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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.

bugaboo218 Tue 19-Mar-19 08:42:20

I think mean girls do exist at work and they do it when they feel threatened in some way. In my case because I was more qualified than they were.

Any issues I have had in 20 odd years of work have always been with micro managing female bosses /female senior managers. I can say in 20 years Plus I have had two good female bosses.

Never ever had any issues with male bosses or senior managers, who have been men.

Tumbleweed101 Tue 19-Mar-19 06:48:11

I’ve always felt the ‘odd one out’ for most of my school and work life but now I’m in a workplace where I’m with lovely supportive colleagues where we all get on. I think it’s jusr finding those personality types you click with. Working where I do now has really boosted my self confidence and all it took was the right people to work with.

joyfullittlehippo Tue 19-Mar-19 00:10:00

I’ve never personally experienced “mean girls.” I’ve worked with one woman who was a bully, but she was a flat out tantrum-throwing psychopath who everyone hated.

I have worked with numerous men who were bullies or who engaged in weird manipulative power plays.

Kristophersmum Tue 19-Mar-19 00:06:52

The theory that they target the weak is correct as well as targeting those they are jealous of.
I hope you are able to protect yourself - you need to shield yourself and build up your shield / aura as the negative meanness will cause you stress and depression -
Read up on how to tackle negative energy and negative people before they drain the life out of you !

Kristophersmum Tue 19-Mar-19 00:01:19

Boys do it - girls do it
Men do it - women do it
It does not depend on gender or age actually.
It’s only a sympathetic mature wise child or an emphatic wise and aware adult that does not bully or become mean as they treat people the way they want to be treated - simple - but I wish there were more out there instead of the mean bullies / narcissists etc ....

Kristophersmum Mon 18-Mar-19 23:54:21

Young boys do gang up and can isolate other boys and girls. They can exclude them , bully them and try to tell each other ...” don’t talk to him / her , don’t play with him / her “ If a child has been bought up well and has sound judgement then they will act well - if they are immature, have bad role models or have disabilities then they may not know right from wrong and become bullies

EBearhug Mon 04-Mar-19 10:43:16

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

Definitely luck. I've known some appalling male managers. I work in IT, so most of the managers I've known have been men, good or bad.

There's a book due to come out by Tomás Chamorro-Premuzic on Why do so many incompetent men become leaders?

Sex is not the issue here; the behaviour is, and that is something which should be tackled. Where sex comes into it is that men and women are often treated differently for exhibiting the same behaviours. The behaviour is just as damaging whether enacted by men or women. Talking about "mean girls" clouds the problem. It's the behaviour which needs fixing, not being women.

YourSarcasmIsDripping Sun 03-Mar-19 08:49:13

* I find MN such a contradiction. It is the most transphobic forum I've come across and yet they're all for gender fluidity! I literally don't get it. Maybe I'm a bit thick or something*

MN is not transphobic, that's why you don't get it. It sounds like you have some preconceived views yourself and just looking for what you want to see.

Tara336 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:42:24

I wouldn’t say I’ve been a victim of mean girls but I’ve observed them at work. I witnessed horrendous bullying to the point that the department (not mine) had to have meetings and mediation! The victim I guess did stand out from the crowd a bit and she had a bit of a mean streak herself. But I think individuals this group of mean girls were nice enough women but had their own issues, they formed a pack with a ringleader who instigated it all (she’s always been a nasty bitch) and all hell broke loose. It was awful to see.

mimibunz Sun 03-Mar-19 08:31:23

kneehigim I agree 100%.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 08:28:39

I wouldn’t say it is about gender fluidity Kneehigim. The problem lies with sex stereotyping. If we can acknowledge that behaviours are not inherently due to sex stereotypes, we can create a better world, particularly for women and gender non conforming people.

ColeHawlins Sun 03-Mar-19 08:25:45

* I find MN such a contradiction. It is the most transphobic forum I've come across and yet they're all for gender fluidity! I literally don't get it. Maybe I'm a bit thick or something.*

Not thick. I think it's that you've missed a bit of the underlying argument.

It's very GC here but no, not transphobic.

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

Well I'm glad you recognise that there is a difference in the sexes with this statement:

Also men commit all but a small percentage of murders, rapes and violent, sexual and other crimes. But hey! The problem is mean women. Why can't a woman be more like a man?

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 08:22:07

Squeegle I totally agree.
What I've seen men do at work, is to give the high profile projects to their fellow alpha males.
I've never seen a female boss give a high profile project to a female colleague/underling. She'll probably keep it for herself! grin

Men and women do operate differently. No matter how fucking gender fluid we all decide to be.

I find MN such a contradiction. It is the most transphobic forum I've come across and yet they're all for gender fluidity! I literally don't get it. Maybe I'm a bit thick or something.

YourSarcasmIsDripping Sun 03-Mar-19 08:21:10

I think OP would've got more help and support if she asked for help in dealing with her specific issues at work, rather than using a stereotype and looking for confirmation for that stereotype. Tbh I don't even understand how that would be helpful.

Even if we did say yes they are mean girls and speculated on their behaviour,the reasons why etc it wouldn't help OP to improve her working environment. They'd still be "mean girls" .

Some people suck regardless of their sex.

floribunda18 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:19:31

Also men commit all but a small percentage of murders, rapes and violent, sexual and other crimes. But hey! The problem is mean women. Why can't a woman be more like a man?

floribunda18 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:17:21

Men do act like that, it just isn't noticed in the same way. The constant name calling at my school was from boys, not girls. Men bitch about and put down other colleagues just as much as women do, and they form collectives and make sure those colleagues are managed out and not promoted.

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

I've no idea! You tell me honey.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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