Toxic People

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2012
Toxic People
Sat, 08-03-2013 - 7:31pm

It feels like my entire life I have attracted people who just want to make me feel bad about myself. Usually I feel pretty good about myself but I recently started a new position where there is a group of girls who do nothing but complain about other people behind their backs and everyone in the office stands around laughing at these girls (who are both in their 30s btw). I feel like I am back in Junior High! With one of these girls, whenever I make a suggestion...she looks at me like I am stupid and then just continues on with her conversation. She used to be a military drill instructor and recently (because she did not like the way I had handled something) just went off on me in her drill instruction tone peppering me with one question after the other. I finally told her that she needed to stop talking to me that way. Her response; "What are you sensitive... do I need to talk to you differently?". I thought I had been standing up for myself but I have been told that I was a b**** for saying that to her when she was only trying to get me to think. She is not my boss so I don't know why she felt she needed to get me to think. She is military and I am a DoD civilian. I was warned by another military person not to say anything because she is very close to our boss. Although, our boss always tells us that we work in a no-tolerance zone and if someone is having an issue they need to bring it to his attention. I've also found out that one of the other girls in this group has gotten people fired before because she didn't like them. I am looking for another position because this is just too toxic for me and not worth the stress. I also don't understand why I keep getting these type of people in my life. I feel like I have a huge sign on my forehead that says "easy target". I just don't know what to do and how do I get these people to go away and leave me alone.

Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
Mon, 08-05-2013 - 12:44am

Was there a reason that you couldn't walk away after telling this particular coworker that you didn't appreciate her talking to you that way?

I would encourage you to stick to your work, ignore the chatting they do around the one coworker's desk, and if she approaches you, answer her work related questions as succinctly as possible and then turn back to your work. If she tries to drag out a conversation or confrontation, tell her that you need to focus on your job, and physically turn away from her.

You're there to work, and that's where your focus needs to be.

As far as the zero tolerance policy, to what does that actually pertain? I'm not one to get the boss involved if it's something that really likely could be handled by shifting focus back to the actual work tasks and away from feelings or relationships with coworkers. I think too often that the "complainer" gets a bad rap, regardless of any "zero tolerance" policies.


Clinical Research Associate