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"This girl is setting out to make my life as difficult as possible and constantly talks about me behind my back."
Dear Anita Assistance,
When you have offended someone the most important thing to do in getting the relationship back on the rails is to give them the opportunity to tell you how they feel about what happened. This is more important than saying you are sorry, which will be heard as superficial unless enough time is given for the aggrieved person to tell you about the impact of the event on them.
My suggestion is that you sit down with your colleague and tell her that you recognize that you truly offended her and that you would like to get the relationship back on track, but to do that you need her to tell you her story of what it was like. When you do so, if she will tell you, listen without defensiveness. Just acknowledge what she has said. You want her to feel that she has been heard. This is not about judging who was right or wrong. Once her feelings are expressed then thelevel of hostility should go down.
If such a meeting feels like it would be difficult for you to do, then ask your supervisor, HR person or someone else who is a neutral person to act as a mediator.
It may seem like making a big deal out of a small incident, but it is for the other person to judge how big or small an offense is, and she has clearly experienced this as something much more significant than you have.
You need to get this aired, since leaving it unattended to will only poison your working relationship, which just got a lot closer.
Good luck with it,
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