Many of my clients come to me because they are experiencing anxiety and depression due to a toxic work environment. What has always been most surprising to me in my practice is the majority of the time, women are reporting being bullied by other women or female bosses. In recent years, conversations around what it means to be a feminist center around the idea of women supporting other women and lifting each other up. That is why I felt consistently disheartened to hear clients and friends report situations in which other adult women were being emotionally and verbally abusive towards them.
Relational aggression between girls starts at a young age. One would hope as girls grow out of the pre-teen and teen years that are often filled with confusion and insecurity, they would also grow to be more kind, self-aware and inclusive with other women. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
When some of my female friends told me about their experiences of bullying at the workplace by other women, I wanted to explore this topic further. In my recent podcast episode with Bob Gordon, we look at why women bully other women, in the workplace, in friendships, and in motherhood. Our interview with Kim and Angie looks at personal stories, as well as, research and theory on adult relational aggression among women. Listen here “Toxic Femininity: When adult women act like mean girls” to hear more about this.