Author Topic: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?  (Read 5179 times)

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mlmama

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Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« on: June 20, 2014, 07:10:55 PM »
I work with a woman who has taken a sudden intense dislike to me. As in, friendly one day, Cut Direct the next. It doesn't affect my job in any way other than making it awkward every once in a while. I honestly do not know what I did to make her angry. At first, I just acted as she didn't exist for me, either. I have since found out that she has gotten "that way" towards every other woman in the office at one time or another. I have been told she is also to trying to incite others to be angry at me by telling them I must not like them, either because I didn't greet them when I came in to work one day. (I know, office gossip. I take that with a grain of salt.) Lately, she's been acting sweeter towards everyone else, and at least acknowledging my presence in a room by glancing at me. I'm bringing it to E-hell to ask, is it more polite to continue assuming a Cut Direct attitude so things aren't awkward, or should I try to extend the olive branch by saying something small like "Hello." when I come in and see what happens? I'm fine with the ignoring thing. As I said, it does not affect my work in any way, I just like to try to get along with everyone that I can.

Deetee

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 07:20:08 PM »
I think the right thing to do is a gentle hello. This has to be done gently, so it's the sort of hello that no-one will notice is not returned. If possible it should be "hidden" in greeting to normal people: "Hello normal person., Hello crazy person, hello normal person" or part of a "Hello All". Basically don't look for an answer.

This acts to show other people that you aren't giving her the silent treatment without it being a BIG DEAL that she doesn't respond.

GSNW

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 07:20:41 PM »
Honestly, I would continually be coolly polite and professional.  She seems to thrive off of drama and if she thinks you are trying to "make amends," she thinks she has the power to drive your behavior and/or actions. 

I think it's nice to want to get along with everyone, but especially at work, don't buy into these sorts of nonsense games.  It seems like others have her number, too.

JenJay

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 07:26:15 PM »
Honestly, I would continually be coolly polite and professional.  She seems to thrive off of drama and if she thinks you are trying to "make amends," she thinks she has the power to drive your behavior and/or actions. 

I think it's nice to want to get along with everyone, but especially at work, don't buy into these sorts of nonsense games.  It seems like others have her number, too.

I agree. You have to interact with her somewhat, and certainly be polite when you do, but don't go out of your way to interact with her when you don't have to. I'd take the attitude of "You've made it clear you don't want to be friendly and that works for me.", but professionally.

Aquamarine

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2014, 08:28:39 PM »
Be sweet and polite when you have to interact with her.  It will make you look rational and adult and as a bonus it will annoy the H out of her.  To further annoy her always be extremely calm, patient and rational when she talks to you.  It will be irritating to her if she can't get a rise out of you so she can claim you were meeeeen or hurt her feelings.  It won't take much of this to make her look crazy to others should she complain about you.

Do not apologize do not do anything other than being calm. polite and rational, doing this makes you look competent and professional.  All this other person is doing is demonstrating to everyone in the office that she is not capable of performing the simple basic job requirement of interacting professionally with her coworkers.  I have an idea that a lot of people know exactly what she's doing and will enjoy getting popcorn and watching you interact with her as they watch her become annoyed by your Zen approach.

If you are hearing secondhand about some of her antics it doesn't hurt to throw out a "Oh bless her heart" with a sympathetic tone.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

TootsNYC

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 08:30:19 PM »
Honestly, I would continually be coolly polite and professional.  She seems to thrive off of drama and if she thinks you are trying to "make amends," she thinks she has the power to drive your behavior and/or actions. 

I think it's nice to want to get along with everyone, but especially at work, don't buy into these sorts of nonsense games.  It seems like others have her number, too.

I actually get professionally friendly. As Aquamarine so wisely says...

Be sweet and polite when you have to interact with her.  It will make you look rational and adult and as a bonus it will annoy the H out of her.  To further annoy her always be extremely calm, patient and rational when she talks to you.  It will be irritating to her if she can't get a rise out of you so she can claim you were meeeeen or hurt her feelings.  It won't take much of this to make her look crazy to others should she complain about you.

Do not apologize do not do anything other than being calm. polite and rational, doing this makes you look competent and professional.  All this other person is doing is demonstrating to everyone in the office that she is not capable of performing the simple basic job requirement of interacting professionally with her coworkers.  I have an idea that a lot of people know exactly what she's doing and will enjoy getting popcorn and watching you interact with her as they watch her become annoyed by your Zen approach.

If you are hearing secondhand about some of her antics it doesn't hurt to throw out a "Oh bless her heart" with a sympathetic tone.

And sometimes the person ends up being won over. Or, they have room to get over it.

stargazer

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 09:09:06 PM »
I would continue to say "Hello".  I work with someone like this - I was convinced I had done something wrong and told some people she seems to hate me - they said oh no she hates everyone except for a select few.  One day she had an actual unsolicited friendly conversation with me and I almost fell over in shock.  Then she discovered I was friendly with one of her friends and suddenly she couldn't have been nicer (and she's actually hysterical when she wants to be).  I'm still not sure what's going on with her as I did nothing to change my behavior - maybe she's mellowing as I have noticed her saying hello to people she didn't used to.  All you can do is be cordial and not stoop to her level.

