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Thread: Favoritism No Matter What

  1. #1
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    Favoritism No Matter What

    I have a history of being labeled as quiet. I am in total disagreement with this, as I think it's a projection for having decent standards. For the most part, I watch what I say, how I dress, and what I do. I define this as not cussing, not talking about my sex life, not talking about personal conflicts going on at home, or anything else that would make my employer or co-workers question my sanity. We work with children, so we're not going to be dressing like young kids today (ripped pants, thongs, half shirts). But at the same time, there's nothing matronly about the way I dress. I do it with class. I'm an ambivert, if that makes any sense. I have discussed personal details (that are appropriate) with bosses and co-workers and no matter what I do to create connection between us, it ends up me being closed out of the loop of conversation.

    I've noticed an increase of this in the past week between my boss and a co-worker right before the start of work. They will chat as if I'm not there and not pay attention to when we need to pick up our kids. My boss has even gone against her own rules approving this other co-workers use of social media in the work place to spy on an ex-employee's Instagram account. The co-worker is much younger than my boss and me. So I can understand the horsing around from the co-worker. But I expected my boss to act a little bit more professional than this and to disapprove of the co-worker's decision.

    Still, the boss shows favoritism by saying, "X was on board since day one with everything." I only got complimented for something nerdy, "Being organized and detailed." I have gone the extra mile to help this program (which is still in disarray), spending my own money, encouraging the sharing of ideas through online programs, informing my boss about a serious issue no one else would have, and still... my boss treats me like I'm not even present when she's talking to the other co-worker. This is not a problem of introvert/shy/quiet person who has no interest in genuinely getting to know her co-workers and boss. As a matter of fact, I do like my boss as a person and in my eyes, she's shown me she likes me and thinks I have a good sense of humor. What I don't understand is why she chooses to screen me out of conversations before the start of program. I have also noted that my co-worker is someone who has done the same with an intern of ours. They both chat and I'm not even there.

    Can those who relate offer some type of advice of what has worked for you in overcoming or coping with this specific situation, i.e., you genuinely want to be apart of "the group," have tried socially, but get pushed out?

  2. #2
    Gold Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    You sound like me. I dress modestly but not corny. I don't wear ripped jeans nor anything revealing. My wardrobe is tasteful yet chic. I'm not matronly either.

    Your situation sounds like school all over again and I went through that not only at school when I was younger but during adulthood as well.

    I would say continue doing the best you can for your job professionally. A splashy personality gets old after awhile. At the end of the day, your boss or management focuses on "the work" itself which you produce however way you go about this.

    Socially, you can't force yourself to be somebody you're not. You can be kind, nice and all that but if you're not boisterous and loud like some people are, don't be a fake in order to want to be accepted by the clique. I would continue conducting yourself with integrity, dignity, class, be soft spoken and kind. This the way to respect yourself.

    Are there any other co-workers or colleagues whom you can hang out with and feel more comfortable with? Try not to focus on wanting to feel accepted and popular among people whom you don't admire much because that's the wrong reason to want to feel wanted.

    It's easy to feel sorry for yourself because we all want to belong but learn to differentiate between belonging to the right crowd and wanting to belong to the wrong people who don't share your personality, characteristic traits and many times, morals, too.

    Don't wish to be with people who are disrespectful and dishonorable. Be kind, do your work with the best of your ability and if they're going to treat you as if they're in high school all over again, don't allow them to make you feel like the odd person out. Hold your head high, possess aplomb, poise and class always. If they continue acting immature, that's their problem, not yours.

    A trick I've since learned is when people act out of whack, I let them. I still hold my own dignity all the while. When they see you carry yourself with class always and they observe how secure you are, you make them feel uneasy because you no longer give them the attention they crave. They're waiting to observe whether or not they got you under your skin. Be strong and tough internally. Don your best poker face and mind your own business. This makes them feel insecure and you cause them to squirm. Sooner or later you will make THEM feel awkward and uneasy. They'll either eventually come around, behave better or if they continue leaving you alone, they're doing you a favor. I wouldn't want to engage with a jerk and classless person. Look at the silver lining. In your mind, never beg to be well liked by the wrong people because they're not worth it. Be above it.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    You seem judgmental and a bit rude from the outset but I think it's because you're just frustrated at being an outsider and the lack of professionalism at your work place. Those comments about what kids wear these days are specific to certain groups or some kids only. And so what if they like to wear whatever they want to wear. You should be focusing on you only, not worrying about what other people are wearing or saying.

    Take this with a grain of salt: not all places are good places to work and not all bosses are cut out to be bosses in the first place. They owe you nothing but a pay cheque, quite frankly, and a place free from discrimination. What you seem to be describing is personal incompatibilities and not getting along as closely with them as you'd like or not being included in a conversation. I think if you tried less hard and were a bit less tense, you might draw more friendships. You may be putting out a hostile vibe (I'm actually feeling your hostility through this screen) or people are unsure about how you'll react if you're quick to anger or unable to control your eye contact or the way you may inadvertently make a face or some other gesture.

