Handling Office Insults

by WorkingMum


Office insults that are seemingly innocent can immensely diminish a person’s morale at work. I have personally been at the receiving end of comments which revolve around the idea that women are less capable than men. Whether you are another woman who has had to manage office insults, or are simply dealing with insults based on other markers of your identity, here are some pointers on how you can handle the situation.

First, try to talk to the perpetrator in a one-to-one session
In some cases, some people may not be aware that their words are actually hurtful to others — after all, office insults can seem innocent, or even funny, to all except the victim of it. Here, you need to establish if the perpetrator actually means malice towards you. The mature thing to do in this scenario is to find time to talk to the person and confront them about the office insults. Make it known to them that the remarks are actually hurtful to you — an apology and commitment to stop with the insults should nip the problem in the bud.

If all else fails, escalate the problem
However, things are not always as ideal, and the other party may not be as amiable as we would like, nor keen to end the office insults. In order to build a case against the colleague who has been perpetuating the insults, start by recording the date, time, offending remark made, and potential eyewitnesses who can attest to the truthfulness of your claim. If the remarks are made through any written or digital correspondence, remember to keep a copy. With these in hand, you will be ready to file an official complaint.

Read more about how to recognise, manage and get help for workplace harassment here

As the famous saying goes: Keep calm and carry on

 

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