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Former acquaintance/coworker ignores me

bat man

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I used to work in a friendly environment – everybody said hello to each other, how are you, smiled or nodded in the hallways. There was one guy (out of about 80 people I used to work with) who chose to ignore me on every single occasion I passed by him in the hallways. Let’s call him Tom. Tom was no stranger to me – I met him before and have mutual buddies with him. I tried to smile/nod/say hello at Tom when I walked past him in the hallway, but he would just ignore me, or give me an abrupt head nod and continue walking.


Tom’s behavior toward me seemed odd enough to me to ask another coworker/friend (let’s call him Joe) about it. Joe told me he went to the same grad school with Tom, yet Tom didn’t acknowledge him in the hallways either, despite being his former classmate – Tom treated Joe as if he didn’t want to see him there. Joe even asked his former classmates about Tom’s behavior toward him – they told him he is a weird guy.


I have tried to ponder the reasons behind Tom’s cold behavior towards me. Perhaps he is just weird as Joe said. I have had very few interactions with Tom to think I offended him in any way to warrant the cold behavior towards me. Tom doesn’t come across as a socially anxious guy, busy, or a reserved guy. He’s at least 30 years old and has a good head above his shoulders. He is quite gregarious with other people, and I have seen him interact with strangers enough to eliminate the possibility that he’s just anxious around people he doesn’t know, like me. One possibility that would make sense is it’s my nationality that he has a problem with — Joe is also the same nationality.


Fast forward to this past week – one of our mutual buddies invited us to her party. I was sitting at a table with my spouse and a few other mutual buddies and their significant others. Tom and his girlfriend walk in. He shakes his hand and exchanges pleasantries with every single person on the table except for me and my spouse – eventually, right before he sat down, I said “hey Tom, how are you?” and offered my hand – he just shook mine and said “hey how’s it going” in a cold, abrupt way and sat down. Throughout the party he didn’t engage me and basically wasn’t interested, which I expected. His girlfriend was otherwise cordial and engaging.


Even with acquaintances, like most people, I expect a basic level of respect – in my 30 years I have never had a situation where someone, especially an acquaintance with mutual friends, treated me like this. I feel angry and feel like confronting him gently about it whenever I see him again, which I know logically won't change him. Any input to help me accept the situation for what it is and move on would be appreciated.

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I wouldn't bother approaching him about it.


I would just go on about my business and if you see him at work, just say "hey" and move on.


I work with people like this. I've been introduced to them a couple of times and I'll run into them in the hallway. I'll always say hello, which kinda forces their hand and they normally reciprocate. Sometimes they'll ignore or just don't say anything, and I honestly don't care.

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