    There is nothing wrong with being quiet or introverted or focused on your work. I commend you for it and I think you should continue with your good work ethic. Expecting everyone to behave like you though is not realistic and you'll find most people won't. That's just the name of the game. Relax and learn to roll with it. Others owe you nothing. The less you walk around thinking you're entitled to friendliness of any kind or being a part of any intimate group conversation, the less pressure you put on yourself and others. It's not healthy expecting others to be other than what they already are. Do your own thing.

  4. #4
    Gold Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    In my community and social circle, acquaintances, colleagues, friends, sister and in-laws, I'm considered a square but proud of it mind you. They're more liberal minded, wild, boisterous, free for all, say what you want, when you want and darn the consequences and reputation. Some of them let their mouths fly off with foul language. They can be quite inappropriate and obnoxious.

    I don't wear plunging necklines nor skin tight, provocative clothing. I'm modestly clothed yet stylish and chic. My mannerisms are more soft spoken. I don't enjoy shallow conversations nor crude, raunchy humor. I enjoy quilting, calligraphy, gourmet cooking, emobossing greeting cards, reading autobiographies / biographies, making wax seals and a multitude of hobbies. However, I still like my in-laws and friends despite our differences. We just don't always mesh 100% of the time and that's ok.

    My closest friends and I have common interests, we discuss intellectual topics, human psychology, books, visit museums, frequent the ballet, classical orchestras and the like.

    With others, I shift gears and discuss what interests them. Another trick is to deflect and focus on others if you don't have much in common with them. It's called social graces despite your differences.

    I think there is a way to "love thy neighbor," respect one another, treat others with kindness and good will. However, it still means you can draw the line somewhere and enforce healthy boundaries with others.

    As for your co-workers and colleagues, just act natural. Never act like a snob. They'll either accept you as a good person or if they don't and they act immature as if back in high school, it's their loss. You can't do much other than be nice without being phony and fake. Concentrate on being a great and cordial employee. It's all you can do. You can't control everything in life. Just make the best of every situation with grace.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Don't try too hard or be a know-it-all. Be friendly but you don't have to be friends with anyone at work.

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    You work with kids, so what does it matter what you wear? Kids donít care!

    Perhaps this younger colleague understands social media better than you and can relate?
    And your boss appreciates that given your boss is of an older generation too? And doesnít include you in that conversation knowing you are not up to date just like your boss isnít?

    Since you do work with kids and presumably always have , I think you should try harder to learn from a younger colleague who can relate better while also teaching your colleague things based on your experience that is not generation based. ?

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    How long have you been in this job, and how long have you considered this to be a problem?

    If you've been with this company for a length of time and the problem started recently, what changes occurred to bring the problem about? If you're new to the job, do you believe that it's realistic to expect that workers would treat you with the same familiarity that they treat those already established as part of their culture?

    Speaking only for myself, I'm not all that interested in popularity on the job. My focus is on my private goals and delivering good work. I'm pleasant and friendly, but I'm also not easily distracted by 'stuff' going on around me. When my focus is on helping certain people, that's where it stays, and when my focus is on a project, that's where it stays. If someone outside of my scope wants my attention, they need to break my focus to get it. The time flies by as I develop my role and meet the private challenges I've created for myself.

    Is there a group that horses around and doesn't include me? Probably. Does my boss favor others socially? Sure. I don't care. I'm mature and trusted enough to do my job without attention seeking, and I'm capable of forming friendships with people who I select carefully.

    If your boss is entertained by some immature snot, let 'em have at it. If you have little to nothing in common with that person, then what's the loss to you? What is prompting you to keep score in a manner that makes you unhappy?

    If a more socially welcoming environment is important to you, and you've established that this particular culture doesn't meet your desire in that regard, what prevents you from seeking work in a better culture for you?

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by Cherylyn
    You sound like me. I dress modestly but not corny. I don't wear ripped jeans nor anything revealing. My wardrobe is tasteful yet chic. I'm not matronly either.

    Your situation sounds like school all over again and I went through that not only at school when I was younger but during adulthood as well.

    I would say continue doing the best you can for your job professionally. A splashy personality gets old after awhile. At the end of the day, your boss or management focuses on "the work" itself which you produce however way you go about this.

    Socially, you can't force yourself to be somebody you're not. You can be kind, nice and all that but if you're not boisterous and loud like some people are, don't be a fake in order to want to be accepted by the clique. I would continue conducting yourself with integrity, dignity, class, be soft spoken and kind. This the way to respect yourself.

    Are there any other co-workers or colleagues whom you can hang out with and feel more comfortable with? Try not to focus on wanting to feel accepted and popular among people whom you don't admire much because that's the wrong reason to want to feel wanted.

