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So I’m rather an introvert, I’m definitely someone who keeps a bit of distance at work. I’m friendly and polite to my coworkers, never had any issues, senior managers really like me, I just don’t talk about my personal life at work. We are a small team, we all work in this open office which gets hard for me sometimes. I crave like 10 minutes of solitude sometimes, as I’m either talking to my coworkers (works related stuff), or at phone with clients all day. There are days I’m less chatty than usual, just because I sort of need tor recharge my batteries. I’m very involved in everything work related, but if my coworkers chat about their pets, or the next holidays destination, I don’t necessarily engage in these conversations all the time. Now there’s this coworker who is super bubbly and likes to talk a lot. We get along for most of the time, I needed to set boundaries in the past though as she wanted to talk all the time.

 

So last week I was a little less chatty, and this coworker was concerned I was sick or something, I told her I was okay. The truth is I was okay, just a bit tired, a lot was going on, and all these social interactions at work were draining me. So I arrive at work today, and she starts asking me if I’m doing better and if everything is alright. I didn’t appreciate that she was telling this in front of other coworkers, I mean the fact I was a little quiet last week didn’t affect my work performance. I told her I was fine, and she said she assumed I was not okay. I told her again I was fine, and that there’s nothing to worry about, I just don’t like how she makes a big deal out of the fact I was quietly working on something, and not having meaningless chats. I wasn’t rude to anyone, I didn’t cry at the office, I was just a bit low key. I’m tired of her asking me if I’m okay every time I’m not super chatty. It makes feel as if something was wrong with me.

 

I just needed to vent, hope this makes sense, and perhaps I’m not the only introvert at work out there.

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I imagine it's pretty annoying for someone to do that.

 

Perhaps you could say to her next time, "Sally, please stop asking me if I'm ok. If I'm ill, I'll let you know." And say it with a smile.

 

Thank you Sarah, sounds reasonable!

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As someone who might be the kind of person to ask if someone is ok or if they’re doing better: it comes from a good place. I know when I’m not doing well sometimes I want just SOMEONE to notice. So I try and be that someone.

 

Talk to this coworker on the side and tell them it’s stressful when they keep asking.

 

ETA: don’t tell them you’ll tell them if you’re ill. That seems like a lie to me. You won’t REALLY tell them, will you?

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As someone who might be the kind of person to ask if someone is ok or if they’re doing better: it comes from a good place. I know when I’m not doing well sometimes I want just SOMEONE to notice. So I try and be that someone.

 

Talk to this coworker on the side and tell them it’s stressful when they keep asking.

 

ETA: don’t tell them you’ll tell them if you’re ill. That seems like a lie to me. You won’t REALLY tell them, will you?

 

I know it comes from a good place, it's just that it's too much. I think she doesn't realize that not everyone is as bubbly as she is, and that if I am quiet, it does not mean I am depressed. I might talk to her if she keeps asking.

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I know it comes from a good place, it's just that it's too much. I think she doesn't realize that not everyone is as bubbly as she is, and that if I am quiet, it does not mean I am depressed. I might talk to her if she keeps asking.

 

Exactly. Sometimes 'bubbly' people are annoying when they don't understand that not everyone needs to exhibit rainbows and unicorns every moment. Of COURSE you won't tell her if you're ill, but it might make her stop asking.

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Don't be a grump 😋😉 Just look busy and be polite to coworkers. Don't be short or rude by saying things like: "please stop asking me if I'm ok. If I'm ill, I'll let you know". Being snippy or unprofessional like that won't endear you to anyone. 🎃🎄Find a reason to be happy at work or after work. Think about Louis🐵

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Exactly. Sometimes 'bubbly' people are annoying when they don't understand that not everyone needs to exhibit rainbows and unicorns every moment. Of COURSE you won't tell her if you're ill, but it might make her stop asking.

 

Thank you Sarah, I'm happy that someone understands me :smug:

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hey I totally understand how draining it can be. I work with a lot of people with different personalities, quirks, and dysfunction.....and man it can be stressful. Sometimes I go hide elsewhere in the warehouse in the mornings to avoid the nonsense.

