Guy at work ignoring me
CAT3107 - Sep 6 2015 at 23:18
A guy at work who I used to be good friends with started ignoring me around 4 months agonfor no apparent reason. I've been racking my brains trying to think if I may have done or said something to annoy or hurt him but I genuinely cant think of a single thing that would warrant this kind of behaviour. It is making me nervous about going to work as he can be quite rude - cutting across me when I talk, leaving me out of conversations, acting as if I'm not there etc. He is friends with the same collegues that I am friends with so this makes it difficult for them to syand up for me as they don't want to take sides. I feel as if I'm being left out because they go to chat woth him and I can't join in because I'll be ignored.
I've considered talking to him about it but I feel he is the type of person that would deny ignoring me at all and making me out to be crazy or something. If we hadn't been good friends before I wouldn't be bothering woth him but I genuinely miss him as a friend and want to go back to the way we were. His behaviour is really getting me down and makes me feel insecure. Why would someone ignore another person for no reason? Why would a man in his late twenties go to such lengths to ignore a girl? How can I get him to behave like he used to and be my friend again? Please help!!!
There's good friends and there's true friends but a true friend wouldn't treat you the way you are being treated by this guy. Sure, you may have been 'good' friends with him in the past, but if he was any sort of a person, he would have spoken to you if there was an issue, which he felt, jeopardized your friendship together.
The fact that he hasn't spoken to you about it and the fact that he attempts to ostracize you in the work place should tell you what he's really made of. Ask yourself if you really need this (insecure and manipulative) guy in his late twenties to be your friend. Why would you want to be friends with him when his actions towards you are causing you anxiety and stress?
I am totally new to this forum and not yet sure I should give my opinion ( have probs of my own!), but I feel that you should treat his behaviour like that of a naughty child, and just ignore it and him. Who knows what is going on in his brain? But if you let this affect you on this very basic level, then he is in total control. This is your life and work.Don't be bullied on any level, be it overt or tacit. If he sees fit to treat you like this, consider it a lucky break to realize sooner rather than later. Rise above this silly display of whatever it is he thinks he IS displaying, and you will grow in self confidence and experience and leave his silliness far behind. Good luck.
"I've been racking my brains trying to think if I may have done or said something to annoy or hurt him but I genuinely cant think of a single thing that would warrant this kind of behaviour"
Granted, NO, NOTHING warrants his behaviour. But I suspect I know where it's coming from because it's all too common:
He is NOT your friend nor ever was. He was friend-LY. And that was purely because he fancied you and wanted you as his girlfriend. Clearly things didn't pan out that way, meaning, now he's resentful out of a sense of having been rejected by you.
He daren't obviously broach the issue with you because that could be humiliating, to-boot.
In order for this horrid set of affairs to stop, you have to - WHAT NOW? Be extra-extra nice to him and chase after him... possibly even concede, in a tacit way, to the idea of becoming his - WHAT NOW?
I wouldn't (ugh). But that's what his game is.
Unfortunately for him, his tactic contravenes workplace conduct - specifically harassment. Being cold-shouldered, etc., is a form of harassment. This means you could constructively dismiss yourself followed by taking your company to a tribunal (all witnesses - of which you have plenty - subpoenaed). However, first you have to have reported the untenable situation to your immediate manager. If nothing improves, you put your complaint/plea for help in writing, making clear reference to the prior verbal complaint and copying the letter to his superior (and keeping one for yourself).
However, I'd recommend, as a baby-step, you first inform this colleague of your intended actions and potential consequences for him. (You can do this privately or when one friendly and unbiased witness is present.) After all, I'm sure no good employer would approve were he to know that one of his staff members were being bullied on what sounds like a daily basis (be that overtly or passive-aggressively) and to the extent where already she is experiencing ongoing anxiety at the thought of going into work.
Try this speech:
I'll begin by saying, I'm not interested in any denials, should that be your inclination, because I have eyes and ears and am not stupid, but you should know that I am not going to tolerate this cold-shouldering from you for one more minute. If you neither simply cease, starting right now, nor attempt to resolve whatever issue it is you all-too-evidently have with me then I will be forced to take the problem higher to the formal domain. I'm sure you wouldn't like that blight on your career record so, would you like to contain it to a discussion between you and I only, this coming lunch-hour, or, what?
That ought to do it because the guy is obviously a Yellow-back.
Than you for all your replies - they've been very helpful and thought provoking! I started trying to rise above it today at work and basically ignoring his behaviour as suggested. He actually spoke to me today for the first time in a long while - maybe he could tell I wasn't letting his behaviour effect me any more. I am going to try and be civilised with him from now on - just to make my work day a little bit more bareable - i think if I was to make a point of ignoring him back it would just stress me out even further as its not in my nature to do so. If he reverts back to ignoring me I think I will have to mention something to my supervisor.
