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Author Topic: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”  (Read 28099 times)

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TheaterDiva1

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #90 on: January 21, 2015, 04:01:37 PM »
I get that it's annoying, but if she's just come back from maternity leave, this really isn't any different than coming back from vacation/honeymoon/getting engaged/any major life event. When I go engaged, I we around showing the ring to everyone. When I first adopted my cat as a kitten, I went around showing photos of her. After vacation, I happily showed photos and told stories to anyone who showed interest. That only lasted a day - two days, tops - before the excitement wore off. If this is a one-time thing with New Mother, let her have her day. If she's coming in every other day shoving new photos in people's faces, then THAT'S a problem and may need to be told directly that while her baby may be the center of her universe, it's not the center of anyone else's.

Hillia

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #91 on: January 21, 2015, 04:17:40 PM »
She's not asking for an objective judgement on her baby's attractiveness, she's asking g for you to share, for five seconds, in her excitement and happiness.  Yes, she's overstepping, but how awful would it be to utter two words before continuing with your day.  'Very cute!' is all you need to say.  If she persists, then sure, more definite measures are called for, but why are people so determined to treat her like some sort horrible pest who's ruining their day?  Just because something Kimi s technically right doesn't mean it's kind,and this is an act of kindness that takes literally seconds and costs nothing else.

Alicia

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #92 on: January 21, 2015, 04:22:25 PM »
My favorite answer.  " baby looks just like you"

Happy2BCF

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #93 on: January 21, 2015, 04:30:38 PM »
She's not asking for an objective judgement on her baby's attractiveness, she's asking g for you to share, for five seconds, in her excitement and happiness.  Yes, she's overstepping, but how awful would it be to utter two words before continuing with your day.  'Very cute!' is all you need to say.  If she persists, then sure, more definite measures are called for, but why are people so determined to treat her like some sort horrible pest who's ruining their day?  Just because something Kimi s technically right doesn't mean it's kind,and this is an act of kindness that takes literally seconds and costs nothing else.

I wouldn't want to do anything that would make her think I would want to see pictures in the future.  I would be like the second co-worker - smile politely & push the phone out of my face ASAP.   And it does cost something - I don't like telling
lies so I would have to put my own morals aside or tell her the truth - I don't find babies adorable.  Better to just keep my
mouth shut I think.

bah12

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #94 on: January 21, 2015, 04:42:39 PM »
She's not asking for an objective judgement on her baby's attractiveness, she's asking g for you to share, for five seconds, in her excitement and happiness.  Yes, she's overstepping, but how awful would it be to utter two words before continuing with your day.  'Very cute!' is all you need to say.  If she persists, then sure, more definite measures are called for, but why are people so determined to treat her like some sort horrible pest who's ruining their day?  Just because something Kimi s technically right doesn't mean it's kind,and this is an act of kindness that takes literally seconds and costs nothing else.

I wouldn't want to do anything that would make her think I would want to see pictures in the future.  I would be like the second co-worker - smile politely & push the phone out of my face ASAP.   And it does cost something - I don't like telling
lies
so I would have to put my own morals aside or tell her the truth - I don't find babies adorable.  Better to just keep my
mouth shut I think.

Why do you feel like you have to lie?  Just say "Congratulations" or "He's a blessing" or "Cute outfit" or a million other phrases many of which have already been mentioned on this thread.

As for making her feel that you would want to see a picture in the future.  If this is the first time she's shown you a picture, I think it's an unkind assumption to insinuate that she would find you to show you pictures in the future.  And maybe she will and maybe it will be something that you have to address with her...when it happens.  I don't like the thought that because someone does something annoying once, that any response you give will invite them to pester you or take advantage of you or whatever in the future. 

There are people that I don't want to talk to unless I have to.  Yet, sometimes one of them will pass me in the hallway and say "Hi, how are you?"  I don't ignore them.  That would be rude.   I just say "I'm fine, thanks" and move on.  It takes two seconds out of my day, has not yet resulted in any of these people hunting me down and forcing me to have a conversation with them, and has generated enough good will that when I need something from them (which happens in work/life), I have at least enough rapport to work with them.

I'm all for setting your boundaries and sticking up for yourself, but I really really think that it's overkill to use an innocent (even if annoying) and normal interaction with another person as the match you're going to burn the relationship bridge with.  I think it makes you (generic) look unpleasant, unkind, impatient, and even rude. 


