Coworker obsessed with death and dying/sick people | INFJ Forum

Coworker obsessed with death and dying/sick people

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by middle1, Oct 21, 2010.

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  1. middle1

    middle1 Hellur

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    You know, I can empathize with pain and sadness. I've been through it, am going through it. I talk about it - to an extent.

    I have a 40-something year old coworker who is absolutely obsessed with the dying/death. Not in a gothic-y type way. I don't think she has lost someone close to her. A few weeks ago she said "I try to imagine what it feels like to lose someone close to you, but I can't." I told her "Its very painful and you don't want to go through it". And left it at that, then she started crying. Is this weird to you? It is to me.

    She makes it a point to bring the newspaper to work everyday, and tell us about all all the people who have been killed. She trolls the obituaries, attends funerals of people she barely knows. Every day she tells me about 2 or 3 people who have been diagnosed with cancer or who have died, most of the time people she doesn't even know. She likes to emphasize and dwell on how sad this is. I know that's part of the human condition right. But I'm at work, I don't won't to hear about it, honestly I don't care because I have no idea who she is talking about and I have my own problems!!!!! Very selfish of me but I just can't listen to this depressing stuff anymore. How should I approach her to stop telling me these things?
     
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  2. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    I get the vibe she's crying out for attention.


    Just simply tell her you would prefer not to discuss
    death or sickness with her as it brings a melancholic
    mood to the workplace and interferes with your job
    performance. Or just tell her she's an annoying bgidfugji
    and you don't care.

    It depends if you're going for honest or tactful. Personally
    I'm a tactful kind of girl but sometimes I'm honest. I'm in
    a bad mood today so it's mega-bitch.
     
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  3. Wyote

    Wyote (#/-\[]$ ([]`/[]'|'[-
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    You have to one up her. Start talking about all the horrible things in Africa and how tragic and hopeless all their lives are and how horrible it must be to only get a few crumbs of food a day and no clean water and then just die before you are 25 anyway.
     
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  4. OP
    middle1

    middle1 Hellur

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    Bird you are absolutely right about the attention thing. I'm pms-ing today and some not so nice words started to come out of my mouth but I got up and left the convo instead. I got reprimanded once for making her cry, totally unintentinal, I'm not mean. I tried to apologize but she wouldn't even acknowledge me.

    Everybody in the office recognizes this obsession.

    Wyote I will try that, but I'm afraid it might never end then!

    It's like she wants me to open up with my sad crap and the only place I do that is on infjs.com LOL. (Sorry guys).
     
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  5. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    Maybe you could try telling her that thinking about dead people makes you upset?

    I can't imagine her crying if you tell her that hearing that stuff hurts you.
     
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  6. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    This thread is being weird.
     
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  7. Sesquipedalian

    Sesquipedalian Community Member

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    Call her a racist.

    See what happens.

    Just kidding.
     
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  8. Wyote

    Wyote (#/-\[]$ ([]`/[]'|'[-
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    When people act "crazy" they just want to feel justified in their crazyness. So yea, she wants to see your sad crap, quite desperately. If you one up her (in a genuine way) what else is she going to have to say? Now you're the crazy one. Don't stop until you're the crazy one, then they'll see it and understand how crazy they've been.
     
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  9. Praefect

    Praefect Sparkles

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    Sometimes it is hard to cry for yourself. Then crying for someone else, grieving for someone else becomes, in a way, how we deal with our own emotions. Empathy as a channel to feelings within us that we cannot reach by ourselves. I don't know if that is what she is doing, but it's the first possibility that came to mind.
     
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  10. laurie

    laurie Snowblind in Dreamland

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    She could be depressed. Or she's stressed about her life. Maybe she hates her job?
    Try to distract her from this kind of side-lining thing she's doing by asking her about her life and stuff.

    Maybe try:
    "How was your weekend?"
    "How did you feel when you saw -some random thing-"
    "How are you getting on with work?"

    Just some random questions. Try probing a little and see what gets a reaction, then maybe try going down that route for a bit, If she gets it off her chest, she'll probably get over this 'death-phase'.

    (This is a little from experience, when one of my friends was remarkably depressing and heavy-going. I either kept asking her about things like that or distracted her instantly with something happy 'til she got over it.)

    Of course, this'll be a burden on you, and it's pretty darn selfish of her, but this might work.

    I hope she stops stressing you out soon! Things like that really wear on you after a while.
     
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  11. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    Another option if she's really bugging you is flat out telling her that she's being morbid. Tell her you're tired of talking about dead people; you'd rather hear about living people's triumphs over adversity. If she presses you by saying, "don't you CARE about the TRAGEDIES" you can say, "I really care more about their families. Let the dead bury themselves. They aren't worried about life anymore. We should really be doing more to help care for the people left behind."

    Or, discuss other things like...homelessness, poverty, unemployment. You know; upbeat stuff.:m194:
     
  12. Deathjam

    Deathjam ooooh
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    Step 1: buy cake
    Step 2: put cake on a plate
    Step 3: bring plate with cake on to work
    Step 4: walk up to co-worker holding plate with cake on
    Step 5: Stand infront of co-worker with plate and cake on it
    Step 6: Say these words: "Cake or Death!"


    See example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAOLOGGftTY&NR#t=04m45s
     
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  13. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    Or this. Yeeeessss. :D:m155:
     
  14. Melkor

    Melkor Madman with a cause

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    I do that all the time. Sometimes in a cheerful way like 'You hear about the flash floods? Hah-hah. We'll be next!' or else in a simplistic, neutral way 'Hrm, more people are dying...well whats new?'.

    Is it such a bad thing?

    Erm...

    You could try laughing, or simply ignoring her... I'm wonderful at ignoring people, need any tips?
     
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  15. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    I wonder if life would be more meaningful if you focused on death.

    If it's getting to you, maybe try the reverse tactic and seem completely interested in the conversation. The novelty of your response might just throw her off and make her reluctant to bring up the topic again.
     
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  16. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    I would suggest distancing yourself from the crazy woman. I would avoid a workplace cryer like the plague, especially if you have already gotten in trouble for making her cry. There is a time and place for everything and obviously she had no boundries which makes her unstable. If you insist on having to interact then realize you do it at the risk of having to talk about such things. I usually suggest saying "I'd rather not discuss such morbid things because they make me uncomfortable". If she persists then you are the one with the legitimate beef, not her. If she gets upset at least you are not in the wrong because you are expressing to someone that a topic makes you uncomfortable. Eventually such people either get the hint or start avoiding you because you politely confront them on their behavior. Of course like you said earlier, you just may be feeling sensitive today and unable to tolerate her behavior.
     
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  17. OP
    middle1

    middle1 Hellur

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    Very interesting. I will have to mention something tomorrow morning when she starts her spill with the obits.

    [MENTION=2635]Melkor[/MENTION] I do ignore it for the most part.

    The other day she was talking about a boy who had been in a bad wreck, he was young, yes its sad. But she said she couldn't sleep that night because all she could think about was him. My reply "You shouldn't let the stuff get to you. You have to healthy happy kids, you should be thankful it wasn't them". This went in one ear and out the other.

    Death Jam I love that Izzard guy :p
     
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  18. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    I think it depends on how you go about it. This person? I think she just wants something to feel deeply about, and death works for her.
     
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  19. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    Could you explain to me your logical thought process in regards to
    how you reached the conclusion that this said woman wants to
    feel deeply about something?
     
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  20. invisible

    On Holiday

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    ugh! as if you don't have enough to worry about! totally inappropriate!! possible psychiatric concerns! bad work environment! ask management to speak to her!
     
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