I’m in a bit of a predicament that I’ve haven’t been entwined in since my middle school days, so I’m a bit rusty when it comes to handling the situation. Let me do my best to paint the picture for you while brainstorming some methods I learned from catty middle school girls.
A couple of months ago, I was part of a group chat with four other co-workers. We mostly goofed off, sent each other silly gifs, and discussed the next after-work cocktails night we should have. It was all fun and games until something extraordinarily awkward happened.
Meet Don. He’s a bit of a grump with some serious mood swings. He acts like he hates you, and then the next day, says “Good Morning” and asks about your weekend. He’s a confusing, angsty soul.
Meet Katie. She’s sassy, firey, and has no problem letting you know how much she hates her job.
Katie said something sassy in the group chat, and Don fired back. With my clear eyes, it seemed like he was being sarcastic, which that is a language Katie doesn’t speak. Katie took offense to his comment, which started a very short mini argument between the two of them. The other two chatters were silent, and so was I. What do the kids call it? Ghosting? Yes. I did my best to ghost the conversation.
Within minutes, Don left the group chat. Since then, Katie hasn’t really spoken to him. Nothing has changed on my part because I barely spoke to him before the group chat anyway. Fast forward a few weeks, and one of the silent chatters mentioned how Don wanted to go out for after-work drinks, but without Katie…and apparently me. Fast forward to last night, and I found that Don unfollowed me on Instagram, along with Katie.
Needless to say, this guy doesn’t like me, and it’s clear that it’s by association. I’m friends with Katie. I talk to her, and eat lunch with her everyday. Therefore, since Don doesn’t like Katie, he MUST not like me too.
I’ve never dealt with something like this in “adult world”. Especially by a thirty-something-year-old man. What bothers me about this situation is that 1. Katie and I are nothing alike, and 2. this person has made up his mind about me without actually getting to know me, and 3. I’ve done absolutely nothing.
And now I’m left wondering how on earth I got dragged into a fight I was never originally a part of.
So here are some petty mean girl tactics that I haven’t pulled out of my closet since 2005.
1. The Silent Treatment
As adults, we have learned the art of keeping a straight face, smiling, and acting like nothing is wrong, especially in front of someone we don’t particularly like. In teenage girl world, you test out the silent treatment. The person you are in a brawl with asks for a pencil, you stare straight ahead without even a head nod to acknowledge the slight breeze in the air.
Any time they make eye contact with you, just act like they have a booger on their face.
3. Be Overly and Obnoxiously Nice
I don’t mean hold the door open for him or offer the last office doughnut. I mean being so nice that he knows everything about it is sarcastic.
“HEY DON. HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND? I LOVE THAT SHIRT ON YOU. YOUR WIFE IS SO NICE. LIKE OMG.” – Valley Girl Voice
Raise your hand if you’re over the age of eighteen and simply have other things to worry about? SAME.
Ignore methods 1-3 and just “take the high road”. I simply unfollowed him and will continue to move on from this invigorating friendship we once shared.
Feel free to share your methods on handling catty situations as an adult. I could use all the help I can get.
*Names have been changed to protect the semi-innocent.