You know her. We won’t use the C word, but she’s the one who always seems to have her claws out. Does she get them manicured just so she can have them ready? No doubt cattiness, passive aggressive digs, backhanded compliments, rants and all out bullying isn’t only kids play.
And how do you handle these, um, Beeyotches? First, find out which category she falls into, then follow these tips. Cuz no one needs to deal with a hater.
The 4 Breeds of Haters and How to Deal with Them
1. The jealous friend.
Who She Is: This is the friend who wants you around and seems interested in knowing what you are doing. She claims she only wants the best for you but when great things come your way, she’s expert at throwing digs. Get a promotion at work and it’s met with, “Oh now you’ll never see your husband, be careful, women look at him all the time.” Lose 10 pounds and they’ll say, “Well don’t get rid of your old clothes in case you gain it back and then some.”
What to Do: The best way to handle the jealous friend is to confront her as soon as the remark is made. We teach people how to treat us, what’s tolerated and what isn’t. Allow someone to throw digs and they will continue to do so. Ask her what is going on in her life that has her a bit off. You’ll feel like the bigger person, and perhaps salvage the relationship if you seek to gain understanding but you should start distancing yourself if the bad behaviour continues.
2. The passive aggressive colleague.
Who She Is: The workplace is a hotbed for drama in that unlike friendships, people are just put together and forced to be professional and cordial to one another. There are so many dynamics happening at once—undercutting and favoritism and a mixture of personalities. On top of that, there is a general avoidance of confrontation. Some passive aggressive traits are include: erratic moods (she’s cold one day and your BFF the next), procrastination, half-hearted effort and even sabotaging.
What to Do: The best way to handle the passive aggressive colleague is to have a meeting over lunch outside of the office. Get her in neutral territory. Then explain that you are focused on solutions and want to create a harmonious and productive team dynamic based on open communication and respect. If that doesn’t work, be cordial but distant. You don’t want to sacrifice your professionalism.
3. The overbearing woman.
Who She Is: This woman knows it all, all the time. She speaks to you as if you know nothing and are incompetent and incapable. Incredibly controlling, she wants to feel needed and looks to you to give her life purpose. Although she says she wants to see you thriving, prosperous, healthy and whole, but she always seems to focus on whatever is going wrong in your life. It’s called codependency. These women have no use for you if you don’t need them. The more independent you are and the more you thrive, the more they’ll look to what’s wrong. Opinionated and judgmental, they hinder your growth.
What to Do: The best way to handle the overbearing friend is to create boundaries. Limit how much you share with her and assign her ways to help you on your terms only.
4. The smother mother.
Who She Is: Feeling a bit smothered in your relationship with your mom or someone who casts herself as a mother type figure? Does she throw digs when you aren’t behaving exactly how she wants you to? Are you losing yourself as you try your best to please them? Being judged, criticized and manipulated by the person who claims they love you can be incredibly difficult on one’s self-esteem. When you feel controlled and always judged you begin to walk on eggshells. This leads to anxiety or even depression.
What to Do: Be sure to have your own hobbies, interests and friends that don’t involve her or depend on her approval or advice. Don’t allow anyone to make you responsible for their happiness. That’s their job.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez is an NYC-based neuropsychologist who specializes in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology.