Where I currently work there are two women, in my department, whom I have tried several times to interact with, on a more personal level…asking about their kids, what their plans are for the weekend, etc. Interestingly, neither of them have rarely gone out of their way to reciprocate. At first I believed it was due to the past boss. This particular boss had a manner of excluding those she found minor issues with or whom she did not like or whom she felt did not belong in her ‘exclusive’ club. I was not part of that exclusivity, but these other two women were. However, once that boss quit and the new one replaced her, I thought things would change. Alas…dreamer that I am, they didn’t.
Case in point. Another colleague, in our department, chose not to continue working for the company. She was initially hired on a contract basis and was hoping to become full time. For whatever reason, she was told the company wished to have her continue as an employee, still at contract but with part time hours. As a result, she gave her notice. Last week was her last day. And, on her last day, I found out, after the fact, one of the above mentioned women, set up a department lunch. Needless to say, I was once again excluded. I was so filled with rage, I came home, slammed my bedroom door and ended up writing an inspirational post to soothe my anger. The next day, I ended up writing the person who left, explaining the situation.
A few days after that, a colleague, from another department, came in, and asked me if everything was okay. I said yes. She said, “Why don’t I believe you?” So, I spilled my guts and told her what had happened. Usually I do not gossip or vent as I don’t want it to get misinterpreted or twisted around. But this time, I knew I needed to talk and the person was one whom I trust enough to know she would not repeat anything I said. Interestingly, after I finished, she told me she was not surprised that the woman had done what she did. Nor was she surprised at how I was being treated. It did make me feel good to have my feelings validated.
Ironically, from day one, my intuition knew better. Despite my attempt to get to know these two women, my gut let me know, something was off and not to trust either one of them. If I would have listened to my instinct, I would have not gotten so mad.
As a result, I have made a conscious choice to stop engaging with either of them on a personal level. In meetings, I will be respectful and professional, but that is where it stops. And I know, despite these women being part of my department, there are plenty of other fish in the pond whom I can socialize with. And good fish they are too!
Why do I think these two women are behaving the way they are? Well I attribute it to a number of things:
- age…both have just turned 30. I remember being that age and craving ‘friends’ who validated me as a person, as worthy and as someone who was liked. Now, at 52, I don’t want nor need that anymore as I have found validation lives within me.
- really, we have nothing in common…they have little kids and I have adult kids. I remember one time I mentioned, when I go out to eat at a sit down restaurant, I ask to be seated away from children. Both of the women looked at me like I was diseased. Then they proceeded to tell about how ‘cute’ their kids were when they went to restaurants. All I could think was, my kids were have never behaved liked that because I would dragged them out and let them know, under no circumstances were they to act like a brat.
- my new boss has included me in a lot of things the past boss did not. So, maybe there is some resentment there as the exclusive club once in place, has vanished.
- could be they just don’t like me…which is fine. I realize a lot of people don’t like me nor my upbeat, optimistic attitude nor my crazy personality. Guess what? That is their problem, not mine.
Anyway, I may not be just ‘right’ for the two women in my department. However, I know my self esteem is HUGE, I don’t need their approval nor their fake attitudes and I don’t want to be part of their club. Like I stated previously, there are plenty of other fish swimming in the sea, who are see the world as I do, who radiant compassion and who accept me as I am. I don’t expect to change everyone. But the few lives, I am touching mean more to me than those who are picking and choosing the ones they feel are right for their club.
Regardless, I know I am not perfect, but due to my intuition, I can sure sense when the fit is. It is a dog eat dog world out there. Sadly, sometimes, despite the size of our hearts, we have to make choices that exclude because there are those who are more concerned with eating us up then wagging their tails and playing along.