please help me understand my collegue she drives me nuts | INFJ Forum

please help me understand my collegue she drives me nuts

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  1. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    I'm working with this woman in a project, she is the projectleader so basicelly she is in charged but the policy is that we all have something to say in project discussions. She is not my direct manager!!!! Lets call her H

    these are some basic caracteristics. I don't know her very good but this is how I see her behave in the group. She seem to divide the group (our team of 30 people) in two parts. The important part with all the social accepted and important people in it and the not important part with all the rest. I have been in the second group offcourse.
    With the people of the important part she is very social, very friendly, talks a lot, makes jokes with them. Some jokes can be seen as a bit cruel but most of the time it is clear that she is joking and the people seem not to mind. There are two other women in that group with whome she as a bit of a friendship, the others don't really involve her very much in there group activities.
    The people of the non important group are ignored completely. Some of them have told me that she hasn't said one word to them. They are like air to her ... unless she needs them, at that moment she becomes very very very friendly, smiling and all and the fakeniss is just dripping of it. Untill she gets what she wanted and then you are ignored again.

    So this is basicelly how she was treatening me for the last 1 and a half year. But then I had to work with her in a project. She had started that project some months before I entered with an other collegue. The other collegue is an ISTJ I suppose. Very very organized and need and she really needs structure. She needs to know up front the experiment and she has hard time tolerating any changes during the process. H and the ISTJ seemed to have a good understanding when I entered the project and they still have. H is very friendly towards the ISTJ and makes sure she doesn't stress the ISTJ to much, she clearly understands what the ISTJ needs.
    Now I entered the scene and I was expecting a change in attitude towards me. I don't want her to do as social as with the important group of people, just respect me so we can create an harmonious team. She still ignored me, I am of no importance to her, she never tells me I did something good, or wrong, she just suck it up, gives me the feeling she is undermining me the whole time. One day she is friendly the next she is not. One day she askes me about my vacation plans but she ignores what I tell her, doesn't even respond to it. When I'm walking with her to the labs she doesn't talk, walks even in front of me (like I'm a puppy running after her), and when I start a conversation she almost always ignores what I said like she didn't heared me at all. Last week I was watching a presentation in teleconference with her and an other collegue. Since the line failed at one point she said to the collegue and to the collegue alone, if you want you can go, I'll stay her a while and work on my computer (in which the teleconference was running). Since I was not addressed and since I wanted to stay in case the line worked again, I stayed. What did she do, she ignored my presence and started to work on her computer so that I was just watching her emails on the screen. So at that point I just stood up and left the meeting room and when I opened the door she says to my back with a very innoscent voice: "ow did you want to stay then?"



    That woman is so damn unorganized, can't explain an experiment in a decent way, changes her mind ten times during the explanation leaving me puzzled about what it is she wants in the end. (and my ISTJ collegue agrees with that)

    than she does her next trick. Since I'm puzzled with what I have to do, I have two options:
    1. do what I think I have to do (and make a mistake ofcourse) and
    2. ask her whenever I'm not sure about what I have to do

    her reply on option
    1. is to ofcourse wonder why I didn't understand the assay, hasn't she explained it fully to me just an hour ago (she doesn't say this but she treads me like this)
    2. this one I had today. I had to count the cells so that I could divid them in living and death cells. I asked whether she wanted me to count them with the coulter counter and she looked at me and asked me: "how else would you count them then" and she keeps looking like she expect me to aswer that question. Or she starts a discussion with me why I think that way so in the end she can trick me into making a fault in my explanation or admit that I'm stupid



    I tried everything I could think of to make our relationship more harmonious but it doesn't work. Maybe I'm missing something her, maybe I'm to vulnerable and get hurts while she means me no harm. Today I got an other clue, the way she treated me with that cell counting incident, is exactly how my father used to tread me whenever I had to help him. Undermining my self trust, asking me to do something and if I couldn't do it he said: "can't you do anyting right, what is the matter with you, do I have to do everything myself". And also when I asked him a stupid question he would react with "how else would you do it then?" I know I shouldn't have asked that question because I know the answer, it is only that he made me feel so stupid and insecure that I had to be absolutely certain that I understood him because "I can't do anything right".
    But that is the only resemblance between H and my father. My father is very organized and controling while H is very chaotic.

    man this is getting long :D I'm sorry! But does this give you any clue, any advise on how I should interact with her. I was thinking today: "just ignore that kind of behaviour, just be very dry and distant towards her and only when she says something nice to you than you can reward her with a nice reply, like you would tread your child or dog...

    help!!!!
     
