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To feel like I am being deliberately sidelined

(12 Posts)
WhereDoesThisRoadGo Fri 24-Feb-17 23:16:42

I am going to write this without trying to out myself, so forgive me if this doesn't make sense.

I am in a job that involves really close contact 24/7 with colleagues. It is tough at times but most relationships are good enough albeit not real 'friends' apart from 1 or 2. When we are not working, I participate in the work art club with seasoned and very experienced artists, in some cases top in their field. Whilst I have dabbled for a few years, I am certainly not good. Just keen. It is more just a hobby to me, but I have become more determined to get as good as I can be while I am in the environment that allows me so much chance to learn from the best. However, there are a few people that I go with who were friendly enough to start with but have now made it quite clear they do not like me and would rather I was not a part of their group. I have felt this is the case for a few months, but had hoped me turning up every week and showing them I was trying my best would make them see me differently. But it seems to have got worse and today it was made quite clear through their mannerisms, ignoring anything I said and a couple of knowing smiles between them that I am not 'one of them'. Their behaviour brings me back to 20 years ago when I was in school dealing with bitchy teenagers who were nasty for the sake of it. It is a bit upseeltting, but mostly confusing.

Now for the question. Am I being deliberately sidelined by these people? Is that something people do just because? Or am I being paranoid? As far as I know I haven't done anything wrong other than just not being as good as them. I am feeling stressed in my job and being here all day every day with little rest is tough, so it could be that. But I would be interested to know your thoughts. And what would you do about it? I don't want to give up my art club, but don't want to end up hating it because I feel isolated.

PuddleJumper01 Fri 24-Feb-17 23:24:27

For me, it's not clear enough from you post what you mean.... I'm not trying to second-guess you to make you out yourself, but I can't think of a work scenario where all your colleagues are in an art class and all brilliant unless you work in a gallery or something.

So I'm answering your post without really understanding it. But if ever I have difficulties with work relationships (which I have majorly had), the way I deal with it is to just be as professional as possible, and think "work's work, and social is social" and keep those lines as distinctly drawn as possible, because work colleagues don't have to LIKE you, they just have to get on with you enough to get the job done. and I've ALWAYS found that giving out 'not caring, but doing the job well' is helpful.
I'm not sure how this fits in with working 24/7 and art clubs, so sorry if this isn't helpful, and hope someone better comes along for you.

Witchend Fri 24-Feb-17 23:40:05

Are you on an oil rig or something? Can't imagine 24/7 contact with colleagues.

WhereDoesThisRoadGo Sat 25-Feb-17 00:07:47

Sorry, Puddle, I struggled to write this post without saying too much that I shouldn't but I appreciate your reaponse. I agree totally with your notion of keeping work and social separate. I used to be very good at that in my old job, but in this environment where everyone is always near, the linea do blur. You have alerted me to the right way for me though so I will do what I can to give off my old 'I don't care but I am nailing my work' vibes.

PuddleJumper01 Sat 25-Feb-17 00:22:44

are you in the armed forces?

ChasedByBees Sat 25-Feb-17 00:36:47

I was guessing one of those careers or a boarding school, but it doesn't really matter, the situation is as the OP describes and she doesn't want to be outing.

OP, is everyone in the class like this? Whilst they're colleagues, do you need to work with these particular ones on a close day to day basis?

None of us can say if you're paranoid or if they are sidelining you, but if there's any opportunity to do things outside of the workplace, I'd explore that and leave the group. Space may do you good particularly as you say you're feeling stressed and need rest.

SoleBizzz Sat 25-Feb-17 00:38:53

Our gut feelings are very rarely wrong.

HallowedMimic Sat 25-Feb-17 00:55:50

What are they like outside of the art class?

Is there a tutor, or is it more of a 'coming together to work with one another' thing?

If only a few of the people in the class are behaving that way, they are just not worth bothering with. Get there under your own steam, and focus on your work.

If it's the entire class, I'd probably quit.

gleam Sat 25-Feb-17 01:06:54

I'd keep on going, if you can stand it. Just focus on your own work. The opportunity to learn from top artists is brilliant.

Is it possible to sit with some of the nicer ones? I take it there are nicer ones?

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 25-Feb-17 01:12:06

OK - is it the whole class that is shunning you, or just a particular small group, and is that small group all people you work with directly?

Is their apparent dislike confined to the art class, or does it spill over into your working life?

If it's just the art class, then I have to agree, just resort to professionalism at all times. It may be that they think they are somehow "better" than you just because they have greater skill in the art arena, but they're showing how low class they are by resorting to playground behaviour. Rise above it.

If it's affecting your working environment though, then that might need slightly different handling.

As to why it's happened, the only thing (apart from total puerility) that I can think of is that you might have been asking them for hints and tips, or hanging over their work and saying things like "I wish I could do that" - it might have become a little annoying for them IF you did that. But if you didn't, then they're just being puerile.

If you enjoy the class and can cope without the social interaction then keep going - but if the social issue is spoiling the class for you, then I'd be tempted to find something else to do.

WhereDoesThisRoadGo Sat 25-Feb-17 20:11:49

ChasedByBees - sadly, there is no way to participate in my hobbies where I am unless I do it through work. Some of the people are those I also work closely with, others I only know to say hello to. The bad group are a mix of that group.

WhereDoesThisRoadGo Sat 25-Feb-17 20:20:47

Thanks everyone else. I think I will keep going but do so independently of others. Perhaps I have asked too many questions - I am keen afterall. But they have also offered me tips more often than not. I can deal without the social side of attending and go just for the experience, it is just a shame it has to be this way. There are a few that say hello at least, but I don't see them at work. I am pleased people don't think I sound crazy for asking this though. Thanks everyone.

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