think it operates the same way across the sexes. I find men to be domineering, arrogant, over-confident and a little stupid, if I was to stereotype. That said, they're simpler creatures to hang out with. grin
I have always noticed the alpha males though in an office. And they are generally very well liked.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 07:41:27

How do I rise above it? As I said, I just say hello and that's it. I am polite and nothing more. I don't get involved in office gossip, rivalry or Love Island.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 07:43:20

@Dimsum I can only think of one male colleague who I didn't get on with. On a personal level we got on fine, but my had he perfected the art of looking busy whilst doing nothing! He wound me up no end.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 07:50:07

I find women to be incredibly insanely jealous and bitchy 😂😂 yeah right.

starzig Sun 03-Mar-19 07:50:35

Don't think its the OP that is over sensitive.
Misogynistic??? Geeez.

FriedaTheBreeder Sun 03-Mar-19 08:01:41

Ice certainly seen little boys exclude other little boys and whisper behind me back. I’ve even had to apologise on behalf of my own son for such behaviour.

In fact my son’s friendships bear many more of the stereotypical female friendship attributes than any of my daughters’ friendships ever have.

At my work place I have many colleagues I find unfriendly, judgemental and hard to deal with. There a slightly more men in that group than women And the very worst person in my organisation for bitchy behaviour is trans male to female. Who knows what that suggests!

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 08:06:50

I find women to be incredibly insanely jealous and bitchy 😂😂 yeah right.
Haha. Yup. Case in point.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 08:08:04

What am I jealous of? What are they jealous of?

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 08:09:24

@starzig I know! You can't open your mouth here now or you're being sexist. FFS. It's tiring and getting boring now.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 08:10:09

Your sniggering emoticons suggest something is niggling you! Care to share?

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 08:11:47

Not sniggering. Outright laughing at your ridiculous claim. Again, what am I jealous of?

Squeegle Sun 03-Mar-19 08:12:08

Mean girls is definitely a thing. In my workplace we had a group of senior managers who had worked together for years. Their behaviour was just like that in the playground; whispering, excluding, meeting up outside work as a group. That behaviour is very specific to women. Let’s not kid ourselves that men act like that. They do other stuff. I think the OP has been treated appallingly; the professionally offended are out in force on mumsnet it seems.

floribunda18 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:14:45

I've had a lot more trouble from mean men and boys.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 08:16:25

I've no idea! You tell me honey.

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