You and your partner share all those loving moments, romantic dinners, family gatherings, intimacy. But to maintain your relationship, you also share not so romantic moments such as financial challenges, financial insecurity, and budgeting.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does have a huge influence on our everyday life. Working on finances and talking about these challenges could be crucial in keeping a healthy and long-lasting relationship. However, if you ever need some additional support, short term cash loans might be just the right help.
Below we have shared a bit of advice on how to work on this subject with your partner.
· Do You Envy Your Partner?
The difference in earnings can cause a feeling of worthlessness in one partner and frustration in the other, which often results in arguments. It doesn’t matter what stage of your relationship you are in, this is a very important conversation to have. Financial insecurity and mental health can have a huge impact on you; therefore, find a good way to communicate about financial compatibility.
How much money you earn doesn’t define you. Money can’t buy love or affection, but it provides us with shelter, clothes, and food and impacts our everyday life. Learn how to communicate and talk on this topic.
· Discuss Your Long-Term Goals
Would you like to travel the world? Talking about your goals can reveal your financial challenges and problems, including some steps needed to change your financial trajectory. Discuss how you want to pay the bills if you are interested in opening a joint account, discuss if you want to save the money for a vacation or pay off a debt, and some of the sacrifices you need to make to reach your goals.
If you are nervous about having these discussions, consider financial insecurity counseling. A counselor can weigh the arguments and help you prepare solutions to your problems.
· Be Aware Of Your Habits
Work on your financial literacy, work on your budget! Sometimes shopping relieves us the stress, or we don’t pay much attention when we go out with our friends during the weekend. Manage your finances based on your needs and your lifestyle. Try to keep track of your budget and share this with your partner. Maybe you are not ready to share finances yet, but the money situation will affect your relationship. Financial insecurity defines it to be challenging but crucial in understanding your habits and working on insecurities.
We can agree that financial insecurity has a different tone for different couples. When someone enters your life with many beautiful and amazing moments, complex changes will affect you. Be open and work on these demanding and tough conversations; commitment will help you handle financial stress in a relationship. All couples need privacy, but it is important to balance it with responsibility towards the other person.
Discussing your finances is not an easy conversation to have; if you do take that step – good luck and let us know what worked the best for you!
Jade is a finance analyst and has been involved in many successful business projects with a range of companies throughout the country. She started writing 3 years ago and enjoys researching, discussing, and writing on the topics of finances, budgeting, money advice, lifestyle and wellness. Jade loves to spend time with her family and has a lot of hobbies including hiking, riding a bike, cooking and traveling.
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Anyone with firsthand experience of a “queen bee” will know all too well that female bullies are just as aggressive as their male counterparts.Because women are seen as the fairer sex, adult female bullying often goes undetected. Female bullies also tend to be sly and Machiavellian in their approach, according to a 2010 Psychologies website article. Women usually bully passive females, as they are less confrontational. If you feel you are the victim of a female bully, it is important you take immediate steps to stop her behavior.
Understand it is the bully who has a problem, not you. This is often easier said than done, especially if the bully continually knocks your confidence. A female bully’s actions are usually due to a thirst for attention or power. She may also feel inferior around you, meaning belittling you will make her feel good.
Learn to avoid giving her what she wants, an emotional reaction, says Dr. Michelle R Callahan in a March 2011 Dr. Michelle website article. The bully will enjoy seeing you upset or emotionally shaken; in fact, she mayl take pleasure in knowing she has managed to hurt you. Don’t ignore her; this can make her actions more aggressive. Instead, just smile at her or nod your head. She will soon grow bored if she cannot manipulate a response from you.
Stop analyzing the bully’s actions in the hope of changing her behavior, advises a 2009 ABC Good Morning America website article. Female bullies usually befriend other females they can manipulate and belittle. If you are friends with the person who is bullying you, you may feel compelled to change her and make her into a better person or friend. Unfortunately, she is the only one who can stop her actions; nothing you say or do will change her behavior if it is not what she wants to do.
Turn to friends and family for support. Avoid keeping emotions and feelings bottled up, as this may lead to stress-related illnesses such as depression. Getting support is important, according to Dr. Michelle Callahan, especially as loved ones can provide comfort, advice and much-needed confidence boosts. Another idea is to write your feelings in a journal; this is a good way to privately get things off your chest.
