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Having a hard time getting along with female junior staff

(38 Posts)
Autumntimes Sat 10-Dec-16 23:21:08

I'm always ignored or even hate stared by half of the female junior staff in my firm (there are around 40 female junior staff). They get along with each other very well and I'm always left out. I do get along very well with some of them but we are not close.
I don't understand why and I have never had problems like that before. I'm starting to think if it's my race or something else.

I'm petite, like to dress well and bubbly. I'm not awkward nor rude. I don't engage in office gossips. In fact, I found out a lot of gossips only three months after when people already stopped talking about it. Since trying for four months to no avail, I become a bit more quiet at work now. Now some of these women would even ignore me on purpose after being extra friendly to me a couple of months ago. One woman made a comment about how the boss was so crude to me when I was 15 mins late one day and she thinks he must really dislike me, when the boss actually just looked slightly annoyed and didn't say anything. Some women just chose not to look at me, ever!

I don't understand. I always make sure I'm kind and friendly to everyone. I didn't brag about anything (not that I have anything to brag about). I didn't hide away from social events and made sure I got to know these people. All I want is just a Hi and how are you at the office. I started to wonder if the way I look or just myself repulse these women but I don't want to try miserably hard just to fit in. Can someone please offer some mature advice? sad thanks! Xxx

IamNotDarling Sat 10-Dec-16 23:27:53

You might be over thinking this. It's tough when you start somewhere new.

Why would your race come into it? Are you BAME or are the group you are trying to engage with?

You refer to them as 'junior staff' does this mean you are more senior than them?

Is being liked really important to you?

Autumntimes Sat 10-Dec-16 23:31:09

No we all joined at the same time.

I don't need to be liked I just find it quite upsetting that some of these women deliberately ignore or even hate stare me. And It's really lonely sometimes because I don't fit in.

My workplace is predominantly white.

IamNotDarling Sat 10-Dec-16 23:40:17

Are you 'getting on' better than others? Could they be jealous?

Could you have a word with your manager at your next one to one meeting and share your concerns? If you go down this route you have to be receptive to any feedback you get.

TinselTwins Sat 10-Dec-16 23:40:35

everything you've described sounds terribly subjective

If you think that 40 women are giving you "looks" when they're probably just staring into space or looking round them then they're going to pick up on that and might start disliking you, although nothing you've described indicates that they presently actively dislike you.

TinselTwins Sat 10-Dec-16 23:42:31

I work with someone who thinks that everyone who looks at her with anything less than a cheesy grin is being "off" with her.. she's even gone to management and said that she's bullied and left out when nothing of the sort was happening.

I actually got on with her initially, but her drama over "looks" and people vaguely "leaving her out" is making me go off her..

BackforGood Sat 10-Dec-16 23:59:48

I agree with TinselTwins.
It seems unlikely. I too am thinking this must be more to do with your perception than what they are actually doing.

RC1234 Sun 11-Dec-16 00:10:31

I have several thoughts

1) You are trying too hard - could that be putting people off? Maybe just focus more on those who are friendly rather than the scatter gun approach (whilst still being cheery with everyone else).


2) You are their line manager or slightly senior. I can get a conversation as a boss but it is one sided - they never ask me how I am - and sometimes their eyes are not brimming with excitement as I approach.


3) Someone is spreading (untrue) things about you as I can think of no reason for hate filled stares based on what you have said.

However practical steps regarding what you can do. You can follow up the comment about your boss being crude - maybe at a 1 to 1 ask he/ she if they are OK about you being 15 minutes late and reassure that it will not happen again. Then use it as an opportunity to vaguely probe - how do you feel I am mixing with the rest of the team. They may not spell it out but they may give you a few pointers and this will be far better advice than what any random on the internet can give you.

Autumntimes Sun 11-Dec-16 00:21:19

I don't work directly with them. People I do work with on everyday basis are all friendly to me.

