senior ladies-coworker has issue with appearance.can i get her to stop?

im 11 years older than a co-worker.we get along well,but her body-loathing is hard to deal with.there is nothing wrong with her,but she thinks she is ugly.i dress well and think im keeping myself up well with diet/excercise as i age.but she has now extended her criticism to me-she will notice something about my body she considers a 'flaw",then point it out.it is getting hard to brush off.i try to,but its like i get caught up in it,then go home and worry/find fault with things i was oblivious to..i realise she is the one with the problem,but this constant bashing she does of herself,me and every other woman,is bringing me down.its her rissue,but i feel im falling into the trap.i feel for her,but i dont want to live this way.i was either just fine as is,or happilly blind to my "problem areas",she thinks she is helping me,but she is bringing me down.what can i tactfully say to make her stop?any ideas?she seems emotionally fragile,and in other ways,is a compassionate and kind person,its as if she cant confine her hatred for herself,to herself and is now trying to infect others with self-loathing!and she finds many things to point out,as i am older by over a decade.how to deal with this?please dont delete,not "chatting",i have a problem,i seek advice on putting a stop to it,needs more than a "yes" or "no" reply,but my question is ligitimate-how do i make her be quiet and stop making me question myself? thank u,all! ps-i cant help her,she has had this problem for life.i just want her to leave me out of it.i feel sad when i think i look fine,then she looks me over and picks out all the things that make me unnaceptable.its more in her mind than reality,but im only human,i feel demoralised and hurt.i get more of this from her than any1 at work,i am the eldest.there are a couple of 20 year olds,nothing to pick on there-yet!

14 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Of course you can get her to stop.

    As an employee you have rights. And one of those rights is for your employer to provide you with a work environment free of harassment. And what you are being subjected to by this woman constitutes harassment. She is repeatedly insulting you and doing so under the guise of trying to help you improve your appearance. Harassment problems in the work environment are not just sexual -- where a man makes inappropriate comments, and later claims that he was complimenting you and thought you appreciated it. Plain and simple, your situation is one where a woman is insulting you, and you have taken the position of not being confrontational with her, possibly because you fear doing so would ruin your work relationship in the sense that she would retaliate by not being cooperative in work projects involving you, and thereby hurt not only you but also the company who employs her.

    Here is how you fix it. First, you don't owe her anything. You don't have to make an effort to resolve the problem between yourselves without involving management. You need to write a letter to management, and your letter needs to spell it out, and include the fact that you are not her only victim -- that she is spreading her evil to include other victims in varying degrees, but that you are probably her primary target.

    You can send this letter to your immediate manager, if you have one, or to the personnel manager in the human resources (HR) department of the company you work for. You will most likely be asked to have a private meeting with either your manager, or the HR manager depending on how things work at your place of employment. They will most likely have meetings with your other co-workers too. Your name and the name of the offender will most likely not be brought up. They'll just want to know whether they are happy at work, and whether anyone is harassing them in terms of being insulting to them. And after the investigation is completed, if you end up being the only one who has something to complain about, that's OK. You were still harassed, and it needs to stop. If they make light of it, you need to contact the Labor Board and complain there. Keep a record of everything that happens to you. Write it down including time and date. It's important. And the government (Labor Board) won't back off. Your employer will have to make things right for you. Once the Labor Board gets involved, it's not going to be something that is just swept under the rug by the company.

    EDIT: Reading my friend mikskali's response to you has broadened my thinking on this, so let me share with you that if you feel stronger telling your story rather than writing about it, then you should go with telling it. Just request a private meeting with your immediate manager to discuss your issue. Well, do that if you feel comfortable with that. If, for example, you suspect he's sleeping with the offender, then either ask if he wouldn't mind inviting the HR manager to be in attendance as a witness to what you want to share with him, or bypass him altogether and go directly to the HR manager. I'm sure things will go well for you. And it's OK to reveal that you don't wish the offender any harm, and that you think that she has some otherwise admirable qualities. You are just hoping that she can be given counsel to curb her abraisive remarks toward you and other employees.

  • 1 decade ago

    Talk to her straight & stop beatin' around the bush. By patronizing her, you make yourself a willing victim. You may be assuming far more than the situation actually is all about. After all, you really don't know this woman outside of the workplace & many people put on a false front at work. She also doesn't know you & may want to get to know you through open & honest communication. I'm certain she must be able to sense your insincerity & she just unloads on you until you give her something of sustenance to relate to. She may not want a friend. She may just be searching for people that can be real with her. If you can't be...then tell her & move to a different department if you possibly can! She's searching for something that you can't give her. You need to let her know this or resolve yourself to the fact that you started it & now you must live with it.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you're 11yrs her senior than you're wise enough to know that she's just a jealous individual that wants everyone to be as negative and miserable as her. Obviously she is trying to get some sort of rise out of you. So don't patronize her attitude.

    Just because she has dealt with these issues all her life is no excuse for her behavior. If anything, she should have to mentality to empathize and care for others than putting them down. Maybe she'll grow up and realize no one will want to be around her if she continues to act in that manner.

  • Blank
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Look, you've got to quit giving this gal the power to control how you feel about yourself. The problem isn't her--it's how you choose to react to what she says.

    Just tell her to back off. She doesn't sound so fragile to me. She sounds like a passive aggressive bully. She sure doesn't mind telling others things intended to hurt them. I'll be she's a charter member of the Misery Loves Company Club.

    The next time she starts in I'd give her a taste of her own medicine as my mother used to say. How about one of these responses?

    "Well, I know I'm not a perfect package but then neither are you."

    If I'm not worried about how wide my butt is, why should you be?

    Could we talk about something else? I'm into building myself up--not tearing myself down. You ought to try it!"

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  • nonnie
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Distract her in a positive way, such as trying to ignore her input on physical and esthetic [look it up] issues and engage her help on spelling, punctuation and grammar. Oh... this is not a really good answer - Go with Old Guy's suggestions ...

  • 1 decade ago

    Take her aside, look her straight in the eyes and firmly tell her to "put a lid on it".

    She's about as emotionally fragile as a crocodile.

  • ncgirl
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Tell her beauty is skin deep but ugly goes to the bone.

  • 1 decade ago

    She's pushing your buttons. Don't let her. You can control how to "not" react to her comments. If a comment is unwanted, become hard of hearing and walk away. You can only control yourself. Think nice thoughts and move on.

  • every time she brings up a "flaw" whether it be in herself or you or another tell her God made us just how He wanted and personally you can accept that. Also tell her God looks at the heart. Hopefully this will give her a better attitude.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just keep repeating to her "I'm fine, sorry your not"

    Keep saying this no matter what she says or how often she tries to bring it up. Become mechanical with your chant and she will stop because it is really annoying.

    Or you could just scream at her to "Bugger Off"

    Peace

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