March 5, 2021 Updated June 16, 2021
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: your 40s are weird.
Some days you feel all forty-and-fabulous about your life, wearing that IDGAF attitude like a cape. Other days next you feel more like forty-and-fuck-off.
Our kids physically need us less, but emotionally they need us more. The challenges of parenting teens and tweens are so deeply personal that we can’t share them. They aren’t our stories to share, after all. So we parents of tweens and teens struggle in silence.
Our careers might be taking off or pivoting. We might be jumping into another lane all together. And all of it is deeply unsettling, because in the back of our mind, a tiny voice is asking, Is this what you really want? And we honestly have no idea.
We have aging parents and friendships that need tending. We’re better able to filter out the bullshit, but as a result, we realize just how much in our lives is bullshit. We’re volunteering, trying to do our small part to make the world a little better, but none of it seems like enough.
You lay awake for hours at night, worrying about your kid who’s failing algebra and feeling guilty for not spending enough time with your mom who has been sounding a little lonely lately and fretting about the email that your boss sent at 9 p.m. and regretting just about every decision you made when we were 19 and replaying that awful thing you said to your neighbor 15 years ago when you were in the throes of postpartum depression and he was bitching at you for dinging his car when you opened your car door and just when you start to drift off to sleep, the acid reflux starts and OMG it has got to be 110 degrees in this bedroom and, for the love of god, can we just relax for two damn seconds. (Just me?)
Then when we do get a few minutes, or maybe even a couple hours, we are paralyzed with overwhelm and it hits us like a ton of bricks just how lonely and scared and confused we are.
So yeah, your 40s are fucking weird.
This is normal. And common.
The trouble is, no one is talking about it. We hear about how absolutely ah-mazing your 40s are. I hear women talk about how they really “settled into their skin” and figured out who they are in their 40s, and I’m like whah? Did I miss that memo somewhere? I must have, because that isn’t how I feel at all.
Here’s the reality of life for a 40-something-year-old woman: Most days I feel mostly content, profoundly grateful, low-grade terrified, a little bit lonely, and exhausted with all of it. I feel this constant tension between wanting to soak up the too-few years I have with my kids before they leave for college and impatient for the freedom that I imagine will come during the empty nest years. I trust my intuition more, but I regret my mistakes more as well. I want to focus on my career while at the same time I want to go off-grid, rescue half a dozen dogs and tend to them. I mean, life is short. Why not?
I think that’s what’s at the heart of all this internal conflict – the awareness that life is short. So we want to grab yourselves by the shoulders and say, GO. DO THAT THING YOU’RE AFRAID TO DO. And then we realize, oh wait, I have all these not-yet-adult, big kids who need rides to baseball practice and reminders to study for their AP science test and I want to be near my parents and I really don’t want to say goodbye to my friends and then you circle right back to where you started.
Experience has taught me how to finally trust my intuition, but experience has also made me super self-aware and self-critical. Which means I basically second-guess myself while deep-down knowing that my hunch is probably right. Life is complicated and I contact multitudes, dammit.
So we try to walk this tightrope with the wind blowing all around us. We have big ideas and aha life-changing moments and bold dreams. The trouble is we can’t do anything about them, because we have teens who are in driver’s ed and aging parents who need rides to the doctor and committee meetings that need to be planned.
So we tell ourselves that those big ideas and bold dreams don’t matter, that all these conflicting emotions and complicated feelings and bewildering confusion must be a “mid-life crisis.” Because the world tells us that’s what it is.
But you know what?
The world is wrong. We’ve been fed a bunch of lies about what it means to be a woman in your 40s. Because quite simply, the world doesn’t know what to do with all of this fierce, enough-of-the-bullshit badassery that we have.
So we dismiss it as hormonal changes or the proverbial mid-life crisis.
Let me be very clear: Feeling all these super complicated and confusing AF feelings is NOT a crisis. It means we are waking up.
We’ve been trained to think that wanting something outside the norm of “go to college, get married, work at some job for 30-40 years until you retire” ladder of life is bizarre. The world doesn’t know what to do with people who are bold enough to say, ENOUGH. This is not the life I want. People don’t know what to do when someone quits their job to go back to school at 45 or finally gets that tattoo they’ve wanted since they were 15. People don’t know how to respond when we admit that we want a little more from life than chauffeuring kids around town, or when we admit that we don’t actually care about climbing the career ladder and are perfectly content to chauffeur kids around town.