Lynn2000

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2014, 09:49:04 PM »
Some people are just oversensitive about things, I think. I remember one co-worker had a crush on the guy in the office across the hall for the longest time. Then one day she came in and told me he was a total jerk. The reason? She passed him in the hall and said hi, and he didn't acknowledge her. It couldn't possibly have been that he was lost in thought about some important issue or not feeling well or anything like that, it had to be that he was actually a jerk. From then on, the best assessment she would give of him was that he was inconsistent, and would run hot and cold with people. ::)

In this case, the oversensitive person might be this co-worker, who got miffed when you missed saying hi to her one day or something. I would just try to act normal around her, polite and professional, as PP suggest, and see if she works things out in her own mind eventually.
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mlmama

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2014, 10:37:47 PM »
I'm sticking with the polite thing, I promise. I have to admit to a bit of schadenfreude when I go into the women's restroom and there are no paper towels. We are the only two women that work at night, and I have the key to the supply closet. She would rather go with wet hands than ask me for the key or tell me we are out. It's an odd thing, I just kind of giggle to myself and take care of it.
 

veronaz

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2014, 09:31:01 PM »
I’ve never been a fan on the “others say she’s like that with everyone” logic.  Others “say” a lot of things, and how did it (the subject of her coolness towards you) even come up?  Sounds very junior high schoolish.  Suggest you stop talking about her and not comment when others do.

You seem to be saying 1) you don’t know why she’s treating you this way 2) you don’t care 3) it doesn’t affect your work.  So, what’s the problem?

When there is tension between people in a workplace, it does impact others.  Sometimes it can be resolved, sometimes not.

Maybe you can ask her (privately) “Have I offended you?”  If she blows you off, you’ve done all you can do.......work around it and conduct yourself in a professional manner.

Otterpop

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2014, 10:26:38 AM »
I like your approach OP.  Just behaving  professionally polite when around her will give her the message she can't affect your behavior.  Since this is a pattern with her, I assume she's one of those that like to "jerk people's chains" by acting offended at some random thing.  They get empowered with your efforts to make amends.  The truce never lasts and soon they're offended at something else.  Not reacting will cut this behavior off at the pass.

(P.S. Your "offense" could be something like being competent at your job, having a position she wants or holding some power in the office.  Having keys might be ticking her off.  Not your problem.  However, if she infects other people with her attitude, I do hope you have a good HR dept.)   
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 08:12:25 PM by Otterpop »

Runningstar

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2014, 01:41:23 PM »
I don't know the best way to deal with a person who acts like this, and unfortunately have this very same issue currently with a woman in one of my kid's groups.  I've tried asking, looking at things from her side, and in the end have just gone with saying  hello but not waiting for a response because I never know when she is on speaking terms or not with me.  OP I think that you would be best off to be professional but distant, and while I understand the paper towel issue - just refill when needed, because then you are not sinking to her level :).

knitwicca

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2014, 02:49:59 PM »
Honestly, I would continually be coolly polite and professional.  She seems to thrive off of drama and if she thinks you are trying to "make amends," she thinks she has the power to drive your behavior and/or actions. 

I think it's nice to want to get along with everyone, but especially at work, don't buy into these sorts of nonsense games.  It seems like others have her number, too.


There is a woman who is part of my working group. We have 5 sub-groups. She was assigned to group A then was unhappy with the job so reassigned to group B.  Unhappy with that work so assigned to group C.
What is obvious is that she will not work as part of a group that contains another woman she perceives to be her equal in terms of intelligence and attractiveness. 

I support 4 of the sub-groups and work closely with the fifth.  In each group, she has managed to alienate at least one member. And the men are not so obtuse as to miss seeing her behavior.
(even though they are Sheldon-like engineers)

When this woman was initially assigned to our larger working group, she tried to undermine the authority of the Overlord (ok....retired Marine pilot with a lot of shiny stuff on his uniform)
This woman would contradict the Overlord's directions when the entire group was in a meeting chaired by the Overlord. She thought that, because both her parents had been Marines, she could treat the Overlord as a lackey and the rest of the entire group as slaves.  She was badly mistaken.

Her reputation has grown over the years. No one in the entire (large) government complex wants to work with her, respond to her emails nor take her phone calls.
She thinks it is because she is so very beautiful and intelligent that they are afraid of her.   ::)

wx4caster

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2014, 04:07:41 PM »
Evil me would start cheerfully saying Good Morning! to her each and every day.

I was once asked how I can manage to be nice to the office grouch all the time and I replied that it was all part of my super secret evil plot to drive him crazy.  But really, I believe it's better to start the day with a smile than a frown.  And if me being cheery annoys somebody, so much the better.  ;D
The days are long but the years are short.

bah12

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Re: Continue ignoring or try the olive branch?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2014, 06:25:49 PM »
You treat like you would anyone else who you have to interact with on the same level.  If you have no reason to actually talk to her when it comes to completing your work, then don't talk to her. But, if you see her in the breakroom or bathroom or pass her in the hall, then say "hello" to her as you would any other coworker and keep going about your day not waiting for a response.  Don't go out of your way to interact with her, but don't ignore her either.  This will show that you are professional and she's a drama queen.  Let her talk...people will see through her behavior.