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Situation: "A higher-up calls me 'sweetie.'"
How to deal: "Sometimes people use terms of endearment without even realizing it," says Kathi Elster, an executive career coach and author of Mean Girls at Work. "If your superior says it to everyone, you might want to just let it go." But when it feels like a deliberate put-down, remind him or her that you like to be called by your name.
Try, "This may not be your intent, but whenever you refer to me as 'sweetie,' it feels dismissive." In the case that he or she responds by laughing or continues to use the moniker, you may want to start sending out your résumé.
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