A"cheesy grin" is what I expect from people I've actually talked to so imo it's a bit offensive that some of these women would look at me that way. I've done similar things to people when I was younger unknowingly. The girl who I usually ignored on purpose asked my friend if I disliked her but in fact I just rather not talk to her because we were very different people. So I refer to racial difference here cos I'm not sure if that plays a part (I'm also foreign). I don't think these people genuinely dislike me but I just feel upset that some of these women choose to be friends with anyone but me at work.

Autumntimes Sun 11-Dec-16 00:25:42

I do think it's all very subjective but I feel that there's nothing I can do. I did try and talk to these women but it's been very very hard. I didn't try too hard. Normally I just see if I can join in conversations. If they don't even reply to my comment or their conversation is boring I just move on to talk to someone else. Now I'm not sure if I should even try anymore.

HeddaGarbled Sun 11-Dec-16 00:31:13

There's a book 'In the company of women, indirect aggression among women' which may explain what you are dealing with.

You say junior staff. Are they junior to you or the same level as you?

It's interesting that you mention being petite, liking to dress well and are bubbly. Most people wouldn't say these things about themselves in a work context. What's the significance? Are you attracting a lot of male attention?

You mention your race? Are you the only person not the same race as everyone else?

Autumntimes Sun 11-Dec-16 00:39:03

I'm also junior.

I only mentioned these things because I think people do judge you by your cover. I don't think being petite and dressing well are indications of me being attractive. Just trying to say I'm not nerdy or awkward looking type. And no I do not get male attention all the time.

Autumntimes Sun 11-Dec-16 00:40:08

I'm not the only person in my race. There are a few others and it seems like they also get ignored most of the time based on my observations.

TinselTwins Sun 11-Dec-16 00:46:05

The one I work with always looks for differences between herself and the shift-team, and says that's why she's "left out" when actually she's the one judging people for being "all younger than me" or "all older than me" or "have all been here since the team started" or "all started later than me and are all bonded". The people in question are not huddling themselves together based on age or length in service

She's been on shift with me and come to me telling me that "x doesn't like me, she's really unfriendly to me", I said "Oh, honestly, it's not you, she's not herself at the mo she's had some personal stuff going on, she's not long back to work after taking some time off and is having a general off day it's not you". A few hours later, colleague has requsted not to be put on the same shift as X in the future as "she's made it clear that she doesn't like me and isn't willing to work with me" hmm - the poor woman was struggling with being back to work and not being personally mean at all to colleague.

It's not actually very nice to judge people as bitchy or giving "hate stares" or being racest or jealous when there isn't any evidence of anything of the like.. it's not very likable to do that

Autumntimes Sun 11-Dec-16 01:03:45

I did not say they were racist or jealous. I was simply pointing out that there were differences between us which might have resulted in us not getting along (not in a bad way). I never judged them or pointed out our differences to their face. Thanks for your comment TinselTwins.

Autumntimes Sun 11-Dec-16 01:14:30

And I think it really is not nice to judge me when I'm the foreign minority who's trying to fit in. Racism does exist but a lot of people pretend it doesn't. Bullies at workplace also do exist. It's like people telling the bullied to stop judging the bully because it's all in their head.

daisychain01 Sun 11-Dec-16 03:49:36

I'd work at trying to get on with one or two people who you find it easy to talk with, and don't worry about the rest.

You need to be less concerned about trying to be liked by 40 people, it sounds exhausting.

Do you have a reasonable social life outside work?

JellyFishFingers Sun 11-Dec-16 04:30:08

You sound pretty high maintenance- you expect cheesy grins, if you are bored with conversations you move onto other people, you refer to them as your "juniors" but then admit they aren't your juniors, they are equal in status. Do you mean they are all younger than you?
Why are you expecting so much from these people? You say that you treated people that way because you were different to each other - maybe your social skills are a little rusty? If you genuinely think this is race related then you need to report it but to me it doesn't sound like it. You have sssured us you are not nerdy or awkward looking which rather shows you as judgemental. So what if someone is awkward?
Some people aren't bubbly. Some have resting bitch face. I'm not and I do. I never give cheesy fucking grins. I had s junior at work once who made a complaint about me. Apparently I didn't make enough small talk and chat to her. My dad had died two weeks earlier - I asked her if she knew that. She did. I apologised for making her feel uncomfortable but I told her I was barely coping and getting through the day took everything out of me do I wasn't doing small talk well.

