to feel a colleague is destroying(?) my character

(104 Posts)
bluewindowframe Thu 08-Sep-16 12:25:37

-NC but a regular - some may recognise the circumstances, if so, please do not out me-

I work in an office upstairs and generally it is me and another colleague. I have had incidents in the past which came to a head not long ago where the other colleague was basically bullying me.

I am not a shy person. I am quite outgoing and friendly.

I feel like my colleague is destroying my character. I say destroying - I am not sure what other word to use but perhaps destroying is an extreme word.

Every time I strike up a conversation, or one is struck with me from another colleague, colleague A always cuts into the conversation and takes over it. It has gotten to the point I feel there's no point in me trying to speak to people, about work or otherwise, because the conversation always gets interupted/taken over.

Example from this morning alone.

Example 1.
My line manager (not colleague A's) is going away next week. I asked where is he going and he said. Its a place in mid wales which is a tiny village. I happen to have visited there many years ago, DH spent a lot of his teen years there in a cycling club and I was talking about where is nice to go walking/visiting. Colleague A then starts talking about another place, how nice it is and how line manager should go there for a day. Line manager points out there where A is talking about is in north wales and is (according to AA route finder) actually 115 miles away.

Colleague B is upstairs. I ask has her son gone back to school yet and the conversation turns to her son's language studies. Colleague A starts talking about languages and the conversation is turned to him, excluding me, and any chance of me finishing what colleague B and I were talking about is gone.

I speak to colleague C about an IT issue I am having. Colleague C comes upstairs to try and assist. Colleague C is telling me which files etc to open and what to look for and colleague A then starts to tell colleague C how great they look and how much weight they have lost. Colleague C says thanks and corries on with what we are doing.

These are examples from being at work for 3.5 hours today.

They may seem petty but I have begun to feel like there's not a lot of point in me engaging in a conversation with anyone about anything because A always takes the overcompensation over.

I feel so fed up with it. And other than not bother having a conversation with anyone to stop A interjecting, I cant see what else I can do.

justilou Thu 08-Sep-16 12:28:24

This is very typical mansplaining. You need to interrupt and say "Well enough about you, we were discussing....." And continue as if he hadn't spoken...

SquidgyRedBall Thu 08-Sep-16 12:30:31

Some people always have to have the attention on them. I doubt it will destroy your character as others will have noticed and worked out for themselves what he is like.

WorraLiberty Thu 08-Sep-16 12:31:39

I would only have a problem with the second example tbh.

Some people are just like that. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

You can either be a bit more forceful and not allow this behaviour, or stop engaging in conversation with people.

The latter would not be an option for me.

Gizlotsmum Thu 08-Sep-16 12:32:31

Tbh honest only one of those three examples took the conversation away from you, the first one your line manager put your colleague in their place, and on the third one once your colleague was acknowledged the situation returned to how it was before...

IceRoadDucker Thu 08-Sep-16 12:33:15

Apparently this will be against the grain but it all sounds normal to me and certainly no hint at all that your character is being harmed.

I get there is history here but from these incidents alone, YABU. If you want a private conversation you don't do it in an open plan office!

VeryBitchyRestingFace Thu 08-Sep-16 12:33:48

In what way is your colleague "destroying" your character? His behaviour casts no aspersions on you whatsoever. confused

bluewindowframe Thu 08-Sep-16 13:03:16

VeryBitchyRestingFace If you read my OP I say that destroying is not the right word but I cannot think of another. I have become very quiet at work and not engaging which is not me at all. Whilst I may want to have a conversation with someone, I often don't because it gets taken away. In an open office, there is an arena for others joining in yes, totally agree, but when the conversation is then owned by someone and their behaviour starts to make you change how you are, I don't think thats a good thing.

MatildaTheCat Thu 08-Sep-16 13:09:51

Your colleague is an interrupter not out to cast a slur on your character. I've no doubt the other people all noticed. Just think of a couple of lines which bring the subject back on track. Not that much of a deal TBH.

IceRoadDucker Thu 08-Sep-16 13:09:58

But only in scenario B did this colleague (arguably) start to "own" the conversation. I just don't get why the idea of someone joining in is so horrific that you would rather never start a conversation than risk it?

Probably what's missing here is the history, where you say this person bullies you. But going on your posts alone, you're not reacting in a reasonable or rational way to their behaviour.

CapricornCalling Thu 08-Sep-16 13:10:40

OP I do sympathise - I find this sort of behaviour as you describe from your colleague very disrespectful.

bluewindowframe Thu 08-Sep-16 13:14:27

So, how can I deal with it?

