7 nasty, bitchy, mean girls of office
Bitchy women at work, who play emotional and tormenting games, are responsible for high levels of stress and sickness among their female colleagues, a new study has found.
Australian Meredith Fuller, a psychologist, says that women in the workforce often use schoolyard-style bullying and exclusion tactics to get their way at work and that these bullies could be classified into seven categories. When we spoke to MNC employees in Delhi and Gurgaon, they admitted to having come face-to-face with female colleagues who belonged to at least one of Fuller's categories. "Think about school, where you observed who's the 'in group', who's the 'out group', girls who would refuse to speak to other girls, taunts, giggling, raising eyebrows, body language," a website quoted Dr Fuller as saying.
According to Dr Fuller, when some women see female colleagues succeeding at work, they feel threatened - particularly if their colleague is good at something they're not - and respond with "bitchy" tactics. These women can be driven by perfectionism, anxiety, a sense of not feeling good enough, a sense of anger or a sense of entitlement. Here are accounts of employees here who've encountered some of these female office bullies.
The seven types of women you wouldn't want to mess with at the workplace
The Excluder sees other women as oxygen thieves. If there is no personal gain from communicating with you, she can pretend you don't exist and fail to pass on important information.
"You may sit in the same bay and see her face every morning but she still won't register your presence unless, of course, you're assigned on the same group project. Usually,
nobody discusses their personal lives in office, but even if someone is facing a major crisis, she'll walk past them without so much as a second look. There have been times when the boss told her to communicate to me about an early morning meeting the next day and she never bothered. I am so glad I left the organization and she was a major reason behind my decision."
- Worked as a financial executive at NTT Data
The Insecure micromanages everyone, trusts no one, and thinks that no one knows better than she does.
"Her own project might be stuck at every possible level but she will always take interest in what you're doing. Initially, I thought it was nice that she was concerned and hoping that she was trying to help me out. But that was so not the case. I was being nice and helped her with her project too. Later, when something went wrong with it, she put the blame on me. I eventually realized that if she was ever getting scolded, she would find a way to drag me into it also, and I finally backed off."
- Ex-employee at Evalueserve
The Toxic is a two-faced game-player who should never be trusted. She'll suck up to you and be your best friend one minute, then gossip about you the next.
"Two-faced is a small term for her. She would often talk about how much she hated the office in front of our team, but it was just to gain sympathy. Na woh job chhodti thi; instead, she'd go to our bosses and say negative things about us - things we never said or said in completely different contexts. Eventually everyone realized that about her, but she caused so many rifts.
- Former employee at Convergys
The Screamer cries for attention, yells to intimidate, screams to insult, and then yells some more for good measure.
"Even a cabin cannot control the extent of this female's voice. If she stays in office till late one day, the entire floor will hear about it the whole week. She makes a big deal out of any tiny issue and has to create a scene about everything. If a file reaches late by even a day, everybody gets to hear about it. Funnily, if she delays anything, even then we get to hear about it because then the attention seeking drama begins."
- an employee at NIIT Technologies Ltd
The Narcissist is a self-serving ego-centric mean girl who expects everyone to admire her. She doesn't care about the good of the company, only about looking good, and expects you to feed her ego.
"At my previous organization, all that mattered was, have you complimented her new hairstyle? Or her kid is unwell, have you asked about them? Forget about any self growth or personal attention, for a long time, I couldn't figure out whether I was her personal assistant or actually part of a team working towards a group target. Other people had a developed the art of keeping her satisfied, but I just couldn't do that."
- an employee at Kryliz Creatives
The Liar has mastered the art of excuses, quick fibs, and charming manipulations.
"I think manipulation was a natural skill with this girl. She didn't last long in the company but still managed to leave an impression with her fake girly excuses. Her reasons for extra offs were odd and would change from person to person. She'd be ordering around the juniors and if someone pointed out her mistake, within seconds she'd turn into this vulnerable little girl."
- Former trainee at Ogilvy
The Incompetent lacks knowledge, work ethic, and awareness. She makes you do the work for her or takes credit for your work in order to make herself look good.
"I have tolerated these kind of b*****s in school, college and just my luck, in my office too now. They'll be assigned a project, which they'll take on with almost overconfidence, and once the boss is back in the cabin, the questions start to pour in, and so does the flattery and the extra sweetness. It's super annoying because you know you're not going to get any credit for all this work later on. Even if you raise this topic with the superiors, the first response is, 'I just asked a few questions'. No one will say that I knew nothing and he practically made the whole thing. But what does one do about any of this?"
- Former employee at Bank of America