My Colleague Complains

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There’s a woman at work who’s always moaning about my colleagues and I’m fed up with listening to it. She doesn’t seem to be able to accept anyone who’s different. For example, she mocks a guy who she thinks speaks in a “posh” voice and complains about one of the admin assistants because she has kids so is allowed to work part time. I want to shut her up but I don’t know how to do it.
Anonymous

Answer
Unfortunately, not everybody is able to accept difference and sometimes they deflect attention from themselves by bullying others. It may help you to know that this type of person tends to have a low self- esteem. However, it’s very much to your credit that you clearly feel compassion for the people who are being targeted by your colleague. You also feel angry with the colleague who is putting down others.
One way of approaching this problem may be to consider having a calm, non- confrontational chat with your annoying colleague. It helps to word things gently and carefully, to avoid being accusative, while at the same time expressing your thoughts and feelings clearly. For example, you may wish to tell her that you appreciate harmony in the workplace and that like your colleagues and value respect and difference. Hopefully, your colleague will stop the unkindness.

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