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What body language is this?

(52 Posts)
user1489943514 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:04:32

I have a manager at work and every time I speak to her she leans back and places her A4 notepad over her face so only her eyes are showing. It's a bit disconcerting!

She doesn't do this with anyone else.

AIBU to think she's very distrustful of me and doesn't like me?

I'm never ever paranoid but it's quite an obvious action and is every time she sees me. When I first met her she was very warm and friendly, but after the first day she has been doing this.

She doesn't realise it herself that she's doing it. But it's very noticeable.

Happyandhungry Tue 21-Mar-17 17:08:18

Do you have smelly breath? Genuine question! As i tend to cover my nose and mouth when talking to smelly people i.e they have BO or horrendous garlic bread. I also get mints out and have one and offer them one hoping they'll get the hint. I've worked in retail too long.

putdownyourphone Tue 21-Mar-17 17:09:41

Ask someone close to you if you smell.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Tue 21-Mar-17 17:11:27

She doesn't realise she's doing it? What? She doesn't realise she has an A4 pad on her face? confused

It's rude and you should ask her why she does it. Ask in a non confrontational/ genuinely interested way.

Trifleorbust Tue 21-Mar-17 17:12:13

Oh confused

I would either assume I smelled bad (smoker? tuna sandwiches?) orcshe was trying not to laugh/smile.

user1489943514 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:12:15

No I definitely don't!

No one else does this with me and my very honest work colleagues would tell me.

Her nose isn't covered anyway. It's her mouth she covers. Its really weird!

Blueflowers2011 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:12:31


user1489943514 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:13:09

I think it's rude. Like she's trying to cover something up. I am never ever paranoid about things like this. Ever!

But it's disconcerting.

Trifleorbust Tue 21-Mar-17 17:15:02

She finds something in your communication funny?

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Tue 21-Mar-17 17:15:10

This can't be a serious thread. hmm

lemontoast Tue 21-Mar-17 17:15:15

Well maybe she thinks she has bad breath? Self conscious about her teeth?
Or you make her shy?

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 21-Mar-17 17:16:25

Maybe she's worried her breath smells? Have you ever said anything about having a good sense of smell, or commented on something being smelly in general? She may be paranoid about her breath and for some reason thinks you are the only person who might detect it....

Or she routinely lies to you and is covering her mouth subconsciously - one or the other!

whatssheonaboutnow Tue 21-Mar-17 17:16:54

Arre you sure she doesn't do this to others?

Maybe you have great teeth and it makes her self-conscious about her own?

Maybe she has some kind of phobia about you?

It's founds very odd though.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 21-Mar-17 17:17:06

My mother used to hide her mouth in order to obscure her wrinkles/awful teeth. People are weird.

putdownyourphone Tue 21-Mar-17 17:18:11

You could ask her - maybe in a jokey way say 'does my breath smell?! Why are you covering your face?' (Not as in you think your breath may smell, but a way to raise it with her)

user1489943514 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:19:43

She doesn't seem to do it to anyone else. It certainly seem subconscious, but very noticeable.

As soon as I come in, if she's leaning forward she immediately leans back and covers her mouth. If she's no notepad or similar she just uses her hand and rubs her face.

Completely nerve wracking. But it's not something I can ever discuss with anyone I know or they would think I was bat shit!

Factorysettings Tue 21-Mar-17 17:20:21

Have you ever loudly declared that you have an incredibly sensitive nose and you can smell what someone had for dinner three days ago despite teeth brushing and whatnot?

There was a thread on Mumsnet about a year ago where people were claiming all sorts of incredible smelling feats that would make me paranoid if I were working with them. That is the only thing that would make me behave so rudely.

helpimitchy Tue 21-Mar-17 17:20:36

Sounds as though she's creating a subconscious barrier to communication. She wants to say things, but she's physically stopping herself by covering her mouth.

KindDogsTail Tue 21-Mar-17 17:21:29

Could she be worried her breath smells? Or, is it only with you?

ImperialBlether Tue 21-Mar-17 17:22:00

I would ask her why she does it. It sounds too weird to just ignore.

SantinoRice Tue 21-Mar-17 17:22:55

How's your hearing? I ask because I'm a bit deaf and I often lipread a little when people are talking to me. The thing is, people get self conscious about their teeth, so I try to only do it in bits, and I look away a lot. I find if I outright stare at someone's mouth when they're talking, although I can 'hear' them better, they freak out and start to do this.

user1489943514 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:23:52

My gut instinct is that she's sceptical of me. Doesn't trust me. It's a negative rather than neutral body language I feel.

Certainly not a natural/comfortable gesture.

JustSpeakSense Tue 21-Mar-17 17:28:16

Are you absolutely sure you aren't speaking up in her face with bad breath?

If not, then I'm guessing something wise about you puts her off you, or intimidated her.

What is your working relationship with her like? She sounds a bit strange.

JustSpeakSense Tue 21-Mar-17 17:28:42


Janey50 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:31:00

Maybe she fancies

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