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dearmargaret I am a woman who has to meet with a man in my organization fairly frequently, and he gets under my skin. Projects require a coordinated effort from us. He's my age, and his rank in the organization is no higher than mine. He has a superior attitude towards me, and he makes comments to me that you'd expect to hear made to a child. I want to clear the air with him, and at the same time keep a civil working relationship because we need each other to get things accomplished. How can I keep my self-esteem, and at the same time keep things on a cordial basis in order to accomplish our goals?
Tired of Being Demeaned

Dear Tired of Being Demeaned: Step number one is to determine if he treats other women, as well as men, in this manner. Does he act like he's everyone's father? While this can be a comforting archetype, it can also be overdone, to your point. Try to understand his intentions. However, if he is singling you out with this behavior, call him on it every time. There's no harm in asking, "Did you really mean to imply…?" In my experience, whether or not the comments are intended to belittle you, asking the question causes the individual to think about how they come across.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.

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