A girlfriend called me after work the other day, clearly exasperated, and exclaimed, "Now I see why women say they can't be friends with other women! I just can't!"
Her boss had noticed her social media savvy and volunteered her to collaborate on a cross-functional project. She was initially excited - until she had to endure hours of shade and general unhelpfulness from the PR/marketing woman on the team.
"I don't get it," whined my friend. "She clearly felt threatened, but I don't know why. She's a senior manager and I'm entry level - and I'm not even interested in her department!"
I agreed - it didn't make that much sense. But maybe the woman felt threatened that the boss sought expertise from outside the department. Maybe she doesn't like working in groups. Or perhaps she just didn't like my friend. But for whatever reason, she went out of her way to be ornery.
Luckily my friend's team project will be short-lived, but this incident got me thinking:
How do I usually deal with shady ladies?
My first instinct is to avoid the person.
But that doesn't work if it's a workmate or family member that I have to see.
My second response is to re-frame the interaction.
Remind them that we're on the same team. "Hey gurl, I'm not trying to steal your job/man/Saturday hair appointment slot/Pokemon, so can we just be cool?"
And if that doesn't work?
I remain cordial but not overly friendly. I just let you do you.
Of course, shady behavior in the workplace or home is not limited to women. I just think the topic has come up a lot lately among my friends because - fairly or unfairly - we inherently expect the women in our lives to have each others' backs.
Have you ever dealt with a friend, relative, coworker, or boss who was inexplicably jealous or shady?
Let me know how you dealt with it in the comments!