Work dilemma-how do you not take things personally?

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  1. I'm having a major problem and it's making me feel like I want to quit my job.

    Seems like everytime I speak or ask questions, the colleague I assist has a major problem with it. She immediatly jumps on the first thing she disagrees with or if I've inadvertently said something wrong. She is quick to correct me like I've done the worst thing in the world when materially, I have'nt.

    Sometimes when I'm speaking to her, she turns away before I've finished my sentance.

    She never shows appreciation for the assistance I give her. I'm getting sick of: "you should have did this, you should have did that..." even when I don't think it's entirely my fault.

    On one hand she says I can ask her any questions, and on the other she dismisses me like I should know the answer already. Then when I think for myself (ie, not bother her with what I think are silly questions), I get grilled for not asking her first. So now I'm too afraid to say anything to her.

    She's nicer to everyone else. In fact, I thought she was a lovely person until I started working with her.

    Now I know I'm sounding like a crybaby but it's really affecting my morale. I seize up whenever she attacks me or dimisses me. I think she's trying to teach me but I just feel awful at the end of the day. I'm starting to hate going to work.

    How do I learn not to take things personally? It's important that I get along with her so I can enjoy my job and further my career down the track. Please help!
  2. She sounds like a totally jealous and insecure woman. I would have a private conversation with her about this. Don´t accuse, just ask; what is going on.
  3. ^The thing is that she has absolutly no reason to be jealous or insecure. I'm trying to learn to be as successful as her.

    Gosh, I think I'm terrified of confronting her.
  4. ^^^ Maybe she doesn't want you to be as successful as her.
  5. Think

    Water off a duck's back, water off a duck's back.

    She may be nice to colleagues in front of your fact, but she might be just as nasty in private to them.

    There probably are some control issues. Also, would you be any threat to her job?
  6. It sounds like "mobbing" to me, I'd speak to a supervisor.
  7. i wrote a long answer my baby just erased....

    anyways, the essence was that sensitivity at work doesnt pay - I reckon that may be her style and so confronting her may in the worst case offend her. in the best case she may change but it is unlikely.

    my parents used to hire people and my father is just not the emotional type at work - to the point and not a second longer than necessary.... it is work and very unlikely would he ever express lengthy appreciation (but then that isn't is style so...). i have only had one boss who did express appreciation for everything but this was in a motivational, emotional and pyschological type of work setting.

    also, you never know where she may get you - if she is that successful she may help you down the line. and if she really is afraid you may be more successful - well, just learn what you can and move on. if you want to be up the ladder there will always be someone who wants to pull you down. I reckon the more thick-skinned you get the better (and fast!).

    why don't you give this a try: instead of feeling put down why not just smile and tell her you will remember for next time. it may take the wind out of her sails... you never know. at least you may feel better. I think there isn't one recipe how you can not let it get to you - it takes time.

    oh, I meant to say that I would only confront her if you feel it will get your somewhere. I always hesitate to come across as too emotional (in any direction) because it is very difficult to reverse impressions people have of you. I realise a lot of people may disagree but I reckon that very few people will really pay consideration. also, if she really has an issue, she won't tell you and if she did what would you say? don't worry I don't want your job etc - ... ???

    but hey, just my experience.
  8. I agree with a private conversation first before going to a supervisor. Just ask her if you've done something to offend her. When she asks why tell her what you've observed and let her know how that makes you feel. Tell her you won't stand for it and why. Appeal to her feelings (ask her "I'm sorry, have I done something to hurt you? Am I a pain to work with?") Be firm but not overly agressive. IMO, with these things just keeping quiet and silently hating will only make things worse or not solve it. You don't want to just "deal" with it and let the issue fester. Truth and honesty (but tactfully done) can salvage a relationship. Maybe you'll find out she feels insecure. Share with her your true feelings and she will most likely see you in a different light.
  9. you said she's a colleague, so i assume you're not stuck to working with her and helping her out. i'd talk to your supervisor and assist someone else.

    i don't think confronting her is going to get you anywhere.

    think about it. if she feels like you're threat, you think she's going to tell you that and give you the chance to tell her how you're just trying to learn and not displace her and then end the conversation singing kumbaya?

    i don't think so.

    If she says well, i think your work is terrible blah blah blah, it's a conversation that's going downhill because if you defend yourself you're being defensive and unable to take feedback. if you don't defend yourself, you're admitting you do bad work.

    in the workplace, talking to your supeior or colleague rarely solves problems ulness it's harassment or illegal behavior. IMO. people feel how they feel about you and you talking to them will unlikely change how they feel about you.

    if you are stuck working with her. for every project and every step, ask her how she would like you to proceed. raw and outline and discuss the outline together. which steps she wants you to check in with her. ask her exactly how she would like you to handle it. if she says you're asking too many questions, tell her very nicely, i believe you wanted me to check in with you before proceeding. she will either shut up or say NO i wanted you to take care of it. then you just say OK. and there and then, ask her so would you like me to take care of the next step as well?

    if she gets irrate with you just say she's sending mixed signals and it's not clear when she wants you to check in and when she wants you to take care of things.

    all you can do at work IMO is to handle the situation, not change the person's opinion. way too hard!

    good luck!
  10. I have worked with many difficult people, but I have "thick skin" so I have always been able to ignore, ignore, ignore. My advice to you would be this, the next time you ask her something and she makes you feel as though what you are asking her is a "silly" question say something like "I don't mean to be a bother, I just want to confirm this is the right thing" or something along those lines. This way she will see that you have noticed her attitude when you ask things.
  11. Thanks everyone. Lara0112, I think you're spot on with my colleague.

    She's a smart woman and deep down she can be a wonderful person-but just "not nice" to work with. I presume that she intends to do the right thing but I am a sensitive person and it irks me how she has to complain about everything on principle.

    And also-she's 6 months pregnant - I initally did'nt want to throw that in my orginal post because the crux of my problem is that I'm too sensitive.

    I don't want to defend myself or confront her because they are the wrong battles to pick. It would make the situation more akward because it will only prove is that I'm too emotional and making excuses.

    I don't want to suck up to her either. She can detect sarcasm or insincerity like radar. It feels like I'm sucking a lemon whenever I try to nip her complaining in the bud by saying: "Yes, you are right. Will remember going forward..." I say this more than three times a day! (And no, I'm not repeating mistakes either!)
  12. Emmakins, I am in the same situation with someone I work with. Rather than treating me as an equal, he's dismissive, condescending and terse. I just steer clear of him (which is actually hard, because we often have to work together on a project).
  13. This is EXCELLENT advice.
  14. ITA to just smile and say you'll remember that [whatever she says] for next time. Great advice from lara! Doing this acknowledges what she said, plus also shows you aren't going to be intimidated by her or play their silly games. You need to rise above the BS and stay professional.

    Sure, if it bugs you way deep down, displaying that type of emotion at work is not a good idea. You can always vent to a good friend outside of work for that.