The world doesn’t know what to do with all this bravery so the world calls it a crisis. But this is not a crisis. It is a coming home to oneself. It is a realization that life is, indeed, way too short – too short to spend your time on bullshit and nonsense and other people’s tunnel vision of what women of a certain age should be and how we should comport ourselves.
It is not a crisis to ask for more out of this one too-short life we have.
And the world is just gonna have to get used to it.
When you leave a job, you’re probably focused on cleaning out your desk and saying good-bye to work friends. But taking care of your 401(k) retirement plan at the soon-to-be-former employer should also be high on your to-do list so that you can handle that money responsibly and avoid unnecessary taxes and penalties.
If you take a 401(k) loan from a job, you generally must repay the outstanding balance in full when you leave. Otherwise, the loan may be treated as a distribution and subject you to early withdrawal penalties.
Assuming you don’t have any outstanding 401(k) loans, here’s a look at your options.
Cash it out. Tempting as might be to cash out a 401(k) from a previous employer, this should be your last resort. If you cash out a 401(k) before age 59.5, you’ll be subject to taxes and early withdrawal penalties. In addition, you’ll also lose out on money that could have grown and supported you during retirement. If you have less than $5,000 in your 401(k), the plan administrator may automatically distribute funds to you, triggering a taxable distribution, so ask them about this before you leave. If you need money to help you through a career transition, explore other options first such as a home equity line of credit or a personal loan, which are typically cheaper ways to access money.
Leave it alone. If you have at least $5,000 in your old employer’s retirement account, you should be able to leave the money in the account and let it continue to grow. However, the downside of doing nothing is that it’s easy to lose track of money in an old employer’s 401(k). Lacking visibility on how the money is invested could make it harder for you or your financial advisor to create a diversified portfolio. Plus, many employer 401(k)s carry high fees that can eat away at the money you’re saving for retirement.
Roll it over to your new employer’s 401(k). If your new employer allows rollover, you could directly rollover funds from your previous employer’s 401(k) to your new 401(k) to avoid taxes and penalties on an early withdrawal. This can also help you consolidate your retirement accounts so you have fewer accounts to monitor. However, an individual retirement account (IRA) may have lower fees and broader investment options, so consider the fees and investment options of your new employer’s 401(k) before you initiate a rollover.
Roll it into an IRA. Rolling over your previous employer’s 401(k) into an IRA can mean lower fees and more varied investment options than moving into your new employer’s 401(k). IRAs come in two flavors: traditional and Roth. Both carry the same contribution limits ($5,500 per year or $6,500 if you’re age 50 or over), but contributions are treated differently for tax purposes. A traditional IRA uses pre-tax money — similar to a 401(k) — so you pay taxes when you withdraw the money, while a Roth IRA contains post-tax money. To get your 401(k) money into a Roth, you’d first roll it over to a traditional IRA and then convert it to a Roth.
To avoid penalties with an IRA rollover, fill out the required paperwork for a trustee-to-trustee transfer so that your old employer transfers funds directly to your IRA custodian on your behalf. If you do an indirect transfer and the check is made out to you, then your employer is required to withhold 20 percent for federal tax. You’d need to add the difference out of your own pocket to avoid getting hit with a 10 percent penalty for early withdrawals.
Career transitions can be exciting (or sometimes overwhelming), but don’t neglect your retirement accounts in the process. A direct transfer to a new 401(k) or an IRA can help you manage that money and grow your nest egg for retirement.
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The following is an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine. This was quite serious at its time and written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II during the 1940s. Obviously, the intent was not to be “funny,” but by today’s standards, this is hilarious!
For those of you with efficiency issues, pay attention to #8.
There is no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage.
Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject:
1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters. They are less likely to be flirtatious. They need the work, or they would not be doing it. They still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.
2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It is always well to impress upon older women, the importance of friendliness and courtesy.
3. General experience indicates that “husky” girls – those who are just a little on the heavy side – are more even-tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.
4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination – one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but also reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses that would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.
5. Stress, at the outset, the importance of time; the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.
6. Give the female employee a definite daylong schedule of duties so that they will keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.
7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.
8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.
9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they cannot shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman – it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.