 

My advice: just pull her aside and explain that if you seem quiet or distant, it doesn't mean you are having a bad day, just that you like to be your alone with your thoughts. It helps you to decompress, so you can focus on your tasks. It's just something that you need to do.

I'm sure she will tone it down and be more respectful once you explain things to her. You see if you don't communicate, then nothing will ever change. It only takes one simple conversation.

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Don't be a grump 😋😉 Just look busy and be polite to coworkers. Don't be short or rude by saying things like: "please stop asking me if I'm ok. If I'm ill, I'll let you know". Being snippy or unprofessional like that won't endear you to anyone. 🎃🎄Find a reason to be happy at work or after work. Think about Louis🐵

 

I don't think I'm grumpy, as I said I'm polite to everyone at work, I'm just more introverted than my bubbly coworker :smug:

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hey I totally understand how draining it can be. I work with a lot of people with different personalities, quirks, and dysfunction.....and man it can be stressful. Sometimes I go hide elsewhere in the warehouse in the mornings to avoid the nonsense.

 

My advice: just pull her aside and explain that if you seem quiet or distant, it doesn't mean you are having a bad day, just that you like to be your alone with your thoughts. It helps you to decompress, so you can focus on your tasks. It's just something that you need to do.

I'm sure she will tone it down and be more respectful once you explain things to her. You see if you don't communicate, then nothing will ever change. It only takes one simple conversation.

 

Thanks Smackie, great advice, I should talk to her if I want something to change. The reason I didn't talk to her yet its because she makes a big deal out of everything.

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Hey Kim :)

 

I am in the same boat as you, an introvert. I do not like small talk and I keep work strictly professional. My social life (friends) and work (in my opinion) are two seperate things and I like it that way.

No need to apologize for it, no need to allow anyone to ever make you feel odd or weird about it.

 

I would say to this woman, "Yes, Sue, I am doing just fine, thanks for asking. If it changes, I will let you know". In hopes that she would back off.

I don't like pushy people either and although her intentions might be good, she is being pushy.

 

Crossing fingers for you that she starts to take interest in someone else and lets you be.

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Hey Kim :)

 

I am in the same boat as you, an introvert. I do not like small talk and I keep work strictly professional. My social life (friends) and work (in my opinion) are two seperate things and I like it that way.

No need to apologize for it, no need to allow anyone to ever make you feel odd or weird about it.

 

I would say to this woman, "Yes, Sue, I am doing just fine, thanks for asking. If it changes, I will let you know". In hopes that she would back off.

I don't like pushy people either and although her intentions might be good, she is being pushy.

 

Crossing fingers for you that she starts to take interest in someone else and lets you be.

 

Hi Sherry :)

 

Thank you so much, the word pushy describes exactly how she behaves. She can be really nice sometimes but probably doesn't understand how introverts function. At least now I know how to approach this.

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I'm also an introvert, and one trick that has spared me such concerns in the first place is to make a regular habit of flashing smiles and swift hellos to everyone I pass. It's behavior that costs me zero in terms of time or effort and has become habitual with practice. During times when I'm stressed or preoccupied it's still effortless enough to serve as a privacy mask, and it's so automatic, I don't really even need to be 'there' for it, it just happens.

 

That said, I really don't really view it as any skin off my back to appease anyone who is thoughtful enough to ask about me. I don't indulge them in anything beyond, "Thanks for asking, I'm good. Busy and focused, but otherwise good. How about you, are you okay?"

 

While in most cases the responses are equally as quick as my own, if it happens that someone wants to nail me down to talk about how they are, then I consider that a rare enough occurrence to just pay my dues as part of the cost of doing business. Not everything is about ME. I can be generous enough to indulge others in a little kindness now and then. It prevents me from turning rusty--and rigid.

