General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Asking Coworkers to Leave Me Alone (Politely)

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That title was harsher than I intended...

Let me start by saying that I have really and truly lovely coworkers.  I am also in the latter stages of my first pregnancy at a slightly advanced age and am having a number of issues.  Because folks can see me hobbling down the hall (mostly to get water, because I'm so darn thirsty!), I get a cascade of "are you alright, are you okay, need anything," etc.  Because I get up about once an hour, I'm really tired of it.  I also need to walk around to help with some of my issues.  Frankly, I'm trying not to think about my issues and would really prefer if folks just left me alone.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

As an aside, I was also the OP on the refusing the baby shower thread -- it sorted itself out well, as a coworker who is also pregnant had a baby shower and folks were pleased with that.  Word got around through a trusted coworker that baby showers are "not my thing," which everyone understood.

Have you tried something along the lines of "I appreciate your concern but I can take care of myself. If I need help I'll ask?"

First I have to say I sympathise. I delayed telling anyone at work about my first pregnancy for that sort of reason. In fact I delayed so long people started to ask if I was.

I also sympathise because I know it gets worse as you get more pregnant. I just had my second kid so I can vividly remember this.

So I suggest a two fold approach. Acceptance and minimization. First just realize that no matter what you di or say or look like some people will comment. It might not be polite or wanted but it will happen.
The other is decrease concern by rarely mentioning your pregnancy and when you do keep it very superficial and positive and then changing the subject.
" it's all going well. I'm bit tired but that's normal. How was your weekend?"
" doctor says it's all good. Let's look over these reports"

I second with "accept and redirect." 

If you are actually up and moving at the time of this approach, I recommend the perky voice - don't stop moving, just chirp something like, "Doctor's orders, gotta walk around!"  or "Hydrating, thanks!"

Smack your forehead, and say, "Holy Toledo, do you know how many times people ask me this? I'm just pregnant, I'm not going to die this very moment!"

No, maybe not.

But I think I would start saying the very same thing in a slightly less dramatic way.
"I know you're trying to be nice, but since everybody does it, all the time, it's actually really unpleasant for me. Please stop."

And use that trusted coworker to help get word around about THIS! She did such a nice job with the earlier project, I'm sure she'd do a good job with this.


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