    It's easy to feel sorry for yourself because we all want to belong but learn to differentiate between belonging to the right crowd and wanting to belong to the wrong people who don't share your personality, characteristic traits and many times, morals, too.

    Don't wish to be with people who are disrespectful and dishonorable. Be kind, do your work with the best of your ability and if they're going to treat you as if they're in high school all over again, don't allow them to make you feel like the odd person out. Hold your head high, possess aplomb, poise and class always. If they continue acting immature, that's their problem, not yours.

    A trick I've since learned is when people act out of whack, I let them. I still hold my own dignity all the while. When they see you carry yourself with class always and they observe how secure you are, you make them feel uneasy because you no longer give them the attention they crave. They're waiting to observe whether or not they got you under your skin. Be strong and tough internally. Don your best poker face and mind your own business. This makes them feel insecure and you cause them to squirm. Sooner or later you will make THEM feel awkward and uneasy. They'll either eventually come around, behave better or if they continue leaving you alone, they're doing you a favor. I wouldn't want to engage with a jerk and classless person. Look at the silver lining. In your mind, never beg to be well liked by the wrong people because they're not worth it. Be above it.
    Cherylyn, thank you for understanding. It's not easy when it feels like everywhere you go people you work with need to form a clique in order to push you out. What's going on is they are sending mixed signals. At times, they include me and it seems like everything's just fine. Then it will get kind of weird and they will go into a zone. But in the last week, it's just been more frequent and downright rude. It was like I had become a stranger. I don't think I've said anything out of turn or that would make them feel uncomfortable at all. Attention and trying to get under my skin is probably what could be the issue or just all around immaturity on my boss' part. She wasn't always a decent person I heard. I love what you say though, "Don your best poker face and mind your own business." That's the message I'm probably needing to send. You also remind me about what my mom has always said, "I'm not going to beg anybody for their friendship." Thank you for sharing your experience and advice.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by Cherylyn
    In my community and social circle, acquaintances, colleagues, friends, sister and in-laws, I'm considered a square but proud of it mind you. They're more liberal minded, wild, boisterous, free for all, say what you want, when you want and darn the consequences and reputation. Some of them let their mouths fly off with foul language. They can be quite inappropriate and obnoxious.

    I don't wear plunging necklines nor skin tight, provocative clothing. I'm modestly clothed yet stylish and chic. My mannerisms are more soft spoken. I don't enjoy shallow conversations nor crude, raunchy humor. I enjoy quilting, calligraphy, gourmet cooking, emobossing greeting cards, reading autobiographies / biographies, making wax seals and a multitude of hobbies. However, I still like my in-laws and friends despite our differences. We just don't always mesh 100% of the time and that's ok.

    My closest friends and I have common interests, we discuss intellectual topics, human psychology, books, visit museums, frequent the ballet, classical orchestras and the like.

    With others, I shift gears and discuss what interests them. Another trick is to deflect and focus on others if you don't have much in common with them. It's called social graces despite your differences.

    I think there is a way to "love thy neighbor," respect one another, treat others with kindness and good will. However, it still means you can draw the line somewhere and enforce healthy boundaries with others.

    As for your co-workers and colleagues, just act natural. Never act like a snob. They'll either accept you as a good person or if they don't and they act immature as if back in high school, it's their loss. You can't do much other than be nice without being phony and fake. Concentrate on being a great and cordial employee. It's all you can do. You can't control everything in life. Just make the best of every situation with grace.
    Very interesting and probably something I forgot. The "shifting of gears," seems to be a valuable skill set when wanting to connect with someone (at least create a bit of rapport), i.e., neighbor, someone new at a party, etc. It definitely seems like my boss is not the shallow type but at the same time chooses to act unprofessional and associate herself with people who do. Makes no sense but you're right, life's too short to try and figure it out, and there's no sense in feeling sorry for myself. Thank you once again for confirming a lot of the advice I've been hearing on this.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by Billie28
    You work with kids, so what does it matter what you wear? Kids donít care!

    Perhaps this younger colleague understands social media better than you and can relate?
    And your boss appreciates that given your boss is of an older generation too? And doesnít include you in that conversation knowing you are not up to date just like your boss isnít?

    Since you do work with kids and presumably always have , I think you should try harder to learn from a younger colleague who can relate better while also teaching your colleague things based on your experience that is not generation based. ?
    Billie, it's called a dress code. And this colleague wasn't even a gleam in her mother's eye when I first became savvy with tech and the internet. It's becoming clear to me the issue is not so much differences as it is rude behavior. There's no excuse for it, but it happens. It's kind of hard to connect with someone knowing that they a.) don't like you and b.) as far as you know, you did nothing to provoke those feelings. Thank you for wanting to help.

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