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To hate it when people snipe questions at you

(18 Posts)
Bluespotsallovermyface Sat 02-Dec-17 20:18:17

I work with a woman who is quite unpleasant and I am starting to get really anxious and annoyed around her.

She doesn't do small talk type of chit chat. She is either sullen and grumpy saying very little or she fires questions at people. When you answer a question as part of a collegial chit chat she then digs deeper and deeper but doesn't at all engage with your reply to her origin question.

E.g.
Her: Where are you going to be for christmas?
Me: We are going stay with PIL in Kent
Her: blank face no reaction
Me: we spend xmsas with my dp last year and try to take it in turns etc....
Her: blank face, no response no reaction just a sullen look

and on and on.

or she just keeps asking for more and more details.

I really feel put on the spot when she talks to me and am now trying to avoid spending time around or with her which makes work slightly akward.

I had to have surgery in September for an ongoing health issue. When my manager wished me luck with the surgery she just said "oh it's just <my condition> it's not like it's life or death. Empathy bypass.

Please share your sniper question dodging replies so I know how to stop answering diligently and feeling put on the spot without wing rude myself.

Kit1411 Sat 02-Dec-17 20:24:35

Eek, that’s difficult as work is a place you have to go to so no getting away as such. I’m a jokey person so I’d be lighthearted to see if I could lighten her up, or at least grab her phone and download the tinder app as it sounds like she could do with a good sesh 😈 completely understand you don’t want to be rude towards her, maybe it’s just how she was bought up with not much empathy or enthusiasm in her.

Lillylollylandy Sat 02-Dec-17 20:25:53

Do you ever ask her a question? That exchange you’ve described sounds like she asked you a question and you’ve kept talking without deflecting a question back to her. If you don’t want to get into a conversation just keep your answers short and bounce it back to her. EG

Her: What are you doing for Christmas?
You: going to DP’s parents. You?

Pengggwn Sat 02-Dec-17 20:29:34

"Not sure yet, you?" Back to keyboard.

Bluespotsallovermyface Sat 02-Dec-17 20:32:24

Lillylollylandy yes I need to remember to ask straight back when she fires off her questions. In normal conversations I take turns with asking questions but her tone is so sharp and demanding and grumpy that I feel totally cornered when she shoots off her questions. She never laughs or is light-hearted just stern and intrusive. It's like she is interrogating you not chatting with you. She does this with other people too. Most people keep their distance with her but I haven't spoken to anyone about it as it wouldn't feel fair.

Ask a question back is a good approach. What else?

Pengggwn Sat 02-Dec-17 20:38:06

"I need to do this right now. Sorry, I can't talk."

redexpat Sat 02-Dec-17 20:49:01

"Why do you ask?"

TheNewMrsTomHardy Sat 02-Dec-17 20:53:27

Smile and say “Now why do you need to know that?” Head tilt.

ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 02-Dec-17 21:06:02

Perhaps she has ASD tendencies-She may not necessarily be being rude, maybe just awkward for her to converse?

Birdsgottafly Sat 02-Dec-17 21:09:42

If she is doing it to everyone then she might have communication issues.

"Smile and say “Now why do you need to know that?” Head tilt."

That's a twatty thing to do to someone who is struggling to converse.

If you struggle at speaking to people then you are advised to ask questions.

It's her tone and general demeanour that's the issue. Which you can't solve.

chiaseeddisapointmentagain Sat 02-Dec-17 21:11:10

@Kit1411 grab her phone and download tinder because she needs a good 'sesh'?

You sound utterly vile.

Lizzie48 Sun 03-Dec-17 16:28:34

My MIL is like that, asks question after question, it's very hard work. I think it does demonstrate an anxiety around conversation, it's definitely not personal. My MIL isn't grumpy though, that must be very off putting.

Council Sun 03-Dec-17 16:42:46

See to me that exchange should have gone:

Her: What are you doing for Christmas?
You: Going to PIL in Kent, what about you?

If this is a regular pattern I think she'd be entitled to think you were less than polite too. There's obviously more to it that that but it does sound like you could make more conversational effort too.

Or, if you don't want to/don't have the time, just stop at "Going to PIL" there was no need for all the follow up information, unless you wanted to give it.

BalloonSlayer Sun 03-Dec-17 16:48:33

I think your example suggests she was waiting for you to ask her about her plans, and the fact you didn't and just went on about yourself makes you look ruder than her.

However, I expect your example was just one of many.

treaclesoda Sun 03-Dec-17 16:51:25

I would have answered the question and not bothered with the follow up when she looked blank. It actually reminds me a lot of someone I know and it's not that she's rude it's that she can't read people and struggled to interact.

Council Sun 03-Dec-17 16:54:03

It's like when people ask about your weekend, it's usually because they had a really good one and are dying for you to ask grin

omBreROSE Sun 03-Dec-17 16:58:37

This is s style of questioning and conversation, made to make you feel uncomfortable.
Nothing in what you’ve given in your example indicates shyness/ AN.
I’ve met so many people like this- the fact you feel unnerved around her is your biggest clue.
It is done to control and put you on edge.
Don’t engage if you can help it.

Spangles1963 Sun 03-Dec-17 17:58:14

Sorry OP I have no advice,but I will say that this sounds just like my exSIL! She used to fire a barrage of questions at me,then look totally blank and uninterested in my responses,but would just keep quizzing me about the latest bee in her bonnet. I thank my lucky stars that she's my exSIL and I have nothing to do with her now.

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