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Other women bully me for being single and not having had kids. What can I do?

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Hi Mark,

Could you advise me how to deal with this particular problem, please? I recently had to quit a job training program as a medical interpreter (which I actually was very much interested in) because of harassment by women that, little by little, made the environment extremely toxic and unbearable.

Medical interpreting, you know, is an all-women field and in that particular environment women tend to boast of, believe it or not, having several children or being married. I am not married and do not have children. I do not consider it a huge shortcoming, as I accept it as a consequence of my immigrating to the U.S. at quite a young age and then being swamped by problems much more difficult than just having children, such as trying to establish myself as a professional, going to school, finding jobs in a new country, and simply surviving on my own in New York, which is quite a task in itself.

I start noticing now that women whose educational status is somewhat lower than mine do tend to harass each other based on these criteria. It has never bothered me to be single, but other people do try to push me in the direction that they consider the only right choice. It has always astonished me how people in general, and women in particular, try to make other people as unhappy as they are themselves. I know it is about bullying, but not only. Is it more about some sort of 'status'? What would be your advice? I appreciate your help.



This question was submitted by 'Irina'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Irina,

I feel for you and this is something I hear all too often. Despite stereotypes of men being wrapped up in status, I think that certainly some women seek status just as much for its own sake as some men do, but perhaps in different ways. Some women may feel threatened by a single woman, seeing her as some kind of 'threat' or as someone who is outside of the 'mother clique' and therefore as somehow being an 'outsider'. The less self-aware or scrupulous women may then use that as a way to snipe at, bully, and harass other women.

Differences - any differences - have always been used as a way of trying to put others down. You don't say what form the harassment took, why it was so bad it made you feel you had to resign your position, or what you specifically would like help with.

My advice? Well, we can't let small-mindedness prevent us from being big people. Easy for me to say, of course. If you can reach the point where you feel calm, indifferent, assertive, and unbothered by petty or spiteful remarks, then you are well along the path to transcending this kind of small town mentality. These articles might be useful for you:

No one should prevent you working in the profession of your choice or being the person you really are. No one has the right to judge you over your life choices.

I hope my words have been of some help.

All best wishes,


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - July 10th, 2014 in

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