 

It also helps me to consider that work is not a therapeutic environment, but it IS a social one. There's a difference between being introverted versus being antisocial. It only behooves me to adopt the resilience to play nice in the sandbox with all of the other people, who, incidentally, don't 'owe' me any catering to sensitivities that their otherwise social and caring nature may not be aware of.

 

So instead of having any 'talks' that attempt to scold Ms. Nosybody, the best way to dissuade her from latching onto you with concern is to reassure her kindly, with a smile, and with gratitude for her efforts to let you know that she cares.

 

Head high, but not too high. ; )

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I'm also an introvert, and one trick that has spared me such concerns in the first place is to make a regular habit of flashing smiles and swift hellos to everyone I pass. It's behavior that costs me zero in terms of time or effort and has become habitual with practice. During times when I'm stressed or preoccupied it's still effortless enough to serve as a privacy mask, and it's so automatic, I don't really even need to be 'there' for it, it just happens.

 

That said, I really don't really view it as any skin off my back to appease anyone who is thoughtful enough to ask about me. I don't indulge them in anything beyond, "Thanks for asking, I'm good. Busy and focused, but otherwise good. How about you, are you okay?"

 

While in most cases the responses are equally as quick as my own, if it happens that someone wants to nail me down to talk about how they are, then I consider that a rare enough occurrence to just pay my dues as part of the cost of doing business. Not everything is about ME. I can be generous enough to indulge others in a little kindness now and then. It prevents me from turning rusty--and rigid.

 

It also helps me to consider that work is not a therapeutic environment, but it IS a social one. There's a difference between being introverted versus being antisocial. It only behooves me to adopt the resilience to play nice in the sandbox with all of the other people, who, incidentally, don't 'owe' me any catering to sensitivities that their otherwise social and caring nature may not be aware of.

 

So instead of having any 'talks' that attempt to scold Ms. Nosybody, the best way to dissuade her from latching onto you with concern is to reassure her kindly, with a smile, and with gratitude for her efforts to let you know that she cares.

 

Head high, but not too high. ; )

 

We all have to say a quick hello in the morning, it's part of our work culture, so I'm definitely not antisocial, I like having lunch or coffee with my male coworkers, it's not like I'd be at my desk all day. I appreciate your point of view, but the thing is that this coworker does not ask me if I am okay every now and then, she sort of keeps pushing for an answer (I'm sorry if this sounds rude, I don't how to describe it), and I already told her last week twice I was doing okay, so for me this level for caring is just too much. I don't want to be rude to her, or scold her in any way, I know her intentions are good, but it does make me uncomfortable.

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We all have to say a quick hello in the morning, it's part of our work culture, so I'm definitely not antisocial, I like having lunch or coffee with my male coworkers, it's not like I'd be at my desk all day. I appreciate your point of view, but the thing is that this coworker does not ask me if I am okay every now and then, she sort of keeps pushing for an answer (I'm sorry if this sounds rude, I don't how to describe it), and I already told her last week twice I was doing okay, so for me this level for caring is just too much. I don't want to be rude to her, or scold her in any way, I know her intentions are good, but it does make me uncomfortable.

 

I get it--it's about the repetition. Okay, with a smile, I'd say, "I appreciate your concern. How about if we just always assume that I'm okay unless I say otherwise?"

 

If it STILL persists, rinse and repeat. Maybe with a laugh I'd add, "I'm not the team patient around here, am I?"

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I disagree, Catfeeder. It does not work.

 

I can say that for sure, because I too have tried that approach. In my experience, all it does is invite people to bother you more.

 

No, I don't see work as a "social" thing either. People are there for a paycheck, end of. There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep work professional and nothing more

It does not make anyone "rigid" or "rusty".

It means certain people have boundaries to which they are comfortable with and do not prefer to mix business with pleasure.

 

Nothing wrong with it at all.

No one should be shaming anyone for it, nor should anyone be forcing someone to do things they don't want to do.

 

I also don't see anyone wrong with telling someone that you're fine but also letting them know that you prefer to be more on your own.