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  2. Altruistic Muse

    Altruistic Muse Community Member

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    Oh this sounds absolutely horrible, I absolutely hate any hostility of this kind, poor you!! Very difficult to give advice, as it varies from situation to situation. I had some issues with a guy at work who was obnoxious with me, (which was related to sexism and cultural differences, but anyway...), and I think what you last said is how I dealt with him. If he was aloof with me, I was aloof with him. If he was aggressive with me, I was aggressive with him. It got to the stage where I didn't care anymore, and I just played him at his own game. It was easy for me to be nice to him if he was in the mood to be nice to me also. That's important, so you don't feel petty. Just accept that this lady is very different to you or me, because she is all about appearances, and social hierarchy. The unimportant stuff. Don't expect her to get you, she thinks of you as lesser, but as you know you are not, that is irrelevant. in fact, if you think of it objectively, it just makes her narrow-minded, unprofessional and a bad manager. If you can detach yourself this much it helps. A lot of the time these people will come crawling back if you stop looking bothered.
     
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  3. inigo

    inigo Newbie

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    What is the priority of your professional relationship with H? Is it to create harmony between the 2 of you or is there some type of deliverable that you can focus on and deliver it?
     
  4. OP
    Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    yeah, I tried it a bit today. After that comment of her (which I was expecting to get before I asked the question) I came to the point I didn't care anymore. So I just turned around and took of counting those damn cells. I didn't look at her, I didn't say anything to her unless she asked me something or unless I had to inform her with something relating to what we where doing. After about 20 minutes of working in silence (which I normaly would try to break with a chat but at this point I didn't care any more) she broke the silence and asked me whether I had booked my vacation yet. I answered in a very nice way, she didn't react, I started what could be a light hearted chat, she didn't react, at that point I closed down agan not saying a word or giving a smile. At the end of the day she was much more correct with me.

    I guess I can try it for a while. I don't like to play games like this or to tread my collegues like a dog but I guess she gives me no choice :caked:
     
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  5. OP
    Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    euhm ofcourse the project outcomes are the most important. But I can't just focus on them and work a bit independent because we have to interact all the time and that askes for some harmony. We are working with three people on this, it is always hard to work with three together so some kind of bound or team spirit is very important. Secondly the way she treads me doesn't bring up the best in me. Last month I worked for two weeks on an other project with an other project manager. I was a complete different person. I could ask whathever I wanted, he answered ver patientely every time which gave me more and more self confident. And since I wasn't second guessing all the time (did I understood her correct or not) I did a better job. He also gave me some nice feed back which I never get from H.
    So for the delivery of the project it would be better if there was harmony in our group...
     
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  6. Altruistic Muse

    Altruistic Muse Community Member

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    She literally doesn't. That's why I say be nice when she's nice. At least then you don't feel as petty. I hate playing games, and I hate hostility, but not everyone is the same. If she likes playing games and trying to get one up on people so she feels more powerful, then you can either take it and get upset, or you can just try to ignore it and see what happens. Unfortunately I don't think she sounds like the type that would admit that she has done anything wrong, so I don't see much point in trying to discuss. Hang in there, it's sure to improve!
     
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  7. inigo

    inigo Newbie

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    I see, and I understand where you are coming from. I work in a small group too, which makes it hard to create a sense of balance between professional goals, team building, and personal matters.

    I don't know enough about your situation to offer much, but perhaps there are others that you relate better to in your larger organization that you can go to for relief from the stress of your immediate surroundings. If you can continue to focus on what the overall goal is of your team, and position yourself to deliver what you've been tasked with, even if that means you have to do it without much emotional support, you might find that you naturally become more visible to those who don't see you now. If all else fails, explore your career options. Perhaps the environment that you are in is toxic to your character and maybe a change is in order.
     
  8. OP
    Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    thanks!
    in fact it is only her, the rest of the team is nice, my manager is the best. I told him about this problem during my evaluation, well to be true he pulled it out of me. He was very understanding and said he was going to see what he could do about it. He asked H how it was going in the team and if I and her are getting along. She said that she had a better understanding with the other collegue from the beginning but that she was holding no grutch (?) against me. And that was it. Since then she smiled at me from time to time making me feel a bit better and I didn't mention it again to my manager.

