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Author Topic: Am I engaging the crazy here? Update, post 19  (Read 7540 times)

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*inviteseller

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 11:20:38 AM »
I think you have a wonderful opportunity to help this woman.  Yes, she would grate on my last nerve with the in your face let's be best friends stuff, but, this is new for her so you can help guide her into being assertive without being overbearing.  Don't beat around the bush either, speak plainly and tell her that while her intentions are good, she is going overboard. 

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2013, 01:55:51 PM »
This reminds me of when I started a job with a company that touted its mentoring program and claimed that every new employee got a mentor.  I asked my new manager who my mentor was, and he replied, "You're your own mentor".
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Moray

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2013, 02:01:17 PM »
And if for some reason you do have to talk to her, then you could say "I have to work with Paul, so I really don't want to hear anything about your private life.  Gotta go now <hangup>."

Wrong thread, bopper?

OP, I think you accepted the invite and ought to go, but you have no obligation to continue to act as a mentor to her unless you want to. You can say something like "I'm honored that you've asked this of me, but I really don't feel comfortable doing so." And leave it at that. Make small talk. Enjoy lunch.

That said, I think you could be doing everyone (yourself, this woman, everyone she's going to interact with in the future...) a great deal of good if you were to take her at face value when she says she wants feedback. Tell her she's coming on too strong, and model appropriate interactions and level of involvement for her. She sounds like she really does want to learn.
Utah

bopper

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2013, 02:18:19 PM »
I'm really hoping for some eHell wisdom about a situation I found myself in this week.

BG: I belong to an organization that meets once a week; let's say it's for professional growth and networking.

Two weeks ago we got a new member, "Judy". Judy is, in her own words, from a culture in which women are expected to be submissive, but when she came to the US, she decided she wanted to be her own person and be assertive.  So far, so good, but she tends to come on way too strong, too soon. Case in point, after I gave a talk, she wrote me a very nice thank you note for my talk on a printed note card along with a piece of chocolate and gave it to me along with a flowery speech on how much she enjoyed my talk.  This was the first time I had met her.


Another option:

You could meet with her and let her know you aren't sure if you can commit to mentoring her, but that you can bring up some unwritten rules of your culture's interactions.

1) Thanking you for talk? Good. Doing so publicly in front of the group? Could be good.  Doing with chocolate and a big flowery speech? Not so good. Why?  It puts too much of a spotlight on you and you feel uncomfortable.

2) Finding a mentor? Good.  Doing so publicly in front of the group? Could be good. Doing it so you feel you can't say no?
Not good.  It puts too much of a spotlight on you and you feel uncomfortable.

You could tell her she turned her assertiveness volume up to 10 from 0.

On the other hand, you could say "I felt like I had no choice but to agree to meet with you because you asked so publicly. However, I have a lot on my plate and after discussing it with my husband/reviewing my calendar/fitting it in with my other obligations I don't have the time to devote to mentoring you that you deserve.  I will see you at next meeting! I am looking forward to working on the bean dip project this year."

BatCity

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here?
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2013, 05:30:29 PM »
Well, it didn't go too badly. We did meet for lunch, and it looks like she's mostly just looking for a job. I did have a chance to talk about navigating that narrow line between timid and overly aggressive, but it went fine. I'm not going to mentor her, and she's fine with that as we are in different industries.

The one thing she did that was a little weird was to give me some flowers, but she softened it with the explanation that they were from her garden.  But that's done and I don't plan to meet with her in the future outside our group.

katycoo

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here? Update, post 19
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2013, 06:20:05 PM »
I'm glad it went ok, and she was receptive to your feedback.

I feel for her actually.  It sounds like she really wants to make friends and fit in.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here? Update, post 19
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2013, 08:46:41 PM »
I just have to know . . . did she offer to pay for your lunch?  After all, she commandeered you to spend your time for her benefit. 
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

BatCity

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here? Update, post 19
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2013, 10:15:14 PM »
No, but I purposely didn't let her. We met at a cafe where you order at the counter and they bring food to your table, and I went up and ordered first.


Calypso

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here?
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2013, 12:35:20 AM »
Well, it didn't go too badly. We did meet for lunch, and it looks like she's mostly just looking for a job. I did have a chance to talk about navigating that narrow line between timid and overly aggressive, but it went fine. I'm not going to mentor her, and she's fine with that as we are in different industries.

The one thing she did that was a little weird was to give me some flowers, but she softened it with the explanation that they were from her garden.  But that's done and I don't plan to meet with her in the future outside our group.

I don't know where she's from, but this is a very, very typical thing to do in many cultures------to bring flowers to a lunch, when visiting someone's house, or their office, or whatever. It's not (in those cultures) a particularly personal gesture.

cicero

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here?
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2013, 01:14:55 AM »
Well, it didn't go too badly. We did meet for lunch, and it looks like she's mostly just looking for a job. I did have a chance to talk about navigating that narrow line between timid and overly aggressive, but it went fine. I'm not going to mentor her, and she's fine with that as we are in different industries.

The one thing she did that was a little weird was to give me some flowers, but she softened it with the explanation that they were from her garden.  But that's done and I don't plan to meet with her in the future outside our group.
good. And the flower thing isn't weird, again as I said upthread, it could very well be a cultural thing.,

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Allyson

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Re: Am I engaging the crazy here? Update, post 19
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2013, 02:00:04 PM »
Glad it went well! I would've done what you did--gone to the lunch, but not done further 'mentoring' stuff--I feel like that's something that really needs to be two-way enthusiasm, often happening naturally.

Also, it's good to know the information about flowers and notes being cultural. I had no idea that was a culture thing for some people, and now if that happens to me I won't be weirded out or think the person is trying to date me. :)