Mental Health
Depression and Bipolar Disorder

How do you cope with a co-worker who has borderline personality disorder and is attacking you?


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This is strictly arm-chair psychology and there could be other reasons this person is the way they are. Usually when people act this way there can be many reasons: depression, pre-menopausal, menopausal (50's plus); problems at home or they are power hungry and use it to their best advantage. I was stunned to learn while I was working that some employers actually love these types of people because they see it as a person that is climbing the ladder, doesn't patronize with other co-workers and thus has their nose to grind-stone.

Be smart. Ask the person out for coffee or a drink. You probably think I'm on Crack, but I did this once. I had worked with a girl that drove me crazy and was meaner than a rattle snake on a cold day. I asked her out for a drink after work. Well, I was stunned to see how many problems this woman had. In a calm voice I did give her a little advice and told her that she couldn't keep up this behavior or there would be complaints from others to the boss. She did seek help for her problems and she was was a totally different person at work. If you try this method and she refuses to go out for a drink with you then it's time to go into her boss and tell him/her you have tried in earnest to get along with this person, but they are so miserable they are distracting and it's affecting your work. If nothing is done about this person then start looking for another job (take your time of course) and tell NO ONE you are looking for work. In Canada a letter has to be given to an employee as a warning and they have 2 chances and 3 strikes you're out! I am not sure how this applies in the U.S.

Just to make you feel a little better ... I went for my drivers license 5 years ago and got this woman from hell! I was pleasant to her, but she was so miserable and really went at me. Out loudly she said, "How much do you weigh?" (she did it on purpose.) I had to giggle because two things I have no problems with is telling the truth about my age or weight. She had shouted it out so loud that other people began to notice and without blinking an eye I raised my voice and said "Mmmm, let me think here .... about 30 lbs. less than you!" She was caught off guard and although her demeanour didn't change she was brisk in filling out the paperwork, taking my picture and I was gone! Now the kicker to this story was I went back after another 5 years and got the same woman!!! What are my chances. LOL I was prepared! She SMILED at me and lo and behold she remembered me and leaned over and said exactly this, "I owe you the greatest apology. I am so sorry I was so mean to you when you came in before. I am now on hormone replacement for my menopause and feel great!" She even went the extra round to be sure she got a good picture of me for my driver's license. Thank heavens because I looked like a deranged monkey in the other photo. LOL The reason I told you this story is although it's not right to take your private life out on others we are only human and, sometimes one can. I go by rule of thumb and know there is a reason some people can be miserable and unhappy and sometimes I try to make them laugh or, if shopping I'll say, "Bad day? Seems to be a lot of that going on lately." Before I know it over 3/4 of these people are practically telling me their life's story or at least get a good giggle out of our conversation. So, before you condemn this person try asking them out for a drink or even lunch and see what's up. It may just work.