HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » The DU Lounge (Forum) » Advice for dealing with a...

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 03:18 AM

Advice for dealing with an abrasive/combative new co-worker?

Recently I started working at an additional location, after working pretty much alone for over a year, and am starting to remember why I really love being self employed.

Everyone else in my new co-op type situation is ultra easygoing and friendly, but of course there is that one person who is a malcontent. This person seems to have taken an instant dislike to me, and is hypercritical, (and I've noticed often hypocritical) maybe because everyone else, including the "boss", seems to appreciate and notice I am trying hard to please and do everything right.

For whatever the reason she has targeted me, it doesn't really matter, I'm just not wanting to feed into her game, and I have a feeling that no matter what she is determined to try to undermine me and bring down my mood to her level.

I know intellectually it's not really about me, and my initial emotional response isn't really about her, and for now I've been able to just let it roll and remain extra sweet and smiley when dealing with her, "kill them with kindness", right?

I'm afraid that one day I'll be tired, or stressed, or hot, or hungry, or fed up, and snap back at her. Serving no purpose but making myself look less cool and collected, and adult, as I'd like.

Plus I really don't want to start dreading work every day and want to be able to let the negativity roll off me better.

So long story short, I'm wondering if anyone else has successfully dealt with this type of person before, maybe with some humor, snappy comebacks, compassionate questioning. Or simply with time do some people get better, after they see you are an ok person, and I've just got the "new girl" syndrome going on?



(I'm usually easy to get along with, and even when someone started spouting Ron Paul drivel

27 replies, 10748 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Advice for dealing with an abrasive/combative new co-worker? (Original post)
freeplessinseattle Jul 2012 OP
Major Nikon Jul 2012 #1
ellisonz Jul 2012 #2
lovemydog Jul 2012 #3
lunatica Jul 2012 #4
Ineeda Jul 2012 #5
Scuba Jul 2012 #7
TuxedoKat Jul 2012 #15
raccoon Jul 2012 #22
TuxedoKat Jul 2012 #26
HopeHoops Jul 2012 #6
pipi_k Jul 2012 #8
HopeHoops Jul 2012 #10
TuxedoKat Jul 2012 #27
turtlerescue1 Jul 2012 #9
raccoon Jul 2012 #11
turtlerescue1 Jul 2012 #16
raccoon Jul 2012 #12
lastlib Jul 2012 #13
libodem Jul 2012 #14
NV Whino Jul 2012 #17
AmyDeLune Jul 2012 #18
raccoon Jul 2012 #23
mrmpa Jul 2012 #19
Ikonoklast Jul 2012 #20
Fridays Child Jul 2012 #21
raccoon Jul 2012 #24
BlueCollar Jul 2012 #25

Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 04:18 AM

1. In my experince, people like this aren't going to change because you are nice to them

It's as if they are anti-nice and niceness just feeds their contempt. If this employee treats everyone this way, it may be hopeless or at least more difficult to get them to stop. If there are others this person doesn't treat this way, try and figure out why. It may be because they won't stand for it. At any rate, put yourself into the category of people she doesn't mess with if you can.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 06:33 AM

2. Ignore completely as much as possible. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 06:51 AM

3. Try and be with a friend

and / or person who understands you whenever you must be with the obnoxious one, if possible. Otherwise ignore whenever possible.

Love your username.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 06:56 AM

4. Google the word bully

Maybe that will help you decide how to deal with someone who picks on the new people at work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 07:00 AM

5. The two best ways to disarm someone, from my experience,

is to look them straight in the eye with either an overly sympathetic 'Oh, you poor dear -- you must have had a bad night' comment or 'OMG, you're sooo funny -- you crack me up' followed by hysterical laughter. Both are passive aggressive, true, and she'll probably know it. But neither are offensive in any way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ineeda (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 08:36 AM

7. +1

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ineeda (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 03:01 PM

