I am currently working as an intern software developer at a startup, which consists of the three founders, a HR rep that just joined the company three months ago, another intern, and me who has been working here for around a year at this point. Up until now I have never had any problems with my employer and actually liked working for them.
This HR rep pretty much immediately assumed she could give out orders to those she deemed to be "below" her. Despite not liking her out of personal reasons I tried my best to just do what I'm "supposed to do" in this kind of situation. But she for some reason feels the need to treat me like some sort of dog that is only supposed to bark when she tells me to. For instance, during a teammeeting she told me about something I should have done differently and then, in front of everyone, asked "do you understand?", in a way that made it super obvious she just wanted me to say "yes" to her in front of everyone exactly the way she expected me to.
I'm not sure if writing it down like this makes it come across properly but this situation just made me so uncomfortable I decided to just stop answering her at all. She apparently took this as a personal challenge and kept on messaging me on slack about things that should not matter to her, always trying to get into my business even though I am just trying to do my best to focus on the quality of my work. I know this is far from the best way to deal with this problem and that it's better to "talk it out" before it becomes a serious issue that may cause one of us to leave the company because of something stupid and petty. But I cannot help it. Answering this person makes me feel like I am giving her just what she wants, and as soon as I do that she will assume she can give out orders and come back over and over and over again. Under the pretense that it's "work" and full well knowing I have no choice but to answer her.
At this point I am seriously considering changing employments, despite never having had a job I liked more than this one. I have thought about sitting together with her and my employer and maybe finding a way to move forward with these issues, but I can already picture her answers as soon as I voice one of my complaints, how I am supposed to answer her because she is "just doing her job", and it's part of her work to message people and ask them about things. It will be so easy for her to twist everything into her favor because I have made the mistake of deciding to ignore her. And trying to explain my decision as to why I am ignoring her to my employer will not be looking good for me either.
Is there a good way for me to deal with this problem?