Again, nothing wrong with it.

 

People should be allowed to be introverts, at work or elsewhere...and no explanations needed.

 

People have different ways, values, boundaries, things they are comfortable with and not comfortable with.

The bottom line is for everyone to respect our differences.

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I disagree, Catfeeder. It does not work.

 

I can say that for sure, because I too have tried that approach. In my experience, all it does is invite people to bother you more.

 

No, I don't see work as a "social" thing either. People are there for a paycheck, end of. There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep work professional and nothing more

It does not make anyone "rigid" or "rusty".

It means certain people have boundaries to which they are comfortable with and do not prefer to mix business with pleasure.

 

Nothing wrong with it at all.

No one should be shaming anyone for it, nor should anyone be forcing someone to do things they don't want to do.

 

I also don't see anyone wrong with telling someone that you're fine but also letting them know that you prefer to be more on your own.

Again, nothing wrong with it.

 

People should be allowed to be introverts, at work or elsewhere...and no explanations needed.

 

People have different ways, values, boundaries, things they are comfortable with and not comfortable with.

The bottom line is for everyone to respect our differences.

 

I agree and especially with your "bottom line" - I take time to feel people out -no, not by talking to them -by observing. So one of my supervisors is a very private person and I do my utmost to respect that in all my interactions with her even though I am chatty/tend to the bubbly -just not with her. There are people who prefer to meet with me in person and others with a strong preference for e-mailing. I work with someone who shared with me that her father is very ill. I observed how much information she shared (not everything but actually quite a bit) and she told me she was going out of town to spend time with him. So, a week later, as part of a work related email I inquired about how she/her father was doing but not in a prying/pushy way. I spent time crafting that part of the email so that I ht the right tone. She was appreciative of the concern and shared some of what had occurred. I feel it's important that if things delve into the more personal to let the person who is sharing take the lead in boundaries/how much AND not to share too much of your own personal stuff because to me, in most work environments, that can feel overwhelming/uncomfortable to the listener.

 

I don't think workplaces have to be social. They do have to be polite/civil/courteous. But if you do choose to be social sometimes it can be challenging to cherry pick. So if in your example you have lunch with male coworkers that might give the impression that you are more open to chatting/socializing/ your health being inquired into, etc. So it's a balance. Good luck and i can imagine that you must be frustrated with the "interrogation" into your emotional health.

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I disagree, Catfeeder. It does not work.

 

I can say that for sure, because I too have tried that approach. In my experience, all it does is invite people to bother you more.

 

No, I don't see work as a "social" thing either. People are there for a paycheck, end of. There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep work professional and nothing more

It does not make anyone "rigid" or "rusty".

It means certain people have boundaries to which they are comfortable with and do not prefer to mix business with pleasure.

 

Nothing wrong with it at all.

No one should be shaming anyone for it, nor should anyone be forcing someone to do things they don't want to do.

 

I also don't see anyone wrong with telling someone that you're fine but also letting them know that you prefer to be more on your own.

Again, nothing wrong with it.

 

People should be allowed to be introverts, at work or elsewhere...and no explanations needed.

 

People have different ways, values, boundaries, things they are comfortable with and not comfortable with.

The bottom line is for everyone to respect our differences.

 

In the broadest sense, working with others is a social agreement, regardless of whether or not we make it personal.

 

We each get to decide the degree to which we wish to integrate socially into the workplace. This is not the same thing as forming personal relationships, it's a choice of how well we wish to navigate our professional relationships in a social business environment.

 

We can handle our exchanges with kindness as we consider them part of routine business, and we can become better at that over time, or we can allow simple exchanges with coworkers to derail us and become barriers to our focus and peace of mind.

 

The choice is up to each of us to make for ourselves.

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Just my take on it, I tend to think with people like your coworker, it's less about her being concerned for you and more about her being uncomfortable with people keeping to themselves. She just wants to engage.

I tend to use humour and put it back in their direction. She really just wants you to pay attention to her!

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