This happens daily. Someone can be talking to me about my son and he will but in and take over. Sometimes, he will even ask a really unrealted question to derail the conversation.

I feel like he is destroying my character in the way I am now changing how I am with others because of his behaviour, not that he is slandering me.

I have already said my use of the word destroying is perhaps incorrect but I cannot think of a suitable alternative

bluewindowframe Thu 08-Sep-16 13:15:27

IceRoadDucker Because its constant. All the time. Even things that are nothing to do with him or he would know nothing about.

Leviticus Thu 08-Sep-16 13:20:18

Agree that they aren't actually doing anything to you and that it doesn't sound personal at all.

They are just an annoying colleague. Deal with by carrying g on as normal with your other colleagues who no doubt feel the same.

biggles50 Thu 08-Sep-16 13:32:30

It is very annoying and it's difficult to describe how you feel so describing it as destroying your character is neither here nor there. You feel deflated, are the interruptions specifically aimed at you? If so a joke with a poke could help "sorry colleague did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours? " big smile.
Try not to let it get to you. Seems like the others are aware of the situation.

bluewindowframe Thu 08-Sep-16 13:34:45

Its not personal I wouldnt say no, I just feel so fed up of it. It's making me want to withdraw from talking to people because the conversation gets taken or interrupted over anyway.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Thu 08-Sep-16 13:36:12

'Oh sorry you interrupted while I was talking. Your life must be so interesting you just can't shut the feck up.'Should do it.

bluewindowframe Thu 08-Sep-16 13:38:43

There are times I don't mind at all and he does add to the conversations but there are other times when he's done it that many times I just want to say to him "Y'know what, seeing as you know so much more about X than me, I'll let you carry on" It just strikes me as rude and is getting me down.

There are some colleagues - my line manager for instance who will cut him short but most don't and I just get sidelined.

The bullying that occurred was him trying to get on side with the team we work in and using me as cannon fodder - without my knowledge - and slagging me off with incorrect half stories to my colleagues. This in itself has made me feel very conscious of colleagues.

pinkdelight Thu 08-Sep-16 13:48:10

Honestly he just sounds chatty. It sounds like you do a fair bit of chatting, if all that was within 3.5 hours, so it sounds like the kind of workplace where people do join in with conversations. It's not like they're private chats, just general holiday, kids etc. The lost weight compliment is a very normal and nice thing to say to a person. But I guess there must be more to it if you're feeling that these are insidious. If the main problem is him interrupting, just keep talking and be brazen about it. Don't be embarrassed into butting out if you feel he's taking over. Embarrass him into butting out.

HandmaidsTail Thu 08-Sep-16 13:48:16

Just tell him to belt up! He sounds like a self-centred bore, they're everywhere. If your choices are either to be brave and tell him to wheesht, or stop interacting with everyone else at work, it's time to be brave!

BIWI Thu 08-Sep-16 13:49:13

You have to call him on it every time. The longer you let him get away with it the more he'll do it.

You can't leave it to others to stop him - you have to stop him. You don't have to be rude, but you can just point out that he's interrupting/derailing you.

pinkdelight Thu 08-Sep-16 13:50:01

Just saw your latest post. If he's actually bullying you then that's different. Did you talk to your line manager about it?

ABloodyDifficultWoman Thu 08-Sep-16 13:52:41

People like this rely on people like you never saying anything either because you don't wish to be rude or because you are intimidated.
It's really up to you. Only you can change this and you can only do this by way of your reaction to him - simple as that.

Do what others have suggested - interrupt him, sideline him, make him wait until you're finished. Do anything you have to to take the 'power' away from him. If you are unable or unwilling to do this then it will continue.
He is not destroying your character though. He might be causing you to moderate or change your behaviour and that will continue until you change the way you react to him.

bluewindowframe Thu 08-Sep-16 13:56:37

BIWI I once did say something like "Can you hang on a minute, I am talking please" to which he said "Well, actually this does concern me" and I felt like I may aswell have not bothered sticking up for myself.

JellyBelli Thu 08-Sep-16 13:57:15

If he has been talking about you behind your back with half true stories, then I dont think he's just being chatty.
He does seem to have put you on the defensive, and I think as far as tackling the problem goes, thats where you need to start.
If you could develop armour and change the way you feel about his silly behaviour it would benefit you.
I would suggest you go for CBT and assertiveness training, and they can help you practice some techniques to deal with him.

To me he sounds like a controller. I dont think I'd have too much of a problem spotting him. Fact is, people are still talking to you despite his best efforts, so dont quit.

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