The men and women at work have been gossiping about my friend’s skimpy work attire. If I were in her shoes, I would want to know that people were talking about me so I could make some adjustments, but I know she takes a lot of pride in how she looks. For example, she has made comments like, “I’ll never look like these frumpy women around here with their cardigans and their long tweed skirts (insert laugh and hair flip.)” To her face, everyone says “Wow you look great today!” But, behind her back they call her derogatory names and the whole thing makes me uncomfortable. To be honest, she probably wouldn’t even care, but even I sort of feel embarrassed by some of the things she wears.
Do you think I should say something to her? How could I address it?
Kind of Embarrassed
Dear Kind of Embarrassed,
Sounds like she’s talking about them and they’re talking about her. I think everyone just needs to do a little more work and a little less looking at each other.
As for being embarrassed on behalf of your friend: it’s a huge waste of energy. It’s one thing to feel embarrassed when someone’s skirt is tucked into their stockings or when they’ve got food in their teeth (they’re oblivious to what is happening.) But, if someone (an adult) is choosing to do something on purpose (skimpy work clothes) you’ve got to let them do them and learn on their own.
Know what I mean?
So, if anything, the next time your co-workers are trash talking each other’s wardrobe choices – tell them that the negative talk makes you uncomfortable and they need to take that somewhere else.
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