15. Also

If she says something rude to you, put her on the spot by saying "Why would you say that?" or "Why would you say something like that?" Or if it is downright truly offensive, "Why on earth would you say something like that?" This gives you some time to collect yourself (from being shocked by her rudeness) to formulate a reply and maintain control. You put her on the spot by having to explain her rude remarks. Good luck. I think time is on your side. Don't let her negative feelings overpower your positive ones though or yours will become negative as well. (((HUGS)))

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TuxedoKat (Reply #15)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 07:18 AM

22. Great post! I'm going to use your advice on a rude woman I know in a 12 step program. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to raccoon (Reply #22)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 07:47 PM

26. Thanks

It was told to me by a therapist. It works very well. It is polite but puts the onus on the other person or gives them the chance to explain themselves. Sometimes you may have misheard someone so it is good in the respect that because that way you are not being rude back to them in case you misunderstood their intent.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 08:23 AM

6. Pay attention, learn, and present an unexpected gift.

 

When I was in 4th grade, there were three bullies (led by one named Scott) who had been torturing me for three years. My dad suggested that I invite him to my birthday party. The first thing he asked when he got there was "Where are your dad's Playboys?" The party was totally ruined with him there. The next Monday, I was his best friend in the world.

We've got neighbors who don't relate to our "farmer" approach to our yard. I took them about a pound and a half of asparagus (we got WAY too much this year) and suddenly all is well.

If that approach doesn't work, give up. Some people can't be cured. I loaned another neighbor who doesn't like us my new lawnmower when his wouldn't start. He used it, but it didn't seem to matter. At least he refilled the gas tank.

Most of the neighbors like us, including the only black family and the only Asian family, and two wheel-chair bound individuals in the general vicinity. We reach out to everyone. Not everyone reaches back.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HopeHoops (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 08:46 AM

8. Best

suggestion so far, IMO.

Wish I could have had the wisdom to do that myself when I was younger and presented with the occasional bully here and there (and yes, at work also).

Be extra nice to them. Not to change their behavior, although that sometimes happens...but if you're nice to someone who is being an ass to you, then it quickly becomes apparent to others who has the major problem.

Best case scenario, however, is that the bully, who has probably not had a lot of kindness in his or her life, responds in a positive way.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pipi_k (Reply #8)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:03 AM

10. I do the same with agressive dogs. I just treat them like my favorite pet.

 

I've lost track of how many I've tamed that way even when the owner says it doesn't like strangers.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HopeHoops (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 07:56 PM

27. Good advice

love it. Great way to make friends with your neighbors too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 08:56 AM

9. Hope this helps you its helped me.

Long ago a mom-person told me- every time a person starts in, to just imagine they are standing there bare naked and grunt to make it real enough inside, that you don't hear a word they say.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to turtlerescue1 (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 11:21 AM

11. I don't understand what you mean.

"just imagine they are standing there bare naked and grunt to make it real enough inside" ?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to raccoon (Reply #11)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 03:55 PM

16. Sometimes you have to strain to imagine....

Squint like you're paying attention.

Had a college professor who got his Doctorate(In Psychiatrics no less)had to work to feed his family, was a bag boy at a grocery chain. Hated it. He'ld carry the groceries out and load them in the customer's vehicle, and with all the innocence his face could muster he would say:
"F--- you very much". Said if they did a double take, he would get the stupidest smile he could find for them.

There is a way, be creative.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 11:22 AM

12. Google "workplace bullying". Good suggestions here, esp. #8. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 12:39 PM

13. Courtesy and professionalism

are your best weapons. You don't have to like them, but you have to work with 'em. Always be courteous and professional when dealing with them. If they don't return it, it will reflect back on them, and you win.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 02:24 PM

14. My last rude co-worker

Must have had some type of social anxiety syndrome. She was intelligent enough but was short on eye contact and conversation. It didn't help when people would say she was unpleasant with everyone not just me. Ok, it helped a little. She wouldn't even say bye, when you left her desk. I'd leave feeling like I'd been slapped in the face.
I struggled wondering if it was me or her. I think she may have been an Aspie.

