OWL Magazine Korea

“Working With Mean Girls” by Meredith Fuller

“Working With Mean Girls” by Meredith Fuller is a book that examines how to deal with the kinds of mean women you might encounter in the workplace, as the title suggests.

While the Korean title translates to “The Psychology of Mean Girls,” the original title is “Working With Mean Girls,” which focuses on dealing with “mean women” you might encounter at work and offers strategies for surviving among them.

“The 8 Types of Mean Girls”

The book categorizes mean girls into eight types and delves into case studies and stories about these types in Chapter 1. It introduces and depicts their behavioral patterns and discusses their psychological aspects.

“The 8 Types of Mean Girls”

  1. The Bullies
  2. The Anxious Ones
  3. The Blunt Ones
  4. The Princesses
  5. The Yellers
  6. The Liars
  7. The Incompetent Ones
  8. The Misunderstood Mean Girls

It examines their psychological states, diagnoses the reasons behind their behaviors, and offers practical coping strategies.

For example, here are the coping strategies suggested for dealing with Blunt Mean Girls:

“Coping Strategies for Blunt Mean Girls”

  • Keep your distance from her if possible. Avoid sitting or standing close to her. Minimize contact. Maintain a professional relationship without becoming personally close.
  • Don’t believe she’ll keep secrets. She might blab about secrets to impress others or to mock you in front of coworkers.
  • Make sure your coworkers are familiar with your work style and results. Even if she tries to undermine your achievements, your coworkers won’t be swayed.

“Understanding Mean Girls”

Chapter 2 delves into understanding mean girls. According to Swiss psychoanalyst Jung, everyone has feminine (Anima) and masculine (Animus) aspects in their unconscious minds. The masculine aspect, Animus, brings out the cruel side of women who like to argue and be stubborn.

The unconscious mind is said to have four main archetypes. These archetypes include Mother, Companion, Amazon, and Sage. For mean girls, these archetypes projected into their unconscious minds can manifest as negative traits.

“Logical Thinkers vs. Emotional Thinkers”

There can be clashes in communication based on whether people rely on logic or emotions to make decisions. The book provides a checklist to determine whether you’re a logical thinker or an emotional thinker. Upon checking, the author found herself leaning towards being an emotional thinker.

The author notes that natural conflicts may arise when emotional thinkers like her converse with logical thinkers who prioritize reason. Because of these differences in communication styles, even if they’re not inherently bad, these women may be perceived as “mean girls.”

“Generational Differences in the Workplace”

Generational differences in the workplace can also contribute to perceiving otherwise benign women as mean girls. With diverse age groups and backgrounds in the workplace, different experiences may lead to misunderstandings, causing otherwise good women to be seen as “mean girls.”

“Surviving in the Workplace”

In the final chapter, the book discusses surviving in the workplace. It offers advice on managing stress realistically when faced with stressful situations at work.

“Just as it takes time to accumulate stress, it also takes time to dissipate it.”

Once stress accumulates, it’s not easily relieved. It may not be wise to switch jobs immediately when stress from coworkers builds up, as the same issues may arise elsewhere. Taking enough rest and returning to work in a normal state can be helpful in the long run.

“Managing stress and enjoying your work…”

Engaging in exercise or other hobbies can also help manage stress. Stress often accompanies work, but managing it well and enjoying your work is the wisest approach.

The book also wraps up with a FAQ section, answering commonly asked questions.

In reality, strange people are bound to be found in the workplace. Ultimately, while gathering to work, stress can arise from people. This book introduces cases of stress caused by people in the workplace and provides solutions. If you find yourself stressed by coworkers, this book offers advice.

“Working With Mean Girls”

  • Author: Meredith Fuller
  • Publication Date: June 17, 2013
  • ISBN: 9788997449545
  • Kyobo Books Link: http://app.ac/I3P2j0J93