Recently I have encountered a problem. I am part of a group in my workplace almost from the time I started working at my firm. We have obviously become close friends and know about not only our professional but personal lives. My problem is with one of my friends/co-group member.

He met my girlfriend and recently he has stated to refer to as Lady Evil. Just because she admires my professionalism and looks out for me has either made him jealous or something and it’s bugging me.

It’s affecting my professional relationship with him especially when he mentions the nickname to the other members in the group and I’m glad he doesn’t say that to her face or we’ll most definitely end up in a fight.

What advice can you offer me that would not only help me maintain my professional relationship while also keeping my relationship with both him and my girlfriend intact?

  • 3
    Is your girlfriend a coworker as well? Pulling your friend aside and let him know you dont like the nickname is always the best first step.
    – JasonJ
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 18:39

3 Answers 3


In a one on one conversation with them, "I don't like you calling {name} Lady Evil. I would appreciate it if you would stop." If it is a misunderstanding establishing this boundary should be enough.

  • 2
    +1 It might be helpful to try and probe why he started using the nickname in the first place. If the colleague perceives the OP's girlfriend to be a back-driving byzantine schemestress, that's something useful to know.
    – rath
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 18:27

You have a personal relationship with this person, simply ask him to stop. It doesn't matter why he's calling her that, whether he thinks it's justified or not, or his intentions; if you feel disrespected he should have the courtesy to understand that and put an end to it. We can hope, at least.


What this comes down to is boundaries. How close you guys are will affect how diplomatic you should be.

A very close friend you suddenly stop spending time with in favor of your new girlfriend might feel abandoned, and act up a bit (a sign of immaturity, but not necessarily that he's a terrible person). In this situation you should certainly ask him to stop slandering her, but also analyze your own behavior and maybe make more of an effort to reconnect with him.

There also exists a possibility - if this is a close friend who typically has your back - that he perceives something in this girl that you don't see, in which case it's also worth it to talk things out and find out his point of view. I still think that his behavior is immature, however.

If, however, he's more of a "buddy" toward whom you feel no special loyalty, and is severely overstepping his bounds then you should not hessitate to firmly enforce your boundaries. The next time he says something take him aside and in no uncertain terms tell him that you don't appreciate his attitude, and would like him to stop. No need to be rude, but definitely make it clear that you're being serious, and be prepared to escalate things, or maybe even cut social (outside-work) contact with him if his attitude persists.

You need to decide the level of access you wish to allow these people (work mates) into your life. Consider this: if you were to quit your job tomorrow, would you maintain close contact with any of them? If the answer is no, or that you're not sure, then that's a sure-fire sign that maybe you should slowly separate them from some aspects of your life. Set up boundaries so that they understand that their opinions on your personal life are off limits. This does not mean that you need to be rude, or never hang out with them, but it does mean that some conversations, opinions, or developments in your life should remain private, and that some lines of inquiry should be deflected in the future.

For example, the only reason this person is calling your GF "Lady Evil" is because someone in that circle brought her up - why were you guys even talking about her in the first place?

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