Often, it becomes difficult to distinguish whether someone is incompetent or has malicious intent. However, it is important to distinguish the two. Not being able to tell the two apart can often cause terrible heartache and anguish.
I have found it useful to begin by giving the benefit of doubt. Incompetence in one person can often be confused for malice by another person. Instead of jumping to a conclusion, it could be beneficial to tentatively assume good intentions at the outset. Then one can begin a gentle enquiry and try to understand from the other’s perspective what has transpired.
Many times, by putting oneself in the other’s shoes, one discovers a human being just like oneself who makes mistakes every now and then. This way, incompetence can be determined to be the cause.
Of course, one could very well discover malice as the root cause, in which case, the appropriate actions can be taken.