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To have told this employee off. I feel rather bad!

(126 Posts)
Ilooklikeellendegeneres Mon 06-Mar-17 23:12:39

Name changed.

I really liked her but didnt know if there was anything wrong with her behaviour or not.

She's a single mum and openly said being a single mum is really hard and she'd never have had her son if she'd known what it was like.
This upset a few mums at work.

She explained how she never loved her sons dad but got pregnant to be happy as she was in Foster care her whole life and just wanted to be loved.

She admits all her mistakes at work. Openly discusses all the mistakes she's made in life in general actually!

Openly discusses who she fancies, her weekend plans, how she cheated in her exams at school, how she hates reports and thinks the new i.t system is a joke, how the computers are too old and we need iMacs, the manager across the road is grumpy, the manager across the hallway is really friendly, the coffee we use is disgusting etc etc etc.

Basically, whatever is in her head she speaks. She doesn't complain as she equally gives her opinion on positive and well as negative stuff. It's just whatever she is thinking she speaks.

Considering her life experiences to have achieved what she has in life is nothing short of incredible so she's obviously a formidable woman with a lot of drive and intelligence

She is a kind person. Always interested in how people's day has gone and making sure everyone is okay. She quite humorous as well and to be honest is well liked.

But she did seem to be leading herself up to be the cause of conflict as people were hearing back what she said about them or people were taking something the wrong way. It's also better not to give your opinion on absolutely everything and the constant speaking exactly what was in her mind was rather irritating.

Not everything needs to be said out loud.

So anyway, I had a quick discussion with her about it and just said can you not give your opinion on everything that is discussed. That she's a popular member of the team but could choose when is appropriate to join conversations and verbalise her thoughts.

Now she's just completely silent and I feel awful. She's not said a word since and that was two weeks ago. She's not in a mood, she's been friendly to everyone but just hasn't spoken.

I'm thinking of telling her that actually, I was just in a bad mood and she's fine, go back to the way she was as I just feel terrible.

I did feel something needed to be said but I know she's had rejection after rejection in her life and also never really been told how to socialise. I've been a grade A idiot haven't I?

ExhaustedPigeon Mon 06-Mar-17 23:18:54

I feel for you both - you were trying to help and she is probably unsure what is and isn't ok. We have a girl like this at work and we would joke about how she had no filter - with her not maliciously, she uses the term about herself. When she was getting a bit much we would say 'oi, X, filter!' She would laugh and graciously get the point.

joangray38 Mon 06-Mar-17 23:18:55

No what she said was thoughtless and she sounds as though she massively over shares her life with you and your colleagues .

ThreeFish Mon 06-Mar-17 23:29:43

No, I don't think you've been an idiot. She has gone too far the other way, but needs to learn her social filter.

PunjanaTea Mon 06-Mar-17 23:29:43

No you haven't been an idiot. It will only help her to have it pointed out that she needs to self-edit. You do say it was a quick discussion, could you follow-up when you have more time to discuss why she has has gone to the other extreme, and be clearer about the which topics of conversation were your main concern. I'd mostly stick to the workplace relevant stuff like talking about colleagues.

sonyaya Mon 06-Mar-17 23:31:48

I feel for her but you have to be fair to all of your employees and if she is upsetting them, you were right to mention it.

TheWitTank Mon 06-Mar-17 23:41:15

I feel a bit bad for her -I bet her feelings are hurt. I don't think you did the wrong thing, but it sounds like she is a nice person who tries her hardest and has unintentionally over shared. I would speak to her again and check she is ok and encourage her to take part in work related discussion as her input is valued and appreciated. YWNBU.

Ilooklikeellendegeneres Mon 06-Mar-17 23:43:13

We do have a relaxed atmosphere in our office. She's had two previous managers who I know personally who have said nothing but positive words about her and how professional she is.

I think she really likes us in this team so was showing off a lot.

I think she just wanted to fit in.

She obviously now feels as if we dislike her and are irritated by her, which was not my intention. She's a popular member of the team and a very good worker.

RiverTamFan Mon 06-Mar-17 23:45:18

You haven't been a idiot and I suspect, long term, you've done her a favour. Eventually someone would have seriously taken the hump.

However she has clearly overshot. The things she said were inappropriate, the fact she is barely talking shows two things 1) she wants to fit in and get along and 2) she genuinely doesn't know where the social lines are so she's taking the safest approach!

I do think you should talk to her again but that it should be about what it is wise to say in an office environment. Small steps! Poor impulse control can be Aspergers or ADHD (often women don't present as hyperactive & her deep interest in people would fit). Try and point out why you don't say certain things, it may just be that she never learned because she never had the environment to learn it from. Might want to make sure she knows you haven't been mortally offended either! Remember: it looks like she can't read social cues.

Ilooklikeellendegeneres Mon 06-Mar-17 23:46:14

I did feel something needed to be said. I also suspected the over sharing was partly for attention and she knew exactly what she was doing.

I don't think she genuinely over shares. It's a conscious decision.

TheWitTank Mon 06-Mar-17 23:48:32

Definitely catch up with her again. She sounds like somebody who would be hard to replace and whose work is valued and staff like this are fairly thin on the ground (worked in recruitment for a long time!). I can understand why she is hurt -nobody likes criticism and I imagine she is embarrassed and feels a bit shit. I would affirm that she is very much part of the team and you would like her input on work related topics.

PuddleJumper01 Mon 06-Mar-17 23:53:00

RiverTam I think you're WAY overstepping to suggest Aspergers or ADHD, and I think your suggestion she might be will be upsetting for others to read.

I think the fact she was brought up by foster carers is the most significant thing, because I have been a foster carer. They vary. There is often a lot of change.

OP, please take her out for a coffee and 'love bomb' her with all her good points. But warn her not to over-share.

