Herding the Catty Attack
I never, ever enjoy feeding negative stereotypes about women. We have it hard enough in a man’s world still to this day! However, the universe kept bringing me this theme today, so I figured it was something that needed a post, so here it is.
One of my friends started this morning by posting a blog article about women knocking down other women when they become successful. She called it crabbiness. I replied to her post that I was a little torn about women helping other women. On one hand, if another woman asks me for an opinion, I’ll give it. On the other, if I didn’t ask for feedback, I really don’t want it.
I ask those I respect and admire, while realizing that EVERYONE, including the unsuccessful, has opinions. But I prefer getting feedback from those who have succeeded, been there, done that, and to whom I respect, not really anyone else. Furthermore, I can’t stand it when people (men and women included) come out of nowhere and ask me for favors that haven’t been in my life. While I love to promote good people, I struggle with the lack of social capital respect in the drive by shooting social capital requests. So, I’m feeling a bit waffly here. Is that crabby? I don’t know.
Then, one of my mentors I went to lunch with (who always kicks my butt, BTW) shared with me some “watch out” stories about some other situations in town. She wasn’t being catty at all, she was merely being a good mentor, but in one case, my gut totally agreed with my mentor’s assessment of this third person she was describing, who clearly IS catty. I was grateful for the heads up, because it reconfirmed what I already had suspected.
So, to the heart of my post – what do you do with a catty person heading your way? First, NOT ALL women are catty. Dudes can be catty too–albeit rarer. Second, I’m talking about this in a business context, not a real housewives of wherever way. Third, I think there’s better ways to handle the cats when they head towards your sandbox. Here’s how I’ve done it in the past, and I’d be curious to hear how others handle them too:
1. Keep your cool – I like this article, because it talks about what to do in this situation, and the fact that cats are like bullies – they want to see you cry, because it gives them power. They like rustling your emotions up. Best way to handle that? Never let them see you emote. Shut down on them, and they detest that. If they can’t rile you up, then they lose their power. Awesome. Stick that in their meow mix!
2. Roar back – There was a case not too long ago where someone really got in my grill about giving a talk, and I had keep repeating “No” in a lot of different ways. I really wanted to ask if they didn’t get the “n” or the “o” part, but sometimes, the average adult needs to hear something at least 9 times before it sticks. “No” is included in that, and a lot of cats need to hear it 18 times before it sticks. Keep repeating it.
3. Disengage – If you see the cat coming – go back deeper into the jungle. Seriously, there are people in my sphere who and when I see coming, it’s just best to run and get out of the way! Don’t even give the cat a chance for a swipe at you. You only have 9 lives, don’t waste them on this emotional feline vampire.
There’s 3. I don’t have a lot of great solutions here – just a few that have worked well for me. It’s best to channel your energy to those you love, to those who treat you with respect, and to those whom you respect. Don’t waste the energy on the cats. You have only a finite amount–spend it on those you love. And never, ever let the cats see you sweat or cry. That just gives them more energy. Save it – and give it to those who really matter!