I’ve found that a relatively new addition to our team is being needlessly aggressive and I’m not sure if I should speak to them or our mutual manager about this face to face, or try some other technique while working to reduce her aggression as it is affecting my concentration.
When she first started she came in all guns blazing - she criticised my work to my face on several occasions, pointing to errors that didn’t exist (or were by someone else). I calmly pointed out where she was mistaken, but this did rattle me as she’d come with a glowing report and it would look bad on me as a long term employee of the company if I really had made so many errors. Even if I hadn’t the fact that people would see her ‘pulling me up’ would also look bad. I hoped she was just settling in.
She did seem to calm down and become more friendly though I admit I was always inwardly tense when speaking to her (though I tried to exude friendly professionalism throughout). Recently however one of my colleagues told me that she informed them that I have something against her (I don’t know what this is specifically referring to). And yesterday she went from 0 to 100 about an issue: swearing, raised voice, very intimidating. I stayed outwardly calm but inside I wasn’t sure if I was boiling or quaking. A few minutes later the issue (a simple one) was resolved and she started chatting to me like we were best friends. The change was so abrupt I was quite caught out.
I don’t know her well but I sense she has a form of OCD from some things she’s mentioned about herself and I don’t know if she’s agitated whenever she perceives something isn’t right? I also think it may be ‘normal’ for her to kick off when it suits her. However this isn’t something I’m comfortable with. I feel that we should always convey info in a calm way to each other.
Anyway, I am still striving to maintain the professional exterior but I am now extra tense whenever she speaks to me incase it blows into confrontation that I have to diffuse. I feel that I don’t trust her as a team member. What should I do to try to create a better atmosphere for me at work? I know she’s had run ins with other staff but for some reason I seem to be getting it the most.
Of note she has been making a lot of mistakes herself and I’ve been pointing them out in the most gentle way I can, taking extra care not to appear vindictive or pleased in her eyes.
Edit: Just want to say thank you all! It’s really helped me get my head straight on what the most sensible approach is.