Hillia

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #95 on: January 21, 2015, 04:43:09 PM »
If your conscience is so tender that you can't go along with a social convention for the sake of absolute honesty, there have been plenty of suggestions of other things you can say. In my experience, the baby pictures don't get shown around much after the first day, especially when the first is greeted with a total lack of enthusiasm.  The excitement is gone, mom has settled back in to her routine, no one else cares and she knows it.  I doubt if one polite, conventional comment would subject you to having to look at pictures again.

whatsanenigma

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #96 on: January 21, 2015, 05:20:15 PM »
Questioned coworker looked at the picture and smiled.  To me, this is a response.  It is both complete and polite.   The New Mom's actions were obnoxious.  I wouldn't have wanted to engage her any further than a polite smile.

I agree. That's exactly what I was thinking. Especially when there were two of them and one already said something. I think a smile says a lot (or should say a lot). I think she thought she had responded adequately and wasn't refusing to say something nice, but just happened to not say something, especially given nice comments had already been made.

This is my opinion also.  It's not as though she looked at the picture, shuddered, and covered her eyes.  She smiled.  In response to a relative stranger shoving a picture in my face like that, I might likely have done the same thing, especially because someone else had used some actual words.   

I'm in the "all babies are beautiful" camp (though I fully respect the opinions of those who don't agree) and I actually love to see pictures of them, but in that situation, where I didn't know the person, and because I'm kind of shy anyway, with words coming with difficulty when strangers catch me off guard like that, I might very well have just smiled in response.  Though if she followed up with a direct question, I might have added a nod.

Also, I would have assumed that any original question about "isn't my baby adorable" was more or less rhetorical, KWIM? That she wasn't expecting a literal response of "yes" or "no", but instead, that something like "oh, you must be so proud of him" or some such thing would do.  And if that was the case, then a simple, warm smile would be more than enough of a response, I think.  Especially if you don't know the person so well and don't want to try to engage further with them.

EllenS

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #97 on: January 21, 2015, 05:24:29 PM »
She's not asking for an objective judgement on her baby's attractiveness, she's asking g for you to share, for five seconds, in her excitement and happiness.  Yes, she's overstepping, but how awful would it be to utter two words before continuing with your day.  'Very cute!' is all you need to say.  If she persists, then sure, more definite measures are called for, but why are people so determined to treat her like some sort horrible pest who's ruining their day?  Just because something Kimi s technically right doesn't mean it's kind,and this is an act of kindness that takes literally seconds and costs nothing else.

I wouldn't want to do anything that would make her think I would want to see pictures in the future.  I would be like the second co-worker - smile politely & push the phone out of my face ASAP.   And it does cost something - I don't like telling
lies
so I would have to put my own morals aside or tell her the truth - I don't find babies adorable.  Better to just keep my
mouth shut I think.

Why do you feel like you have to lie?  Just say "Congratulations" or "He's a blessing" or "Cute outfit" or a million other phrases many of which have already been mentioned on this thread.

As for making her feel that you would want to see a picture in the future.  If this is the first time she's shown you a picture, I think it's an unkind assumption to insinuate that she would find you to show you pictures in the future.  And maybe she will and maybe it will be something that you have to address with her...when it happens.  I don't like the thought that because someone does something annoying once, that any response you give will invite them to pester you or take advantage of you or whatever in the future. 

There are people that I don't want to talk to unless I have to.  Yet, sometimes one of them will pass me in the hallway and say "Hi, how are you?"  I don't ignore them.  That would be rude.   I just say "I'm fine, thanks" and move on.  It takes two seconds out of my day, has not yet resulted in any of these people hunting me down and forcing me to have a conversation with them, and has generated enough good will that when I need something from them (which happens in work/life), I have at least enough rapport to work with them.

I'm all for setting your boundaries and sticking up for yourself, but I really really think that it's overkill to use an innocent (even if annoying) and normal interaction with another person as the match you're going to burn the relationship bridge with.  I think it makes you (generic) look unpleasant, unkind, impatient, and even rude.


POD. There's a reason these interactions are called "pleasantries". Because they make life more pleasant for everyone around you.

Obviously someone who is in emotional distress/grief over a personal tragedy is not held to the same standard as people in ordinary times of life. But intentionally being unpleasant in order to demonstrate to a co-worker that you do not like them, do not like their baby, and do not wish for them to ever speak to you again?

That is not good manners, nor is it conducive to a cooperative work environment.

Surianne

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #98 on: January 21, 2015, 05:44:02 PM »
I personally don't see smiling at the photo as "intentionally being unpleasant." 


Loruaus

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #99 on: January 21, 2015, 06:32:33 PM »
This whole thread reminds me of a conversation in Discworld's Making Money between Moist Von Lipwig and Dr Hicks.

Are you interested in the theatre at all?’ he added, in a hopeful voice.

‘I go when I can,’ said Moist guardedly, because he recognized the hope.

‘You didn’t by any chance see ’Tis Pity She’s an Instructor in Unarmed Combat at the Little Theatre recently? It was put on by the Dolly Sisters Players?’

‘Uh, no, I’m afraid not.’

‘I played Sir Andrew Fartswell,’ said Dr Hicks, in case Moist was due a sudden attack of recollection.

‘Oh, that was you, was it?’ said Moist, who’d met actors before. ‘Everyone at work was talking about it!’

I’m okay just so long as he doesn’t ask which night they talked about, he thought. There’s always one night in every play when something hilariously dreadful happens. But he was fortunate; an experienced actor knows when not to push his luck.

nolechica

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #100 on: January 21, 2015, 06:41:42 PM »
To the "isn't he adorable?" I would have whipped out my phone, found a picture of my dogs & said "now this is adorable!!".
Ask me politely if I'd like to see a picture of your kid & I may agree.   Shove a picture in my face demanding I call him/her adorable?  You're probably not going to like my answer.   Sorry, not everyone thinks babies are adorable nor do they want to see pictures of babies.

nolechica, I'll look for you next time I'm hiding out from babies in the office!!

I also hide from puppies though. ;)

bah12

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #101 on: January 21, 2015, 06:44:22 PM »
We'll never know if the woman in question was being intentionally unpleasant when she chose to hand the phone back and smile vs. say something to New Mom.  Because we don't know, I would assume that she was trying her best to be pleasant and didn't intend for her actions to come across the way the OP interpreted them (i.e. Baby was not adorable and/or she had no interest in engaging with New Mom).

That being said, I also think we should assume that New Mom is just over zelous right now because she's a new mom and just returning from maternity leave and is also not intentionally trying to be unpleasant or communicate that anyone that looks at a picture of her baby wants to see millions more pictures of her baby.

Yet, I think they both could use some improvement.  New Mom for soliciting compliments and assuming others care to hear about her baby and coworker for not saying something in response.  I can give both of them a pass...their actions being understandable does not mean their responses were the best.

When would a smile be "intentionally unpleasant"?  When it is given purposely to communicate that baby is not cute, that New Mom's presence is unwanted, as a response to the assumption that New Mom will then continue to subject others to pictures of her baby, etc. 

EllenS

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #102 on: January 21, 2015, 07:12:35 PM »
I was responding specifically to HockeyNut's post - that he/she would wish to make it quite clear that NewMom's presence/conversation was unwelcome. That's intentional, and in my view, unecessarily adversarial.

Surianne

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #103 on: January 21, 2015, 07:36:36 PM »
I was responding specifically to HockeyNut's post - that he/she would wish to make it quite clear that NewMom's presence/conversation was unwelcome. That's intentional, and in my view, unecessarily adversarial.

Ah, I interpreted the post quite differently then intentionally making the coworker feel unwelcome. 

I wonder if some of us are just coming from very different workplaces.  I work in a cubicle, and my work often involves high amounts of concentration.  I'm also, unfortunately, in a workplace with a lot of women in the new baby age group.  So it's pretty frequent that someone brings in baby photos or a live baby for everyone to squeal over.  It gets pretty exhausting. 

I really like most of my coworkers, and I'm not all work all the time, but also I'm not a baby person, and sometimes I just need to get my work done.  So I do have a tendency to be pretty non-committal about baby photos and babies.  A polite smile and turning back to my work (or tea-making, if I'm in the kitchen) is often the best I can manage, especially if I'm feeling stressed, and if I do offer anything more (like a question about the baby, or a comment on how cute it is), then it turns into more baby photos or an offer to hold the baby, because I'm 32 so I *must* be so excited about the babies of my own I'm going to have any day now!

It's the same as a coworker telling me about her wedding plans, or showing off an engagement ring -- I care a little bit because my coworker is a nice person, but I really, really have zero interest in diamonds or white gowns, and I have deadlines!  So I'll do the polite smile and move on. 

I really just can't see that as rude. 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
« Reply #104 on: January 21, 2015, 08:19:49 PM »
I'm in the camp that says it's rude not to reply when someone asks you a direct question. Obviously there are exceptions - if someone asks you an extremely rude or offensive question (eg "Why are you so ugly?") it's fine to respond with Complete Silence.

In this case, the co-worker's smile mitigates her rudeness somewhat, but it still (to me) comes off as a bit dismissive. (And yes, I have no doubt that she WAS trying to dismiss New Mum, but that still doesn't make it right!).

That said, New Mum was extremely obnoxious to shove the phone in co-worker's face and demand a verbal response. And am I correct in reading the update as saying this is her fourth child? So it's not like she's "new to motherhood".


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