Remember "Heathers," "Mean Girls" and "Revenge of the Nerds," or the kid on the playground .
Unfortunately, though, bullying isn't just a schoolyard problem and bullies don't always grow out of their mean-spirited ways. In fact, there's a pretty good chance that you'll face "Mean Girls (or Guys)" at some point in your professional life.
According to a new CareerBuilder survey on workplace bullying, 27 percent of workers have felt bullied on the job, a problem that is more commonly reported among women (34 percent) than men (22 percent).
Adult Antagonizers are often more subtle and passive aggressive in their tactics
My comments were dismissed or not acknowledged - 43 percent
• I was falsely accused of mistakes I didn't make - 40 percent
• I was harshly criticized - 38 percent
• I was forced into doing work that really wasn't my job - 38 percent
• Different standards and policies were used for me than other workers - 37 percent
• I was given mean looks - 31 percent
• Others gossiped about me - 27 percent
• My boss yelled at me in front of other co-workers - 24 percent
• Belittling comments were made about my work during meetings - 23 percent
• Someone else stole credit for my work - 21 percent
• A recent survey conducted by Zogby International for the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 35 percent of American workers - or 54 million people - have faced harassment at work, while another 15 percent have witnessed it happening.
Adults can stick up for themselves:
Nearly half of workers who said they'd been bullied also said they'd confronted the person head on, and 28 percent said they took their concerns to human resources.
If you're facing a bully at work and have yet to confront the issue, take note: "Bullying is a serious offense that can disrupt the work environment, impact morale and lower productivity," says Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.
If you are feeling bullied, keep track of what was said or done and who was present. The more specifics you can provide, the stronger the case you can make for yourself when confronting the bully head on or reporting the bully to a company authority.
And, sparked by the tragic endings of a string of bullying cases over the past few years, the Healthy Workplace Bill - legislation that aims to provide legal protection to those who feel they have been physically or psychologically abused at work - has recently picked up speed in states like New York, Nevada, Massachusetts, Vermont and Illinois.
Drama Queen or King:
She or He is gossipy, passive aggressive and always looking to stir up trouble. That's right: It's the office drama queen
There's often one in every office.
"There is not one business that doesn't experience at least some drama on occasion. When there are human relationships there is potential for drama," says Marlene Chism, author of "Stop Workplace Drama: Train Your Team to Have No Complaints, No Excuses and No Regrets."
"Misunderstandings happen even between highly evolved people who have good intentions. No matter how great the hiring practices, we human beings create a lot of drama when we don't know how to master our energy or clear the fog to see the bigger picture."
But there's an important distinction to be made between dramatic personalities at work, says Chism. There's the 'Drama Queen,' who has a victim orientation and the 'Queen Bee,' the persecutor. Both use manipulation, or undermining ways to get what she wants -- she may even be so temperamental that your colleagues walk on egg shells in order to avoid 'upsetting' her, Chism says.
But there are differences between the two.
"The Queen Bee uses her knowledge and power to bend the rules and get her way. Instead of whining, she is more of a bully. Often she is very skilled, knows the office politics and has built strategic relationships so that she can overrule the one who is supposed to be in charge," Chism says. "The employees know who the Queen Bee is because she usually is 'in' with someone in authority, if not her own boss, then someone of even higher rank."
But what many people don't understand are the motives behind such potentially destructive behavior.
"She wants recognition, power or attention. The drama queen has more clarity about what she wants. She is the one navigating the ship and that ship is pointed toward an island that is for her personal gain instead of toward and in alignment with the company mission and vision," Chism says.
But knowing all the reasons how and why there's workplace drama or an office drama queen won't do you any good if you don't know how to effectively deal with that personality.
Here are five tips for dealing with the drama queen in your office:
1. Get support from the top.
"If you are a manager and you have a drama queen that undermines your authority, you must be willing to talk to your boss and get his or her support," Chism says. But if your boss contributes to the problem by letting the drama queen get her way, gather the courage to talk to your boss. "Let [him or her] know how the drama queen's problem contributes to lost revenue, team problems and customer service."
2. Clarify the roles and responsibilities.
If the drama queen is doing things she's not supposed to, hold a team meeting and clarity the roles and the due process, Chism says.
"Let your employees know that you have backing from the top executives for dealing with someone going out of due process. Give an example so your team is clear on what is changing and what consequences will result if due process is ignored," she says. "Have your employees sign and date a document confirming that they understand the new rules and expectations."
3. Initiate a difficult conversation.
Whether it's with your boss, the drama queen or both, make sure your mindset is in the right place before meeting with anyone. Create an intention to replace drama with harmony and to help everyone grow.
"When you speak about the problem, take responsibility for the part you played before asking for the new behavior. For example, 'I let this slide for too long and didn't' clarify the roles and responsibilities,' or 'I was trying to keep the peace, and now this has become a customer service problem,'" she says. "Once you have owned the part you have played, you are free to state the problem and ask for the needed change."
4. Set a boundary.
"Make sure the person with whom you are having the difficult conversation knows what the boundary is. In other words, what is the consequence of ignoring your request? What measures can you put into place so that you get compliance and commitment?" Chism says. "For example, 'Marie, if this happens again, unfortunately I will have to write you up and send you home on suspension.'"
5. Discipline appropriately.
If you've addressed the situation, and held the difficult conversation, one of two things will happen: you will either have eliminated the drama, or you will be tested, Chism says.
"If your drama queen employee decides to test you, you cannot afford to ignore the situation. You must fulfill the promise you stated when you first set the boundary, even if doing so will make you the bad guy. If the discipline includes termination, good record-keeping of attempts to help the employee grow, and follow due process will come in handy."
The Clark Institute: Private Practice Psychotherapy
for Children, Adolescents, and Adults
Human Resource Associates
Matthew Clark, Psy.D.