Mean girl?

I am a very straight forward kind of person.

I call a spade a spade and whilst I appreciate this trait in the people I surround myself with, it seems that this is not the case with everyone.

I was chatting to a work friend today who out of the blue said she heard the two tea ladies talking about me in the kitchen today.  The one was trying to describe me to the other one and said something along the lines of “you know the girl who’s mean/nasty to everyone”.  So my friend asked who they were referring to and they described me.  She then asked them why they said I was mean/nasty to everyone and they said that I am too straight forward.

They referred to an incident (one I cannot for the life of me remember) where two other work colleagues were sharing a really small muffin for breakfast where I apparently offended them by commenting on the fact that the muffin was too small to be shared. I mean, what?  This makes me mean/nasty?

I butt heads a lot with one of our regional managers in our field marketing arm and do not tolerate being sold stupid excuses as to why my sales aren’t there.   This apparently makes me mean/nasty.

I have been trying in recent months to soften my delivery, as this friend told me once that I sometimes can be too honest and that people may take this the wrong way.  I wish it didn’t irk me that I am considered the mean girl of the office, but it does.  I like to think that I am a likeable person, one that is funny but also someone who can be trusted to tell it like it is.

I guess I need to work more on that delivery… or shut the heck up!

8 thoughts on “Mean girl?

  1. Really? I would not say that straightforward is mean unless it’s with a mean intention to hurt, and I know yours isn’t.

    You don’t perhaps think your work friend is just stirring for the sake of it??? Just a thought.

    I also have this “problem” of being straightforward but thank goodness I haven’t been accused of meanness for a goooooood few years which must mean that my prayers to “speak the truth in love” are finally kicking in 😉

  2. Ha! I’ve been accused of this a few times too! I think the issue is that most people like only people who always agree with their point of view.

    What I would say is perhaps watch how you respond/speak to them and it might be that you come across harsher than you mean to.

  3. I think in South Africa, cultural backgrounds play such a role in the perceptions of many. While I was raised the same as you, I would totally accept your statement in the nature that it was made. However, after years of working among the lower realms of the catering industry, I have been reprimanded a few times because of how I speak to people: if there is something urgent that needs to be done (because you have a queue of 50 women staring you down for salads), I become short, sharp and snappish, and have been openly criticised for my attitude. I learnt how to deal with certain personalities, because when they are there every day, you almost do need to adjust your tune in order to benefit from a content team.
    However, when dealing with people on occasional bases, I’m not so sure its all that necessary. I once made a delivery man cry to his supervisor because I was mean, and it got the reaction I wanted- that company never tried to deliver prawns ever again over our lunch service ;-).

  4. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling it what it is, however I have learnt a lot about how people perceive things and it’s ALL in the way it’s delivered. You can say the same thing is 5 different ways with different results. But then again, sometimes people are just over sensitive and there’s only so much that you can do about that.

  5. I have battled with this my whole life. People find me abrupt, rude and very unfriendly. At school they said I had a “Laura look” which made me fierce. I still do it and I don’t even realise it. Its not an intentional thing I do 🙁

  6. (St. Elsewhere here)

    I think the world belongs to tactful people, and I am short on that yardstick. I have the same problem…my reaction is spontaneous, and I have a tough time hiding what I feel. And I did rather blurt the truth than succumb to sugar-coats.

    Well, that does make ‘us’ a hated bunch. I really admire (and not admire) the glibness of a colleague. You can’t see through his smile. He chooses to smoothen out any issues, and is a big back-biter while preaching norms and etiquette to everyone around. I think he will go places, and I cannot be him.

    I think we are going to be this for the rest of our lives. Atleast the people who will stick by our side would be those who actually care rather than opportunist sponges.

  7. I too am very straight forward and my mother is constantly telling me to watch my tone and delivery because the way I speak can be deemed offensive to some, especially people who don’t know me or know my heart. It is something I pray about on the daily.

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