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How can I make my colleagues like me just enough to respond when I say something

(21 Posts)
Mince314 Thu 23-Nov-17 20:07:04

Obviously if I say something work-related they reply but there is no warmth, no extra niceness. I sit among a team of about 9 people, all but one of them in their late 20s or early 30s and I'm in my 40s if that makes a difference, I think it does. The boss and two of the other team members talk to me, one, a woman agrees with me that we're frozen out. Today, two team members were talking about turkeys over my head and having entered a competition to win one. I said ''my mum won a turkey once, it was still alive though!''' NOTHING. no response. So I ploughed on. ''it wandered round the garden for a while and they grew too fond of it to eat it''. Nothing. So I gave up.
I honestly don't know how long do you keep trying. I'm sane, good humoured, I've been told I'm funny by friends outside of work, I have friends who think I'm good company... why do I care? What should I do? Should I just give up? Before I speak up at all now, I really check myself ''is it relevant? is it funny'? is it too long?'' I really analyse everything I say now to make sure I'm not boring or negative. I don't think I am either. I think I'm so normal that I don't know what there is not to like blush but clearly my team find me so objectionable they can't include me in the chat or the banter.

Anybody managed to wriggle there way in to the 'craic'?

Battleax Thu 23-Nov-17 20:09:18

Wow. That sound phenomenally rude. Are you sure you want to make a breakthrough with them?

anothernetter Thu 23-Nov-17 20:18:58

I really wouldn't waste anymore time worrying about them if I were you. Just go to work and speak to nice ones and then put your head down and ignore the rest they sound pathetic.

HellYeh Thu 23-Nov-17 20:21:47

How long have you been there?

I have a similar situation at my work, I just don't bother with them anymore. It's backfired on them one day though as one the two was away at a conference and the other had no one else to talk to so decided I was good enough to talk to that day. I completely ignored their attempts at small talk and blanked them. You could have sliced the atmosphere with a knife that day but I didn't relent (which was so hard as I will talk to anyone)!

I did wonder for so long what I had done wrong but then realised that they are small minded and I have absolutely nothing in common with them apart from working in the same office as them. Stick some headphones in, if you can and embrace your nice colleagues.

Mince314 Thu 23-Nov-17 20:24:48

I know, I do recognise that I know their true colours now and that even if they included me in the chat, I'd never be able to forget how easily and on such a whim (I can't decipher) they exclude me. It's a big organisation, several floors, several departments, several sections on my floor. If I go to the loo or to the canteen I chat to people, I'm quite friendly and I'm averagely confident socially, so that, I'm not upset about it. It's more of a puzzle.

You know the way sometimes you hear ''oh they're just not my kind of people'', well, I hear them chatting and I think that's the kind of chat i could join in with. It's not as though my sense of humour is drastically different from theirs.

I guess even though perhaps it compromises my integrity, I want to feel free to say something if it pops in to my head, while at the same time knowing that they are ageist or bitchy or motherist or something

loveablether Thu 23-Nov-17 20:26:16

That turkey chat is hilarious! That’s hard..I had a similar situation with who we called ‘the three witches’ and I just thought fuck it and stopped trying to be nice.

It was a larger office tho

AfterSchoolWorry Thu 23-Nov-17 20:29:08

They're excluding you. That's bullying.

Mince314 Thu 23-Nov-17 20:29:49

The worst offender if I can call her that she is one of those women who lights up around men and is quite cold to women. There are three men in the team and the boss. There is one woman who is very outgoing but doesn't outshine her (perhaps) and they are friends, although they don't go for lunch together. The WO goes for lunch with the younger two of the men. I hope that makes sense. I wouldn't see any of these people becoming outside of work friends so it's not like there's a competition for attention [sigh]

I just want to engineer things so that she is embarrassed in to having to treat us all equally. Can I do that somehow?!

Any tips gratefully received.

Starlighter Thu 23-Nov-17 20:35:37

I’d call them out on it!

“Hello?? Did anyone hear my turkey story?? What’s with the radio silence people?? Have I offended anyone??”

Or a chat with your boss? Explain that you’re feeling excluded.

