Unfortunately, even in the most professional work settings, a corporate version of Mean Girls can surface. Despite the promise that ‘everything changes after high school,’ some of us don’t have the luxury of escaping bullies at work. There can be lasting effects from workplace bullying including avoidance, depression, and anxiety. We are taught at an early age that ‘ignoring’ or ‘killing with kindness’ is the best way to deal with work place bullying, however, both approaches can become incredibly exhausting over time leaving you feeling more frustrated than before. Below are 4 simple ways to cope with an office mean girl.
"YOU CAN SIT WITH US."
We can often learn our biggest life lessons from observing behaviors of people we trust. Make a stance by inviting an office newbie to join you and the other veterans for lunch or host a welcome party as a way to meet and mingle. Being inclusive in the workplace sets precedence that you are part of a team. Don’t forget to invite Regina, Karen and Gretchen Wieners! In order to endorse inclusivity, the invitation must be open to everyone. Let’s lead by example!
"ON WEDNESDAYS WE WEAR WHAT WE WANT."
Starting a job can be quite intimidating, and learning the office dos and don’ts can be trial by fire. Traditions are a great way to build team morale, but only when each member of the team feels included. Inside jokes at the office always result in exclusion as it implies only those on the ‘inside’ can appreciate the humor. Demonstrate leadership at the office by planning a wellness day (ex: office yoga, cooking class, mindfulness). Send around a survey to gather input from everyone. Let’s knock off the inside jokes and build traditions together!
"YOU GO GLEN COCO."
Witnessing work place bullying is a difficult situation to be in, especially you’re your colleague is the bully. It is important to stick up for those at the wrong end of the ‘joke’. Ask Damian, Janis or Glen Coco to coffee, check in with them regularly, and lend a helping hand. When we don’t stick up for fellow humans and colleagues, our emotional system pays for it. That feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when you’re involved in bringing somebody else down? That can turn into chronic feelings of anxiety or depression. It’s our job as humans to stick up for one another. Be kind to yourself by being kind to other. Let’s support those around us.
"BURN THE BURN BOOK."
Gossip and name calling at work is never ok! Not only does it cause division in the team, it also sets an example that bullying is ok. As much as we may not like to admit, listening to gossip makes us an accessory to gossip and provides an audience to the gossiper. Next time you’re in the company of a rude comment, or hear personal details about your colleague, make a stance and stop the drama. This can be done by stating that this is not an appropriate place for such conversations, contradict the verdict or cause distraction like no ones business. You can use “I feel” statements and say “I feel like ___ wouldn’t appreciate us talking in this way”. Let’s put an end to the gossip.
Blare June is a lifestyle blogger from Halifax, Nova Scotia. What makes Blare June's blog unique is that in addition to fashion she writes about mental illness, empowerment, and overall wellness. When Blare June isn't blogging, she is working as a physician specializing in psychiatry in Halifax. You can find Blare June online at www.blarejune.com or on Instagram: @blarejune.
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