Author Topic: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation  (Read 3401 times)

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Aquamarine

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2013, 11:43:25 AM »
I would really avoid having that conversation because I can see where it could be turned right back on you by this person feigning ignorance, confusion or accusing you of making things up and then spreading that info around to others with you as the star of her drama.  I don't see where a confrontation would turn out being a good thing for you.

Beware of the person who is still friends with this person.  This is someone who is OK with having a friend who spreads malicious lies about others.  IMHO this is a person that cannot be trusted on anything more than a very superficial level.

Ask yourself, how does it benefit YOU to have this conversation?
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

mbbored

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2013, 12:02:16 PM »
I think I get it. This is what happened, am I right?

"Cora" told Nellie something personal and private about "Patsy".
Nellie told OP the same piece of gossip but said she had heard it from Charles while Mary was present.
OP was shocked and thought less of Charles who had a relationship with Patsy that should have preluded him sharing anything so personal.
Mary later told OP that it was Nellie's friend Cora who had gossiped about Patsy.
Now OP is angry with Nellie for sharing the personal information and for lying about where she heard it.

I think the whole thing is too convoluted to respond in a straightforward way saying "I'm angry with you because you did X" because X is related to other people and their personal information and has become very gossipy.

CrazyDaffodilLady is right, in my opinion when she says:
A work function is not the place to deal with this issue.  If she approaches you there, refuse to discuss it.  If she actually cares about your disappearance, she'll contact you at another time...

If Nellie does contact you then I think it would be right to say: "I was made uncomfortable by a gossipy conversation the two of us had. I don't want to go into the details of what was said and what is true but I don't believe that what you told me was correct or right to share. Please don't talk about people like that around me again."

If this is the correct scenario, perhaps all of you would be better off not gossiping and doing a better job separating your personal from professional life.

gramma dishes

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2013, 12:03:00 PM »

...   Ask yourself, how does it benefit YOU to have this conversation?

I agree with this. 

I see no way that such a conversation would benefit you at all and could possibly have the opposite effect.  Use your knowledge of what the one woman did and the other's reaction to it to determine how close you want to be to either of these people, but I wouldn't raise the issue again under any circumstances.

dharmaexpress

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2013, 12:06:12 PM »
Quote
Ask yourself, how does it benefit YOU to have this conversation?

I think that's just it - it doesn't.  I don't like to play games with people, so I wanted to be straightforward, but there's probably no point.  She won't learn from it, and I'll wish I'd saved my breath.

mbbored, I wasn't gossiping, and none of this happened as a result of the type of relationship I had with her.  I have plenty of colleagues I am friends with, and this kind of immaturity is rare.

Mikayla

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2013, 01:22:38 PM »
I don't have an opinion about whether you'd want to talk about this directly or just disengage from her on a personal level, but I totally agree that the upcoming function shouldn't be part of this.  It's surprisingly easy to *not* allow yourself to be cornered by someone, but if it happens, just say "not here and not now" and then walk away. 


mbbored

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2013, 10:41:51 PM »
Quote
Ask yourself, how does it benefit YOU to have this conversation?

I think that's just it - it doesn't.  I don't like to play games with people, so I wanted to be straightforward, but there's probably no point.  She won't learn from it, and I'll wish I'd saved my breath.

mbbored, I wasn't gossiping, and none of this happened as a result of the type of relationship I had with her.  I have plenty of colleagues I am friends with, and this kind of immaturity is rare.

I'm sorry I misread the situation.

zyrs

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2013, 04:01:02 PM »

I think there may be nothing to be gained by telling her, so I will continue to "shine her on" if you will.  I'm always polite and friendly, but I stay away.  I return any call she makes to me with a brief text, answer emails briefly, and otherwise avoid.  I know that can drive someone crazy when they don't know what's happening, and right now, I'm guessing she doesn't know at all what the reason is.  As soon as I said a couple names to her, she'd remember - but maybe there's no point in doing that.


I think you are handling it very well.  You are staying polite and gracious. 

And there is nothing wrong with you being very, very busy.

snappylt

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2013, 05:30:29 PM »
dharmaexpress,

I think you're going to be best off if you act almost as if nothing happened.

If you have the difficult conversation, I think it could be all too easy for the person you're sure is a liar to pretend to not know what you are talking about - or to try to turn the situation around on you somehow.

I think you should act polite - but just slightly more distant than you probably would have if the lie had not happened.  You are satisfied that the liar is not to be trusted, so of course you will not want to be involved in future projects together, and you won't trust her, period.  BUT, I think you should be polite to her at gatherings and have brief small-talk with her (as opposed to giving her a cut direct).  I think this behavior on your part is less likely to cause further unpleasantness for you.

If she corners you, it would probably feel satisfying to explain to her exactly why you are behaving differently toward her.  However, I think that is risky for you, as it might set you up for her to pretend that you are wacky - or for you to be her next target.

--

Having shared that opinion, I just want to ask if there is any chance at all that you are misunderstanding the situation?  I'll grant you that, once I read your follow-up details, it sounds like there's a very good chance that you are correct.  But is there any chance that the person who helped you figure out the lie may have given you incorrect information?

Danika

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2013, 06:23:56 PM »
...I think that is risky for you, as it might set you up for her to pretend that you are wacky - or for you to be her next target...

This is the part that I'd be most concerned about.

Did she slander anyone? Do you think you want to give them the heads up that she spoke ill of them behind their backs?

I think liars are like cheaters. There's the saying about cheaters "if they'll do it with you, they'll do it to you." Liars are the same way. They will tell lies about you to other people to cause strife.

dharmaexpress

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2013, 08:48:54 PM »
mbbored, thank you, no problem.

snappylt, I have thought of that, and I think it's always possible that things are not what they seem.  Granted, I can't figure out another explanation, but that means nothing.  I trust the person who told me - Mary - pretty much unequivocally.  She consistently acts with integrity and is an honest person (she really is like Mary Ingalls).  If there was any doubt, it would be on me and my perception, which is why I asked Nellie to repeat the story to me twice because I couldn't believe my ears - that's how I'm about 95% sure of my interpretation.  Possibly, I am wrong, and you are absolutely correct that's exactly the tack Nellie would take in defending herself.

I didn't mention something that happened after the story but before I found out.  Nellie called me and said she'd been thinking about the situation - and without letting her continue, I just started ranting and raving (a little hyperbolic) about how appalled I was at Charles and I just couldn't understand and on and on and on and I realized later, she kind of changed the subject when I was done.  I wonder now if she was considering telling me the truth and changed her mind, again because of my angry reaction.   >:D  I find this a little sad and a little amusing now.  She must how thought, "Wow, I have unleashed the proverbial lion."

Danika, I think she slandered Charles, but because of the sentence before this one, I doubt she'd spread it around beyond me - not after I kind of flipped out about it.

And the last piece of information about it all is that she hasn't enjoyed a great reputation among our peers while I've known her.  I used to be the person who defended her because I thought she was troubled but improving, and I at least never doubted her truthfulness.  I take people at face value, sometimes at my own peril.  But once this happened, I realized that many of her detractors were right, and there were some bigger issues afoot than I realized.  Sad.

dharmaexpress

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Re: Preparing to have (or avoid) an awkward conversation
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2013, 08:51:31 PM »
Oh, and I forgot to say thank you again - all your questions and comments and thoughtful ideas about this have been helpful.

Polite + distant it shall remain, for all the reasons many of you have touched on.