Some people are rude arseholes. Maybe best to just put your earphones in and ignore.

LoniceraJaponica Thu 23-Nov-17 20:38:52

This resonates with me. Fortunately one of my colleagues is at a similar stage of life to me so we each have someone "on our side"

RiotAndAlarum Thu 23-Nov-17 20:41:22

I loved the turkey story, too, but think next time your "turkey" (or other conversational MacGuffin) ought to wander under someone's desk and, ignored by a fool, pecked all the <dirty secret> sweets out of a handbag. Make your fellow ignorees laugh!

Mince314 Thu 23-Nov-17 20:43:37

Starlighter, I might do that in a while.

I plan to plough on for a while...... Lately I've been matching lack of interest with lack of interest and I think that that has turned the air a degree colder. When I was like a puppy wagging my tail, then it didn't feel like there was an atmosphere.

But today I felt like there was slightly. So I feel like I've caused it by not wagging my tail at them anymore. But I know I haven't.

I can see myself cracking one day and saying something like ''hey, feel free to respond!''. Or if I add something funny to a light hearted conversation and nobody responds ''boom boom, well I find myself amusing'' or how about ''feel free to reuse that one later!''.

loobylou10 Thu 23-Nov-17 21:13:53

I would answer myself in a sarcastic way ‘my mum had a turkey’ silence ......’oh did she Looby, how interesting, what was it’s name?’
Let them know you know they’re ignoring you. Rude!

2ndSopranos Fri 24-Nov-17 18:43:00

I have colleagues like this. Sort of works in my favour these days as I'm now a manager. But after 10 years, I don't mind the odd "good morning" in response to my "good morning".

I gave up actually trying to engage on any sort of personal level about four years ago.

blueshoes Fri 24-Nov-17 18:56:12

Op, it is not you, it is them. Can you get promoted ahead of them and hopefully get your own office?

LiveLifeWithPassion Fri 24-Nov-17 19:00:22

Your turkey story is hilarious.

The only thing I can think of is, are you the type to add your own story to the conversation rather than engaging with the current conversation?

Mince314 Fri 24-Nov-17 19:27:59

No no! I join in. I'm not a drama llama.

I went in very cheerful this morning and I was chatting to the youngest team member (he is only about 25 and v handsome so I just see him as a friendly member of team). One of the non friendly offenders shut down our conversation by instructing me to go and get her a file Id had yesterday. Not really even my responsibility. So I get it now. It is not just that these two wont talk to me, they don't like it when I chat to the 'boys' in the team.
I think my best tactic is to stay consistent and carry on being normal. It is hard but I will try and ignore the pied piper(s) and their ducklings. That sounds really patronising to the younger male members of team and I don't mean it to. I just think they are oblivious. From their pov the women are lovely.

yousignup Fri 24-Nov-17 19:36:56

I am foreign and a woman and work in a very traditional male dominated profession outside the UK. I am nice and friendly and always cheerful but unfortunately have a very British sense of humour that makes me come across as a real weirdo sometimes.
I try so hard to rein it in, I am really not myself at work. I often second guess myself and endlessly post-mortem conversations and looks to see what I might have done. I am sorry OP, it's really not a nice situation to be in.

Escapepeas Fri 24-Nov-17 19:44:44

How odd. I sit with a team who are in their 20s. I'm not actually part of their team as well as being twice as old as them, but they're super friendly and always include me, it's actually quite sweet.

It sounds like an attitude problem rather than an age one. What kind of industry is it? And what do they do as a department?

Mince314 Fri 24-Nov-17 19:50:12

I don't want to say what the industry is as I don't think it is any kind of clue really.

I think that one woman is causing this. Heaven forbid her boys talk to other people.

I feel like I can handle it again now. I just had a slight wobble the other day.

Yousignup, don't rein yourself in!

Mince314 Fri 24-Nov-17 19:54:54

Ps yousignup I know whay you mean though, I have worked with people who truly wouldn't get me but these women would . They just choose not to!
I ignored them back the last day and I think they might have noticed so I hope I handle next week with confidance and calmness

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