Diplomatic speak for "No, I don't want to be friends with you"?
February 28, 2013 7:01 AM Subscribe
Glenda thinks because we met up a few times outside work, we can now be besties. Problem is, this time spent together made me realize Glenda is not someone I want to be friends with.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (28 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I work with a woman, let's call her Glenda. Being the new person in the office, I hung out with her a few times outside work. We had some things in common, and it was okay, but as I was getting to know her, I found her company more and more irritating.
So I gradually decreased my outside contacts with her, trying to limit our interactions to workplace-related things, hoping she would get the hint. Unfortunately, she now wants to have The Talk about why am I avoiding her.
How do I handle this? What I *really* would like to say is, "Look, you're whiny, clingy, negative, and overbearing, and go away." While saying this it would make me feel better, it's not particularly constructive.
Another option would be to try for pragmatic, constructive feedback, and say "Look, you butt into other people's conversations all the time; talk over people; answer questions directed to other people when you weren't even in the conversation to start with and the question is in their domain of expertise not yours; almost trip over yourself just to say something first even though it's not relevant. All this can look like a lack of respect for others and can be pretty annoying." However, this still sounds fairly mean, and I just don't know if there's any point in bringing it up. On the other hand, she did ask for an explanation.
Or you could go into total professional denial, "I'm sorry, I don't think I have time tomorrow. Problems? What problems?" While this might be best given that we have to work together, I'm not completely convinced, since people generally know when Things Are Not Okay Even Though You Say They Are.
So how can I handle this situation in an ethical and decent way? Is there a way to say "Sorry, it seems our personalities are not a good match; let's just keep things professional? Also, stop being so annoying!" Okay, kidding about the last sentence, but is there a way to say this *without* saying it?