The only conflicting issue I have now is whether or not to try to get the friendship we had back on track. I do really miss him as a friend as I had a lot more in common with him than with my other co-workers. But am I being too lenient? Will he just start ignoring me again in a few days? I still find it hard to believe a guy of his age would act like this! Interesting point made about him maybe fancying me - he never once asked me out or anything so why would he think I was rejecting him? Its like he has made up a reason in his head why he should ignore me which is really unfair! Its also really sad if he never saw me as a friend at all - I feel a bit betrayed about this. Why would a grown man act so conniving? If he liked me wouldnt it be better just to be nice and ask me out? I've never rejected him (even though I definately would now!) but I have to take the blame as if I have - not fair! I'm so confused as to how to proceed with him! Ideally I'd like us to go back to the way we were 6 months ago - but is this at all realistic now? Is he just a crappy person deep down? Any advice how I should proceed?
Hi. First of all - you're doing great. It sounds as though you have done exactly the right thing by not letting him get to you. Being civil and not showing any reaction to his behaviour is by far the best course. The hard part is to keep this going. I understand that you miss him as a friend, but ask yourself - if he really was a friend, would he treat you like this? And if he does fancy you - well - do you really see yourself having a relationship with someone who displays such childish tendencies? It sounds very like a tantrum to me. You are worth so much more than this. Be strong. Don't be manipulated. If needs be, note down the date and times of any nasty behaviour to you. If you ever do need to approach a supervisor, this will be invaluable. It seems as though he has his own problems (even if that is just being spoilt brat) but don't take them on as your problems. Be the person you know you are, and don't drag yourself down to someone else's level. Let us know how you get on. xx
A (cough!) man doesn't have to overtly verbally ask you out nor you to have formally said no, to gain a sense of rejection. He can just choose to read your acceptance of his seeming hand of friendship as your return-tacit acknowledgement and reciprocity of his 'deeper' feelings and ultimate objective (which is to gain steady, seamless access to your heart or knickers).
Saying that, with some types, you realising or being equally willing doesn't even have to feature if, say, the whole point of his furtive, unspoken campaign/avoidance of the overt is to avoid a bruised ego in the first place - usually because he's already suffered knock-back(s) by someone(s) else in the run-up, meaning, hypersensitivity on his part towards ending up rejected yet again. Thus it would be all too easy to do so without even having realised he was into you, for example, by happening to have at some point(s) during the new "friendship" confided in him or even merely mentioned about how you fancied some other man (like you would feel at perfect liberty to do with a pure friend), or simply having failed to take the compliments-fishing bait. BAM! - he feels terrible all over again which is now "YOUR fault". (Not.)
Yes, it would be more intelligent to be nice and ask you out straight, but that way lies the possibility of getting the very indisputable knock-back he's hell-bent on avoiding.
So 'replay the tapes' in your mind to see whether in hindsight there were any subtle clues or indicators.
If you really can't see any then the only other conclusions I could come to would be:
a) Someone else in the company, some jealous and/or trouble-making colleague, had whispered in his ear that you'd said this/that nasty or unflattering thing about him?
b) Alternatively, either you're not very practised at picking up subtle clues and signals or he goes so OTT with his cloak-and-dagger approach style that NO-ONE would have an inkling on where he was coming from and what he was up to.
Impossible to say from here. ALTHOUGH, were A the case then I doubt very much your suddenly turning the tables by being seen to rise above it or simply having newly exuded a switch in attitude that, vibe-wise, he'd managed to pick up on would have had him giving you his attention all over again; he'd stay mad at you, regardless, you'd have thought. So I stand by my original theory.
I don't agree that passivity is any kind of solution, however, whether next time (if there is one) or in the future, certainly not beyond the time it takes to get a handle on what's occurring. Bullies (of which there are many forms and motivators) completely rely on the victim's silence and inactivity/downright paralysis in order that they'll get away with it. However, in the commercial world (in fact, as well the social nowadays) there are mechanisms in place to ensure no-one has to remain anyone's unwilling victim for longer than necessary. Passivity/paralysis belongs to the powerless, whereas in reality there are no such things as victims bar the mentally/physically impaired (including the elderly) and children. Dependents, in other words.
Agree he's being an hyper-thin-skinned, insecure and manipulative baby/brat, though, and secretly keeping a daily diary of behaviour/verbal exchanges is also an excellent tip, so if this ever happens again then at least you now know exactly where you stand legally, what to do and in what order.
Thanks to everyone for replying to this - its cleared a lot of issues out in my mind and I'm feeling much better about the situation. I think I was blaming myself for his attitude - assuming I'd done something horrible even though I hadn't a clue what. I had put the blame entirely on myself without thinking that maybe I was just a blameless victim of this guy's insecurities and immaturity. I must admit that I suspected that he liked me and I had some feelings towards him when we first met but after a few months and he hadn't made a move I presumed he didn't so I settled for friendship. Think I had a lucky escape there!