I'm confessing this cuz I was going to tell you to buck up and stay classy but it is not always that easy. I yacked about it to my friends constantly cuz it bothered me so much. It really is a troubling problem. I hope I'm validating your concern. It feels rotten.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 05:49 PM

17. Try all of the above

And when that fails, deck her.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 09:47 PM

18. I worked with someone similar for quite a while

He decided that my doing my job well and doing extra work when I had free time was an attempt to make him look bad.

It started out with him giving me the silent treatment for some imagined slight. The first couple of times he pulled this I genuinely thought I had inadvertently done something to offend and apologized. He would "consider it" and eventually things would go back to normal. The third time he pulled this, I wracked my brain and couldn't think of a single thing I had done that could possibly warrant such an overreaction, so I completely ignored his behavior and acted as if nothing was abnormal. I figured if I had done something he could damn well tell me what was upsetting him or just get over it. I told him point blank when he decided to speak to me again that if I did something that upset him, tell me on the spot so we could resolve it instead of him stewing silently and expecting me just *know* what I had done (because clearly I must have done whatever it was on purpose ).

That, unfortunately, didn't work and I gave up when I confronted him on yet another bout silent treatment and he snapped "Well, I'm mad at you, so you must have done something!" but he couldn't think of anything I'd actually done. There were lots of other things and he was always careful, for the most part, to avoid doing or saying anything in front of witnesses.

The best you can do is avoid being alone with this person. She will likely not attack you in front of other people. Be as nice to her as you can, don't give her anything to twist into a slight or insult. Ignore her snark as much as possible; she sounds like a miserable person who wants to drag you down and make you as miserable as she is. Lastly, be sweet as pie to everyone else you work with so that when she tries to badmouth you to them (and she will) they'll blow off whatever she says.

From my experience, her goal is to provoke you. She wants a negative response (preferably in front of others) to make herself a victim and you the bad guy. Avoid giving her the kind of attention she wants and it will backfire on her. She will appear to be petty, snarky, and unreasonable and everyone will be on your side.

I stuck it out because I was determined to stay at a job I really liked and not be driven away by this guy. He eventually quit and left for another job; he was fired from that job for sexual harassment. (I know it's wrong of me to gloat about that, but *tee hee*).

Good Luck to you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AmyDeLune (Reply #18)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 07:22 AM

23. This is great advice.

The best you can do is avoid being alone with this person. She will likely not attack you in front of other people. Be as nice to her as you can, don't give her anything to twist into a slight or insult. Ignore her snark as much as possible; she sounds like a miserable person who wants to drag you down and make you as miserable as she is. Lastly, be sweet as pie to everyone else you work with so that when she tries to badmouth you to them (and she will) they'll blow off whatever she says.

From my experience, her goal is to provoke you. She wants a negative response (preferably in front of others) to make herself a victim and you the bad guy. Avoid giving her the kind of attention she wants and it will backfire on her. She will appear to be petty, snarky, and unreasonable and everyone will be on your side.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 11:33 PM

19. I had that experience once............

I suggested that she see professional therapist. She took my advice, didn't change her much in the following six months, at the end of which I left the company.

She did get quieter so that helped. Attitude still was there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 11:42 PM

20. Tell her that she looks exactly like the last girl you worked with who mysteriously disappeared

one day and whose badly mutilated and decomposing body was found months later buried in the park next to your house.

The coroner determined that she had been poisoned.



Then ask if she wants to come over and have a drink at your place.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 01:08 AM

21. You're handling it just right but...

...ultimately, she's creating a hostile work environment for you. Is what she's doing documentable or verifiable by coworkers?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fridays Child (Reply #21)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 07:24 AM

24. Yes, document all the rude/hostile things she does or says. Keep this documentation somewhere


other than work.

Write down dates, times, who was present, what happened.

This will help show a pattern of hostile behavior.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freeplessinseattle (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 12:24 PM

25. " I don't know what your problem is but I bet it's hard to pronounce"

then suggest that she look into your company EAP program

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread