Awkward coworker issue - is it any of my business to dig deeper?
July 3, 2012 6:27 AM Subscribe
We talk friendly, appropriate coworker talk about our lives, but he never talks specifically about his spouse though he's married and uses the pronoun "we" when talking about his personal life. I'm feeling awkward not asking him any other details about this part of his life, but also wonder if I should just leave it alone until he brings it up since it's really none of my business and this is a professional work environment. What to do?
posted by wannabecounselor to Human Relations (40 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My coworker, with whom I work relatively closely, has mentioned once that he's married and usually wears a wedding ring. He always talks in the pronoun "we" but never mentions his spouse by name or any details about him/her. He does frequently mention his ex-wife, two kids, by name, and gives other friendly details about his home, hobbies, etc.
I hate to make assumptions about people and consider it really none of my business since this is a professional work environment and he's a bit older than me. However since he offers other relevant details about his personal life and always uses the "we" pronoun, but avoids specific details about his spouse I am assuming his current spouse is a man and he's uncomfortable bringing this up. I feel I'm increasing awkwardness by also not really asking him more questions about this part of his life, while offering the occasional (work appropriate) details of my own (straight) marriage and spouse. I assumed he would just bring it up on his own if he felt comfortable, but now I'm worried he doesn't actually feel comfortable or he would have brought it up.
I'm erring on the side of leaving it alone because of the professional work environment/none of my business issue. But is this really ok to not ask any further questions about the person he clearly lives with and is married to and mentions daily via pronoun?