How To Deal With Mean Female Coworkers




How do you deal with a rude female coworker

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The adage rings true: There are plenty of terrible people in the world, but women seem to excel at being awful towards each other. No matter what field you work in, if women surround you, then odds are that there will be at least one woman who makes life difficult for her coworkers at some point during your career.

How to Deal with Mean Female Coworkers

Types of Rude Workplace Behavior by Mean Females

Most people in the workplace generally consider the following behaviors unacceptable, but they’re often overlooked when coming from a woman. If your coworkers engage in any of these, you should take steps to limit their ability to harm your work life:


Not only does this breed friction and resentment among coworkers, but it also wastes time that could be spent getting work done. If a gossiper is targeting you, the best way to handle this is to confront her at once and ask her to stop.

Excessive talking 

The office should be a place where people can focus on their work. Talking on the phone, chatting with friends about non-work-related material, or listening to personal music playlists are all distractions that take away from your productivity. If someone is being excessive in this regard, ask her to stop and explain that it’s disruptive to those around her.

Taking credit for other people’s work 

No one likes a colleague who takes credit for their coworkers’ success. If this is happening to you, ask the person in question to stop and document any instances where he or she has taken credit for your actions.

Being too bossy 

If someone is constantly barking orders at everyone around her, it can be infuriating. If somebody is acting like this woman’s “in charge,” ask her to stop and tell you that she needs to give everyone equal direction.

Being too lazy 

If someone lacks motivation or isn’t pulling their weight, their manager should take care of that. If their manager can’t fix the situation, try and set up a meeting with both parties and explain that this person isn’t working out.

How do you deal with a rude female coworker

How to Deal with Mean Female Coworkers

Discuss with the team member in private and make your feelings known. 

Don’t address the problem when other people are around; it will make you look like a tattletale and resent the person in question.

Document your complaints

Document your complaints and keep track of any instances where the team member in question has done something wrong. 

If you can prove that these actions were detrimental, then they will be much more effective.

Set up a meeting and explain the effects of her behavior to her.

Don’t shout, but try and remain firm in your request for change. If she has any chance of redemption, you’ll need to allow her to respond.

Either way, avoid being alone with this person if at all possible. 

In corporate environments, it is vital to maintain a good working relationship between employees to benefit the company and its other workers. Sometimes, even though some people seem very hard to get on with, which makes you feel uncomfortable around them, but it can hurt your productivity.

Be careful not to take out your frustrations with the colleague at home. 

While this person may be causing you stress or problems, if their primary relationships are with family members, you could end up alienating them further when they learn that you are trying to exclude them from their family life.

Consider the cause of the behavior.

If the person in question usually is friendly and low-key, she may act out because of something else. You might want to ask other people on your team if they’ve noticed any unusual behavior or changes in her routine at home that could be causing this shift.

Check with trusted colleagues and see if they notice the same thing.

If you can’t figure out why this person is acting out, it may be worthwhile to ask other team members for their opinions. They might see something that you aren’t, and it will help them feel included in the process.

Call on your sense of humor to dispel any bad feelings.

It might seem like an unproductive move, but it can help to laugh off the situation and remember that she’s probably not doing it on purpose. It could also give her some insight into how you feel so she doesn’t do or say those things anymore.

Get along with this person for the sake of your team.

If other people on your team are having issues with the person in question, you might want to try and get everyone back on the same page. It will make it easier for them to work together, and it will allow you to have more productive time rather than being distracted or upset by this person’s actions.

Remember, it’s only temporary.

This person will probably come around and start acting like a regular team member. Even if they don’t, you’ll be able to manage the change and get through it better than if you had stayed upset or frustrated the entire time.

Report her to HR.

When all else fails, you can ask your manager to intervene. They will probably have experience dealing with these kinds of issues, which will make them better suited for the task.

If this person’s behavior is still victimizing you after informing HR, consider talking to a trusted colleague about transferring teams.

This is not ideal, but it may be the best solution if you have no other option. It would be best to consider this a last resort because it can be incredibly disruptive to your work. If this person is transferred, she might find another victim in her new department rather than be self-reflective.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My coworker only treats me like this when we’re alone. Why is that?

A: The most common reason for this kind of isolated abuse is that the person in question feels threatened. She might be afraid that you’ll get ahead if she doesn’t take steps to maintain her superiority, or she could have other issues like insecurity or self-esteem problems that make her lash out at you. Regardless of why, this person is trying to get under your skin so she feels better about herself, which means that the best way to deal with it is by ignoring her.

Q: This person used to be nice, but recently it seems like they’re always trying to cut me down. Why would they do that?

A: Again, this could be because the person in question feels threatened or insecure about you now that you’re working together. It may also be a sign of mental instability, so if you suspect something like depression or bipolar disorder is causing it, it might be time to schedule a formal meeting with HR.

Q: My coworker has stopped talking to me entirely, and when I try to start conversations, she shrugs or walks away. Why is this happening?

A: That person may be trying to cut you out of her life because she’s afraid of what might happen if the two of you interact. She wants to make your life miserable, but she’s also worried that you’ll get the upper hand if she doesn’t completely shut you out, which means she has no choice but to act like she hates your guts.


Being a victim of workplace bullying is not easy, but knowing how to respond can make it easier. In most cases, you should try to understand the person’s feelings and not take her actions personally. It may also help to laugh off any drama or back-and-forth between you two so that she doesn’t have a reason to keep spreading rumors or gossiping about you. Above all, remember that she’s only human and isn’t worth getting upset over–even if it is profoundly satisfying to bring back some of your own after experiencing years of abuse. 

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