Its a good point also about him changing back and forth and reacting to my change of attitude so quickly. When we go out for staff nights out and he gets a little drunk, he seems to forget that he is ignoring me and is back to his usual self and also a couple of times he has broken his ignoring behaviour when we are alone together ( which is very rarely these days). I know for a fact that the only time I have talked negatively about him to anyone else is after and in reaction to his ignoring me and him cutting across me, belittling me and when he is mean to me. In fact there was a time where I was the only one at work who would stand up for him (some of the staff dislike him as he can come across as arrogant and aloof because he is quite shy). I must say that although I used to be able to see beyond this when he and I were friends, I'm more inclined to agree with them now. I also think that if we hadnt been friends( or what I took as to be a friendship on my part) I probably wouldnt be so lenient on him so maybe I need to take the friendship out of the equation and look at it from a professional point of view i.e. That I'm being ignores by a collegue which is unprofrssional behaviour.
I am going to keep strong and try to keep up with my indifferent and civil behaviour towards him, ignore his ignoring of me, kill him with my usual kindness and try to enjoy my time with my other collegues who are nice to me. I'll try not to let him get to me and hope that things will get easier. It is hard being singled out and treated differently to all of my friends at work by him but I'll just have to grin and bear it. I think I also have to be more assertive and not let the fact that he is talking to my friends stop me from joining in as well. Why should I lose out on time with them because of him. What a horrible mess he's made for me without me deserving it at all!!! Argh!!
Wish me luck and I'll update if things get better/worse/remain the same.
It needn't be that he wasn't/didn't EVER intend friendship and that you have to feel betrayed per se, or that, with time, won't climb back down from his tree and revert to his normal, better behaved or even much-improved self. It could be simply that he allowed himself to grow too quickly attached to you and/or misread your own intentions (because you were being far nicer to him than anyone else there, begging the question WHY?), but by doing so, including feeling at liberty to 'exact revenge' on you in this- what is a form of male petulance belonging more to the boyfriend/girlfriend domain (think about it), has made a return to pure friends rather too difficult for a while?
Also, none of this need to have been on the conscious level for him. He might have kidded himself he fancied you (to justify/make sense of the otherwise-confusingly huge sense of gratitude) or equally might have fancied you (because you're too alluring to settle for mere friendship with) but kidded himself it was friendship he was seeking because he didn't think he was sufficiently in your league?
Sometimes becoming a woman's "friend" is a witting 'cruising' ploy of the 'sidling up' variety, sometimes it's under their own radar, meaning they're as much a victim of their psyche as you. But what is certain is that his behaviour reflects significant inner confusion resulting from a conflict between two equally vying needs - that of hankering after friendship just as badly as a romantic connection and letting the product of that internal battle leak out into the open where you get to feel its effect. Additionally, now that, lately, romance seemingly is distinctly out-of-bounds he might newly be trying to COMPETE with you in order to secure 'summa what you've got' so that he can fly 'popularity solo' (hence what has now basically become a competition for airplay and these colleagues' attention and approval)?
To give him the benefit of the doubt, he's probably just one VERY confused individual right now, which explains his intermittent, 'forgetting' to keep up the cold-shouldering act that you describe.
Time will tell on that 'either/or cocktail' score. But if time doesn't produce a winding-down towards cessation within any reasonable time-frame - THROW THE BOOK AT HIM! You're not there to be someone's issue puking-vessel or teething ring. You're there to work and further your career, with any camaraderie just a BONUS.
The alternative is to have fun with it and take the right royal p*ss out of him whenever he gets like that so that/until he takes a long, hard look at himself and realises what a silly tw*t he's being. (If you want some choice and very funny pee-taking statements to fore-arm yourself with, just ask.)
Regardless, I'd have thought becoming friends with a colleague, i.e. letting them closer-up to you than the norm, would demand LESS lenience, not more?
Whatever/whichever, what with your PALPABLE return to a more sassily confident self, I doubt very much you'll even NEED luck. :-) And probably, all you need blame yourself for is being TOO GORGEOUS! LOL But yes, do keep us posted.
So I might be being overly sensitive about this but this is the latest with this guy ignoring me.
Ive been acting just normal and nice with him over the last week - just being civil and basically ignoring the ignoring and acting as if nothing is wrong. And so he is now being nice to me again - but maybe too nice? Its making me a little uneasy. He is now going out of his way to say hi to me, calling my name across the corridor just to say goodbye when i'm leaving, making an effort to join in every conversation I have. Never seen such a quick turn around! It may be me being negative but I dont know what to do about it! I just can't trust that he will revert back to ignoring just as quick as he stopped! Is he being sarcastic? Im nervous that he isnt being genuine because i'm never sure what attitude I will get from him one day to the next! I'm starting to wonder if I'm doing something wrong to make him behave like this without me realising it! Or should I just get over myself and be thankful that he is no longer ignoring me and just get on with it. I think im just nervous that it will happen again!
"And so he is now being nice to me again - but maybe too nice? Its making me a little uneasy."
LOL, this guy's like a hi-fi system with a dicky volume knob whereby you turn it only slightly left, and it's too quiet, so you turn it one notch higher than it's original starting position, and suddenly it's too loud! (You know what causes that, don't you? LOOSE WIRING CONNECTION!)
But what ISN'T funny is the message that I'm vicariously getting through you: Be my girlfriend/best bud or 'the puppy (any warmth or civility between us) gets it!'.
Maybe the puppy's going to have to go bye-byes? :-(