10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl’s husband or father may swear vociferously, she will grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.
11. Get enough size variety in operator’s uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point cannot be stressed too much in keeping women happy.
Lying awake at night with envy. This Girl is Jealous of Me: How to Deal with Jealous Women
I recently received a letter from a 20-year-old college woman: “This girl is jealous of me. I get attention from guys because of my looks, I drive a convertible, and I have lots of nice clothes. I’m not trying to flaunt anything, but this girl tries to make me look bad every time she’s around me. What can I do?”
Sometimes you have what others want and it drives them crazy. Here is how to deal with jealous women.
Sometimes We’re Up
Perhaps you are in your skinniest jeans yet, guys turn their heads every time you walk by, your parents paid for college, and you’ve got a high-paying job lined up after school. Life is going well for you and you should enjoy it.
Sometimes We’re Down
Life can suck at times. You might remember a time when a guy you were dating cut your relationship short, maybe your credit cards were overdrawn, or perhaps you gained 20 lbs. at one time and none of your clothes would fit anymore.
Even if none of those happened to you, you can at least remember a period in your life where circumstances pulled you down emotionally. When other women are jealous of you and try to make you look bad, it’s because they are focusing in on that low feeling and projecting it.
They have a severe dislike for how their own lives are going at the moment and the easiest way for them to make themselves feel better is to target someone who has what they want, and try to make them feel like they aren’t as good as they think they are.
Beautiful women always inspire envy in others.
No One Gets Off Scot-Free
People who complain about being picked on because they are overweight, poor, or “different” also don’t realize that on the other side of the fence people are picked on for looking beautiful, having money, or having a stellar education and career. In this life, there will always be some kind of push-pull no matter which side you are on.
When things are looking up for you, your confidence does not shatter so easily because you have a buffer of good circumstances keeping those positive feelings alive. So even though you have women around you green with envy who don’t know how to control their feelings of jealousy, realize that .
Female envy should make you feel better about yourself. This is why:
- When you say, “This girl is jealous of me . “, let that be a positive signal to you. You are a model for what others wish they had or traits they wish they possessed.
- Everything you have is not just due to luck. Some of your success is likely due to your own personal drive: whether it is to keep your appearance up or your school or work performance stellar. Effort and time go into these things.
How to Deal with Jealous Women
When you are on the receiving end of a bad comment there are many ways to handle it depending upon your and the offending party’s personality. You can:
- Refuse to acknowledge the person
- Keep your distance
- Retort about the bad luck they are having, if you feel like snapping back at them
- Try to become friends with the person so that the behavior might be broken
Use the Jealousy of Other Women to Keep Improving Yourself
- Sometimes when you’re young, life just has a way of working in your favor. But just because you are on top right now does not mean you will stay there. Observe what you are doing or what has provided you with the good life you have. Keep working on those things throughout your life.
- Pay attention to your mannerisms and how you treat others. If you are being a jerk, that will backfire against you in the end. Success requires some degree of humility to keep you aware of how life really functions. Humility keeps you open to realistic expectations of others, and it helps you maintain control of your presence and personality — two key factors that will help drive you to having success with interpersonal communication.
Questions & Answers
Question: What should I do if a girl always tries to make fun of me in front of everyone? She also gives me really dirty looks. She comments on me in the form of jokes, and would always love to insinuate that I am very ugly.
Answer: She definitely sounds like a jealous woman. You can treat her the same way she treats you (give her a taste of her own medicine), or try to ignore her.
Question: The girl is always spreading rumors about me, and I am made aware by my friends that she has said these things. When we’re in a group, she always makes mean jokes, when it is a large group, she pits us against each other, making people choose sides. She enjoys saying things that would make me look bad. She recently spread rumors that I am having sex with certain guys and that I have sugar daddies. What do I do in such a case?
Answer: It sounds like she needs a taste of her own medicine and an attitude adjustment. Try treating her the same way she treats you.
Question: How do I deal with a girl that gives me dirty looks when I go to visit my boyfriend at work? She purposely put her hair in my food.
Answer: You could do something like this back to her. Or keep your food away from her as well. You could also give her dirty looks back or ask her what her problem is.
Question: What does it mean if a girl was staring at me right after I finished singing?
Answer: I wasn’t there, but she could be throwing you some hatred. People also tend to look at attractive people longer.