Do you have many friends out of work - close friends?

Penhacked Sun 11-Dec-16 04:45:34

I'm the same race as my peers but also a foreigner. Your English language is not perfect and I'm guessing you have an accent. Not everyone has the patience or life experience to tolerate people who are not speaking their mother tongue. Other people lovetge cultural diversity this brings. Don't try to be everyone's friend. Concentrate on one or two you do like and stick with them in a more meaningful way

Alorsmum Sun 11-Dec-16 05:45:57

God expecting cheesy grins - no sorry you sound hard work.
My default face is a grump at work. You don't even work directly with these people !
I also think you sound really preoccupied with the way you look and sound - I don't judge people on this - and I wonder if your views come across somehow in your personality.

Dafspunk Sun 11-Dec-16 06:32:46

It would be quite unusual for 40 individuals all to be acting in the exact same way.

scaryclown Sun 11-Dec-16 06:52:24

Well in my experience there are many people who think anyone who dresses well, is pretty and friendly is all of these things deliberately, and specifically aimed at them to.highlight how they arent all these things. Some people are dicks, sadly.

If this is an English workplace though, sadly no expression of anything and even ignoring actively means nothing but 'i want no interactions just now thanks' Other cultures think this emotional shutdown is weird, but its scarily normal even in quite upveat places. I have worked in places where even at communal breaks eople stare into the midspace.

I suspevt though this may be the 'whose in charge of this interaction' crap. in my current work, the 'rule' is people who haven't bomded in anyway..the longer serving person eother says hello first, or ignores first..that sets up the interaction to be 'hello' or nothing. If bonded but not 'friends'.its usual for longest serving to again dictate interaction,.but newest can say 'hi' and get a response. Some interactions are mutual eg external delivery drivers, managers to.juniors. but.usually senior instigates, but its safer for kunior to instihate as managers are usually responsive.

Someone ignoring you totally can feel.odd if ypu feel vunerable, but in my workplace there usually comes a relaxed intetaction evemtually
no interactions are very long.

So it does depend on workplace..i guess if tou are different race they are trying to get cues from you. english politeness is negative (leaving someone alome is most polite) first, whereas most other coumtries ,wales Scotland ireland included, are more positively polite (imteracting with someone shows politeness)

scaryclown Sun 11-Dec-16 06:55:54

The Boss was so horrid tp you' is a recruiting comment..'are you going to be in the bitchy club' or a trap 'can i get her to slag off the boss so i can justify telling her/game playing later' or a 'i can help you' rescuing gambit.

Ignore, as they are all reality altering to recruit you into the altered reality club (s) you did the right thing in trusting your version above theits...

Delilah37 Sun 11-Dec-16 07:13:27

It seems you have a lot if time to ponder how others may or may not feel about you. Surely you have some work to do which might distract you and your colleagues from gossip and hearsay? I don't think I could work in an environment where I had so much time to consider my self image. Just go with the flow and stop worrying so much perhaps. Most people go to work to get paid. If you make friends along the way then that is great,but most people are like you say 'colleagues'.

daisychain01 Sun 11-Dec-16 08:12:58

Seems to me people have amazingly unrealistic expectations about their workplace colleagues!

- people aren't there for your entertainment, nice though it is to have a bit of chit chat, they are all there to put food on the table
- if someone doesn't jump up to make you a cuppa / ask you to lunch / invite you to a social event (delete as applicable) it doesn't automatically make them a workplace bully
- just because you don't get calls, texts, emails if you're on sick leave, it doesn't make them heartless cruel thoughtless bastards, they may be on instructions to leave you in peace.

I've seen all the above in threads of various forms over the years.

Note: work is where we go to do on our job, not be entertained.

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