Navigating Work Relationship

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by alphabet, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. alphabet

    alphabet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    22
    Hi all,

    I really could use some outside perspective from folks. Where I work most of my co-workers are much older than me by at least a decade or sometimes several and as a result I am one of the younger people working here and also one of the few queer/LGBT folks too. A couple of months ago a new woman started who I found out is queer. I suspected when I first met her but after saying that it'd be lovely to make a new friend she mentioned her partner with she/her pronouns. Bingo!

    Anyways, we started out hanging out as couple friends, with my partner, on pretty regular basis. We probably hung out at least once a week and sometimes 2x a week. Additionally, at work we would talk for maybe 20 mins or so, sometimes we'd go grab coffee and also grabbed a drink after work.

    At the beginning of this month however she was sending off vibes indicating she didn't really wanna talk or hang out. I know her well enough to know that she is pretty shy and introverted and isn't a social butterfly. I could tell she didn't wanna chat one day when I saw her in the office so I told her hey like we don't need chat at work and can limit being friends to being outside of work (not those words per se), but I sought to check in with her about her changed behavior.

    She also had not responded to a text from a couple days ago about hanging out. Anyways, she ended up sending me some long text messages about her not being a social person and she doesn't like to be in constant communication. I apologized if I was being too social and said I'd leave it up too her. About 2 days after that I ran into her at work again and she was being very stand-offish. I asked her if we needed to check in about something. She said some stuff about just learning to tell people her boundaries and needs and recognized that in the past she struggled with making friends. She also mentioned losing a lot of her college friends and that's why she doesn't know anyone in the city anymore despite the fact many of those old friends are still here.

    Anyways, I asked her to tell me what I could do since I did want to respect her needs as a person. She said that she is a homebody and she wasn't sure if it was her personality or self-protectionism, but that she needs a lot of alone time. Then she said something about "needing space so that I can figure out how to navigate this" and that she wanted space to "be able to show up in our relationship". I said that was fine and I totally respect that. Then she said she did want to maintain a relationship and would reach out when she was ready.

    It's now been 2.5 weeks and I have respected those wishes and not contacted her at all. The part that I am struggling with is that when I do run into her in the hallway she won't make eye contact or even smile. I am doing my best to avoid interaction, which sometimes is difficult because folks at the office think we are friends.

    The other thing that is odd is that her partner still is in contact with me and we have had several good convos, and her partner even went and hung out with my partner just the two of them. My partner and I have concluded maybe her partner doesn't know since she was trying to make plans to hang out this week. Maybe it's not that complicated. I am fine with taking her need for no interaction and her initializing any future hang outs etc, but feel less comfortable with the lack of acknowledgment since we do technically work together. I would like to be cordial at work. I am hesitant to say anything though since I don't want to look like I am not respecting her wishes.

    I have never been in this particular situation either since we aren't dating and that's not on the table at all. I have concluded that we aren't friends anymore so that I keep any hope low. What do you all think?
     
    #1
  2. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    1,489
    She probably has a crush on you and is trying to just avoid you so it doesn’t get out of control painful for her. Just keep ignoring her.

    I am super introverted, but I can at least smile and say hi. I call bs in her story.
     
    #2
    Spygirl and greylin like this.
  3. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    1,058
    I kept thinking there was more going on with her than she's letting on...it's the only thing that can explain her behavior. Then I come back this morning and I see that @Bluenote said she's probably got a crush on you.

    Yep...I guess I'm not crazy in seeing what I'm seeing. I don't see how making pleasantries at work has to be difficult.

    Keep doing what you're doing.
     
    #3
  4. alphabet

    alphabet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    22
    Update!

    So this weekend we got a group text from her partner (B) who asked to hang out this week. I told her I would like to hear from (K) directly though since she had told me she wasn't I guess ready to hang out and would let me know. Anyways, B was like yeah I did ask K and she does want to hang out and I think all hanging out will clear the air.

    Later that weekend K texted me directly herself.

    Basically, she said that she didn't have the emotional capacity to hang outside of all of us together. She also said she feels a group, the 4 of us, is the most natural way to hang out and she isn't at a point where she can go deep into "life stuff" with new people. Also, apparently she spent most of her time in the past only having group friends (though she isn't friends with that group anymore from what she told me), and never felt like she needed to spend one on one time with any of those people. She apparently felt like it wasn't natural for me to ask her to hang out solo (something I did like 2x) Asked if we could hang out "naturally doing shared activities" the four of us and "go from there".

    Mentioned also that in the past she overshared about her life and decided she no longer wants to do that and that friends don't need to know the "details of her life". Kept saying she wanted things to happen naturally though I was acting natural! Honestly, feels a little controlling since she is setting the terms of everything.

    So there ya go! Allegedly, we are all suppose to have dinner later this week too. I did respond and tell her that I am sorry she misunderstood any intentions to hang solo, and that I am not really a group friend person - never had a big group of friends. I also said that I was confused since she had previously been interested in hanging out and ya know talking on a nonsuperficial level and asked for her to communicate her needs directly in the future. I also ended my message by asking if we could be cordial at work at least since I didn't know how to act around her -- she responded to my message only to say she never "meant not to be cordial" though that feels like bullshit since she wouldn't make eye contact or smile at me. Anyways, I am planning on still avoiding her as much as possible. I am not sure how dinner will go...my partner has almost no interest in being her friend at this point either. Hard because we like B a lot and both of us want to be friends with B. Not sure how we could do that though....
     
    #4
  5. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    1,489
    Honestly, she sounds like a fucking headcase. She’s over thinking every little thing and turning it into this huge drama.

    The obviously awkward bit is you work with her.

    I say give one more chance at this group hangout stuff. If she keeps being weird and or demanding after that, I would pull back from being friends with her at all Unfortunately, that means her partner too probably. If that happens just tell her that things are obviously not natural between you 4 and you want to take a step back and just be cordial coworkers.
     
    #5
    Nancy likes this.
  6. alphabet

    alphabet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    22
    True @Bluenote.

    After I posted that B actually reached out to me and tried to offer insight into what K was thinking or feeling. It was nice to actually hear B affirm what I was feeling and acknowledge that yeah K is definitely dictating the terms of everything and that is not fair. It was interesting cause B was really trying to make the case that K needs a lot of time to warm up to people and build trust. She also said that K is very easily overwhelmed by emotions/energies and is currently stressed about stuff in her life and that's probably one of the reasons she isn't at her best and being more selfish.

    So I mean I think it was nice of B to do that, and I felt I guess better about the situation. But, we'll see. Def very difficult person to get to know.
     
    #6
  7. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    963
    I would sanitize my interactions with her and journal everything that has transpired. I had once thought that a bad working relationship was hurtful but this is actually worse. You were friends and...I think she caught a vibe the same time you did when you thought that outing felt like a date. She took the "I am not doing this thing" to eleven. But, at the same time, some people do treat their workplace as a sacred, no vibe to be had place. She should be cordial nonetheless and not cold at work and still expected couple dates with you and your partner. If you get uncomfortable meeting her and her partner outside of work, don't. I do hope you guys cleared it up. But I have a feeling, the more explanations that go on among all four of you, the worse it could get.
     
    #7

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice