In the ideal world, women in business would support each other and want each other to succeed. In the real world, things aren’t always that pleasant. You start a new job and everyone is super welcoming — except this one person who seems to hate you and you don’t know why. Normally, the reason is something silly: you unknowingly parked in her (unofficial) spot, you grabbed the last blueberry muffin, she just isn’t friendly to new people… Whatever it is, here are some ways to get her to warm up to you.
1. Find another in
There are some people I would have never become friends with if it wasn’t for mutual friends. Putting your best foot forward with her work bestie just might get your foot in the door. Seeing how you interact with them and how much they enjoy your company may make her reconsider her first impression.
How to do this? Take notice of who she seems to talk to, with whom she eats lunch or who she invites to happy hour. Invite that person to lunch and casually tell them they should invite her next time.
2. Be helpful
She may roll her eyes when you volunteer to be on the party planning committee, but you can win her over. By supporting something that means a lot to her, you can develop a bond — just be sure you give it your best effort. Don’t sign up for refreshments and only bring enough for half the group. Show her how dedicated you are. Even if she doesn’t become your best friend, she will respect your commitment and effort, hopefully making things slightly less tense.
3. Keep it to yourself
Calling your friend who knows no one at your company and complaining about how horrible your coworker is to you is one thing, but talking to any of your coworkers about it will only make it worse. The last way you will improve your relationship is by gossiping. If she comes up in conversation, focus on her good traits. Keep it classy — even if everyone else is talking trash.
“Patrice is super bossy! Did you notice how she was telling everyone what to do at the meeting like she is the boss?”
“I didn’t notice, but I’m really excited about the place she suggested for the Christmas party.”
4. Find a common ground
Someone mentioned she went to Georgia Tech, just like you. Why not see if she wants to go grab a drink and watch the game? Did you hear her talking about the new episode of Grey’s Anatomy? You love that show! (I promise, I have bonded with people over television so many times.) Did she previously have your position? Ask her how she did certain tasks. People love feeling like their opinions matter.
5. Seek help
Always notice the difference between a negative environment and a hostile one. If you feel unsafe, if snarky remarks turn into physical threats, if her distaste for you is seriously affecting your ability to do your job (for example, she ignores important emails from you or doesn’t send you things you need that are her job) or if she is threatening your physical safety or job, reach out to human resources.
6. Be good at what you do, then forgive her and forget her
You are an amazing woman; if she doesn’t want to be your friend after you’ve put in the effort to get to know her, then that sucks for her and is her loss.
At the end of the day, you deserve to be there just as much as she does. If she wants to work in a negative environment, then leave her in it. After all, the best revenge is being happy.