When I speak on marriage or do marriage preparation work, I sometimes get accused of being tough on men. I plead guilty, with an explanation, or two.
First of all I am a man and it’s just easier for me to speak firmly to men. I tend to be more polite with women. Secondly, I think most men are encouraged when they are summoned to duty. A lot of men I have talked to are a bit sick of all the hand holding that goes on in Church, literally and figuratively. Most men I know are more interested in hearing of their duty and being summoned to it in a manly way. (However, I must say I have experienced some very definite exceptions to this rule. Some men especially react with great bitterness that I do not better articulate women’s shortcomings when it comes to marriage. I suspect there is a personal dimension to this story). Finally, I believe in male headship when it comes to marriage. Some call me old fashioned, some call me misogynist. I just prefer to call myself “biblical” (Eph 5:19ff; Col 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1). But headship in the Scripture means responsibility rather than privilege. Hence the husband has the first obligation to love, to sacrifice, to anticipate and fulfill the needs of his wife and children. So yes, I am tough on men.
In that vein allow me a moment to extend some old advice to men, especially those who are husbands. Women are surely invited to listen in and to apply some of this to themselves too! For although men have the first obligation, women are not thereby passive or without duty in this regard.
And here is the central question for a man: “How to handle a woman?” An old song from Camelot answers the question well, and biblically I might add:
How to handle a woman? There’s a way,” said the wise old man, “A way known by every woman Since the whole rigmarole began.” “Do I flatter her?” I begged him answer. “Do I threaten or cajole or plead? Do I brood or play the gay romancer?” Said he, smiling: “No indeed. How to handle a woman? Mark me well, I will tell you, sir: The way to handle a woman Is to love her…simply love her… Merely love her…love her…love her.”
Alright men, It’s not that complicated is it? Love her. Simply love her, love her!
In marriage counseling I will sometimes ask the husband privately, Do you love your wife…Honestly now, do you really love her? The answer is not always obvious. Many people confuse mere toleration with love. Because I put up with you means I must love you, somehow.
But my question goes deeper: Do you have a deep affection, a warmth, a compassion and desire for your wife? Do you like her? Some of the men who are more honest with themselves realize that many of these qualities are no longer operative and that, at best, they have a tense toleration for their wife. And there are often protests as well: Father, you don’t know how my wife can be!….She’s hard to love. (Actually I do have some idea. We priests are not mere bachelors and we too are called to love some people who are difficult to love). Love remains the answer. And so I inevitably invite the husband to pray for a miracle:
When you go home, get on your knees and pray for the miracle to really love your wife. Pray for the miracle of a tender and humble heart that will love her with a deep, abiding, compassionate, and passionate love. Pray to love her unconditionally, not because she deserves it, or has earned it, not because she feeds you or sleeps with you. Pray to love her “for no good reason.” Ask God to give you the same love he has for you. You and I are not easy to love, we have not earned God’s love and don’t really deserve it. But God loves us still the same. Yes, pray for a miracle. Your flesh may think of 50 reasons to be resentful and unloving toward your wife. Pray for the miracle to love her any way, deeply and truly. Pray for a new heart, filled with God’s love.
In the end, the only way to “handle” a woman is to love her.
I can hear the fear talking as well: Are you saying I should be a doormat? No, love speaks the truth and insists upon it. But only love can distinguish between respect for the truth and mere power struggle. Only love can distinguish properly between reverence for the good of the other and merely insisting on my own preferences. Love can speak the truth but it does so with love.
As a priest I have found that the more I love my people the better equipped I am to lead them to the truth. And when they know and experience that I love them, there is trust and they can better accept the truth I am summoned to preach. But it is love that opens the door.
Advice to husbands, How to handle a woman? Love her.
In case you’ve never heard the song from Camelot here it is. The Scene begins with Arthur furiously lamenting the short-comings of the Queen and then reacalling some old advice given him by Merlin:
Now, you will say, “Camelot ended badly.” Yes, but in the end we do not love merely with good results in mind, we love unconditionally, as God does. God loves because God is love and that’s what Love does, He loves. And so to for us, called to be possessed of God’s love, we love. We risk to love. The Lord was killed for the love he had for us. We do not love merely to get something from it, we simply love. Others may accept or refuse our love, but as for us we love. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16).
Simply love her, love her, love her.