You haven't done a bad thing and I'm sure you can turn this around.

She sounds lovely! Please tell her that a random on the internet thinks she sounds great!!!!

myoriginal3 Mon 06-Mar-17 23:54:46

You have basically assassinated her character. She won't know what to say or when. Very sad really.

Can you tell I'm just like her?

RiverTamFan Mon 06-Mar-17 23:57:53

Biggest thing you see on ADHD groups for adults is people cursing having put their foot in it yet again. Sometimes with good humour but quite often not sadly. People can overshare themselves out of a job.

As for Aspergers, I spend quite a bit of time explaining to family members where the lines are as best I can or translating how other people can think. For one, it saves on phone calls from college because they think DS was being serious. Again.

ShoutOutToMyEx Mon 06-Mar-17 23:58:34

Growing up in care is bloody hard, even with a decent foster family. We don't always realise how much we learn from good parents - good parents are teaching children about social boundaries and conduct from pretty much day dot. It sounds like she might have missed out on that.

It sounds like she's taken on board what you said and would rather say nothing than risk getting it wrong again. To be fair, you've kind of got what you wanted - no more inappropriate comments - so job's a good'un. You weren't wrong to have a word. I feel a bit sorry for her though.

Ilooklikeellendegeneres Tue 07-Mar-17 00:00:17

I'd be very surprised if she has aspergers or autism. She is very capable at reading body language and social cues. She's not socially awkward either.

She knows she's oversharing. She just chooses to do it. I'm sure the reason is for attention.

She reminds me of a teenager when they're around adults. A lot of them say things for attention and to show off. Just yesterday a teenage lad was telling his friends that he'd had a threesome with two girls. I could overhear the whole thing and he was just trying to impress.

She's like that.

Ilooklikeellendegeneres Tue 07-Mar-17 00:01:11

But I'm always aware that I could be wrong and she could just be an extrovert who says whatever comes into her head! I think it's a bit of both.

ShoutOutToMyEx Tue 07-Mar-17 00:06:21

OP I work with care leavers and lots of them overshare out of habit. The adults they had in their lives growing up were a series of professionals and professional care givers - foster carers, social workers, key workers, HCPs - who often change all the time, and they get used to telling everyone, everything, every time.

No part of their life is their own and they're encouraged to tell as much as they can remember. No filter at all. And so they don't learn that actually it's normal, and sometimes better, to keep some stuff back.

Maybe this might be part of why she does what she does?

BackforGood Tue 07-Mar-17 00:07:33

IMO, you weren't wrong to have had a word to try to help her in the first place (I wouldn't describe that as a telling off), but now your role is to nurture her by having another chat, boosting her confidence, telling her how good he work is, and maybe getting in that you can see she has more than taken on board what you said last time - again,, saying what a good and quick learner she is - but that you feel she might have even stopped talking at all and that isn't what you meant, and she is very welcome to chat to people, just perhaps to think carefully before she says things about other people {or insert some example}. If you are managing / mentoring her, then surely it is an ongoing process not a one-off.

VimFuego101 Tue 07-Mar-17 00:12:13

I don't think you've done anything wrong. As BackForGood said, I'd meet with her again, tell her you're really pleased with her work, reiterate what it is and isn't appropriate to comment on.

morningconstitutional2017 Tue 07-Mar-17 00:13:07

Something that I have learned over the years is that just because you have an opinion on something it doesn't always have to be expressed.
There are times when it's best to button it.

Redpoll Tue 07-Mar-17 00:24:11

I think you did right having a word with her. In team based surroundings at work so much trouble can come from what one person has said about others. Unless it affects work some times you are best keeping your thoughts to your self.

WannaBe Tue 07-Mar-17 00:37:35

My DP grew up in care, and he can very much be an over sharer. Not in a crass way but more in a, he has to share all details way iyswim.

It sounds as if she has never learned social boundaries and also that she actually doesn't have much confidence hence why your talking to her has had the opposite impact. And it's possible that others haven't ever had the confidence to be direct with her, so suddenly she is probably doubting her whole existence iyswim.

I would have a talk to her and mention that you've noticed that she's been very quiet and does she want to talk about anything? That way she may actually open up and you may get a better idea of how she's feeling. If she's an over sharer then being given an opportunity to share is likely to get her to open up.

Then you can say to her that you never meant that she needed to be absolutely quiet, just that sometimes she has a habit of saying exactly what she's thinking and as a lot of people don't share so much they don't always know how to react.

sibys1 Tue 07-Mar-17 00:45:46

I find these sorts of threads extremely unprofessional. Imagine stumbling across this as the employee.

unlucky83 Tue 07-Mar-17 00:55:10

Just going to defend River - I have ADHD and have to admit that popped into my head - I can overshare too...and sometimes just don't take a second to think- is this what I should be saying?
So I have got myself sacked in the past by basically telling the boss he was a hypocrite ...which was true - but still not what you say in front of all his employees - and no that wasn't cited as the reason but believe me it was....
Recently I told the head teacher at DD's school I was 'so over school shows, I'd had enough of them to last me a life time' -again not the most diplomatic thing to say ...
I also announced to a room full of 'naice' middle class ladies that I used to have a friend who went cottaging, in fact tried to be a rent boy...(followed by deathly shocked silence...blush)
And I could go on...
Also the desperate need to fit in -if you have undiagnosed ADHD you know that you are different, so you spend your life trying to fit in, conforming ...behaving in a way that is not natural to you but how you think you should - and you feel insecure - because you are being constantly fake and so maybe try too hard.
Having said all that being in foster care etc could lead someone to be insecure too...and it does sound like she is.
So do speak to her, reassure her she is liked and good at her job but just needs to tone it down a bit...think before she speaks etc....

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