I’m a huge fan of the Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas. She’s a great writer, her advice is always constructive, and she has zero patience for fools and whiners.
Before the holidays she advised a reader whose coworker who talked incessantly about religion at work. Her advice was to use the catch phrases “mmmm interesting,” “that’s nice,” and “that’s not true” when the coworker got going. This was great advice for that situation, and I thought it could translate beautifully to other situations where you have to interact with someone unpleasant but you can’t afford to scorch the earth when you respond.
Verbal bullying is a huge bummer, and when I’m on the receiving end of it or a witness to it my tendency is to completely shut down. I’m so appalled at the toxic bullshit that’s coming out of the other person’s mouth that I become paralyzed and I start dreaming that siren will sound and a red light will flash and then a metallic female voice will say “DANGER! SOCIAL CONTRACT BROKEN” and someone – maybe an actual superhero named Captain Awkward wearing a too-tight jumpsuit and a flowy cape – will come in and save me from the awkwardness. Read More