Here’s another video clip that says it better than I. This is clip from the movie “Fireproof” wherein a husband struggles to love his wife. This scene is the turning point of the move, the breakthrough:
57 Replies to “How to Handle a Woman”
Twenty six years after going through marriage preparation classes at Sacred Heart in Texarkana, you finally come along with the answer to the final exam. I remember the couple teaching us asking what we thought was the most important thing we could hope for in life. My wife to be said to be happy and I said salvation. You are good. You are really good.
Glad the final exam question got an answer here!
Interesting choice of songs to illustrate your point. I think Mordred’s song from Camelot is a good illustration of how the secular world regards Sin.
I also enjoyed (and was made uncomfortable by) the other video. If only more sons actually valued the counsel of our fathers…
Are speaking of the song “Fie on Goodness?”
You know that woman at your office, the one who makes your life difficult by leaving you out of important meetings or undercutting you in front of your boss?
If you have no idea what we’re talking about, let us bring you up to speed: She’s a mean girl.
“A mean girl at work is a woman who practices some form of covert competition or indirect aggression toward another woman,” says Katherine Crowley, psychotherapist and co-author of “Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal.”
We spoke with Crowley and co-author Kathi Elster, a management consultant and executive coach, to get the lowdown on what really motivates these mean girls—and, more importantly, how you should handle them.
LearnVest: Why did you become interested in this topic?
Kathi: A client asked us to give a lecture to women in technology about “women haters.” We were like, “What is that?” She meant women who aren’t very nice to other women. When we started talking to clients about this concept, we realized that a lot of women had been through this. We gave that lecture to a packed room, and we could just see from their faces that we had hit a nerve.
Katherine: When you look at the statistics—women comprise 50% of the workforce, and get 70% of advanced degrees—it became obvious that today’s professional woman is likely to manage, report to or at least work with other women. So this is the time to offer concrete solutions to the dynamics that might arise from this situation.
What motivates a mean girl?
Katherine: It comes from internal conflict—wanting everyone to be your friend versus needing to compete with other women at work. I may really like someone, but I can be extremely jealous if she gets promoted, and then be tempted to put her down when she tries to tell me what to do.
How is a mean woman at work different from a mean man?
Kathi: Men, by nature, are more comfortable with competition, so they compete overtly. Then, at the end of the day, they go out for a beer. Women hold resentments, and carry the pain inflicted by a mean girl—maybe even for the rest of their careers. It’s the wiring of our brains, so we need to [learn to] depersonalize it, and think of our coworkers as “friendly,” but not “friends.”
Have either of you ever had to deal with a mean girl at work?
Kathi: While writing this book, I found myself often saying, “I’ve done that,” or “That’s been done to me.” The biggest breakthrough was when I took our “no gossip challenge” for a month. I started by telling everyone around me that this is what I was going to do—and I quickly learned which people tried to draw me back in, and the people who respected it. By the end of the 30 days, gossip felt disgusting to me.
Katherine: I recognized that there are types of women who bring out my own mean girl. When women are rude to me, I’ll be mean right back. Or if someone asks me unending questions, I’ll snap at them. I learned that, while I consider myself to be a fairly nice person, there are women who bring out the darker side of my behavior—and my challenge is to take the high road.
What’s your best advice for dealing with a mean girl at work?
Kathi: Do not counterattack. Whether someone gave you a dirty look or critiqued you in front of other colleagues, the natural reaction is to attack back. But the best thing to do is take time to cool off, so you can react in a professional manner.
Katherine: Women are processors, so you’ll need to find a way to process what happened. Release those negative feelings through exercise or talk to a trusted friend or advisor outside of work. Then you’ll need to look for a way to solve the problem professionally—without getting into a personal battle.
What if the mean girl is your boss?
Katherine: Make the most of your current position for your resume, but also find ways to get out and meet other people in your industry, so you can build bridges that will take you to the next opportunity—to a better place.
Are there fewer or more mean girls at work these days?
Kathi: There are more because there are more girls in the workplace. We love women, and we’re big supporters of them in the workplace, but this is just a dark side to working with women. Not everyone exhibits mean girl behavior—but we’re all capable.
We’re giving one lucky reader a copy of “Mean Girls at Work.” Just head over to our Facebook page, and answer this question: What’s your best advice for dealing with a mean girl at work?