    I would like to focus myself on the project but this woman is making such a mess in my opinion. She has a phD but I haven't heared her say anything smart or giving any good ideas that came from herself. She can't keep a grip on the goal, gets offended when other people are questioning her experiments. One time we where discussing a certain experiment and I asked why we where talking about using this particular instrument to generate the data since I thought we where trying to get a complete different kind of data with this experiment so we need to use an other instrument, so I asked what data do you want? And you know what the aswer was: "ow, good question, I have to ask ... about what he thinks of this". I was right on this time but it always goes at the expense of the relationship we have. She wants to be right and superior and always tries to turn the conversation in that way that I seem stupid.

    it seems like she isn't equiped to do the job and is trying to to let it appear that she CAN handle it. But that is only my opinion. I can be wrong in my judgement call!
     
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    #8 Morgain, May 15, 2010
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  9. kyo

    kyo Community Member

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    Seems to me that she might have some personal issues from past experiences that has not been very successful. Also it is possible she doesn't understand you and can't read you thus having a hard time around you. This could lead to her acting different around you, same goes for other people in the groups.

    Anyway, I don't think you should take what comes from her too personal.
     
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  10. inigo

    inigo Newbie

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    This part offers lots of insight. One thing that I have experienced is that NF types are able to see when others are faking something or passing themselves off as something different than what they are. This is very threatening to the person perpetrating the act, and I'll bet she is aware that you can see through her. It sounds like she does not meet her own expectations, and gauges her succes in this area by how she stacks up against her peers. All of this may add up to her perceiving a need to marginalize you as much as possible for her own protection and success.

    Hang in there. These relationships don't last forever! I just got through being partnered with someone that I clashed with in more ways than I ever knew were possible. That person is gone now. I'm mentoring that person's replacement now, and that presents new and completely different challenges; but it is far better than the last situation.
     
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  11. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    Sorry that this is still going on, Morgain. It sounds like it is slowly getting more frustrating for you. Is this relationship with her permanent, or will she be moving on to other groups eventually?
     
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  12. OP
    Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    thanks. That are my thoughts too. I only want to jump on conclusions to hastly based only on a gut feeling. I can be completely wrong about it.

    If she thinks I'm a tread to her she is completely wrong. First am I not in the position to steal her job and second, if she would be honest to me and admit her weaknessess I would incourage her and help her in overcoming them. I love people much more if they don't put on an act and keep me at a distance but show me there doubts. I would become very loyal then and stand behind her shoulder to back her up. Every time that I correct her she acts defensive and my correction that was well intended now appears like a stab in her back

    Yes because it doesn't seem to stop. Every time that she is nice to me I think that it is over, that I know now how to ineract with her. But some days later she starts again. I feel like such a whiner since it is not really harashiment that she does, she doesn't bully me, it are little things.

    For this project there was a vacancy at my company with a fixed contract and since I had a interim contract I applied on it and got the job but had to promise that I wouldn't ask for an other project the next years. But there is the possibility that H is going to leave the company since we are moving to an other site and now she has to drive 70 km and that may be to hard for her ... I really hope she leaves!!!
     
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  13. OP
    Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    she did it again today,made me stand there like a fool (I did not react on it at all). At this point I wonder whether I'm not to sensitive. Whether her behaviour is just the way she behaves and I'm just to damn vulnerable and taking everything in. Then again, to my collegue she can be very nice, very involved and patience with her Si needs.

    I was thinking about her type. I'm sure she is a T. And since both she and the other collegue are T's it makes sence that they understand each other better than they understand me. I think she is ENTP. Very idea oriented, jumping from one idea to the other without finishing it, not taking care of details, not valueing other peoples input clearly and like a layer more concerned about winning, making everyone believe she is doing a good job than concerning about actually doing a good job and improving our assay. She is more concerned with getting the right data to prove it works with a protocol that is not optimized, than to test the protocol to examine whether the "right data" are in fact correct, robust and reproducable.

    a vissionaire (ENTP) and a duty fulfiller (ISTJ) can you think of a better team than that? No wonder an idealist like me can't fit in...

    I have been reading the ENTP personal growth page of personality page and these phrases are very much like her:

    "It is not that the one sided ENTP is deliberately hurtful, but simply ignorant of the effects which can flow from their often compulsive need for change or need to show how clever or individual they are."
    "
    Another significant problem arises where the ENTP has grown within or is locked by circumstances to an environment which limits their freedom or their ability to utilize their specific abilities. This forces the ENTP to narrow down their intuitive process to the point where it retains at least some freedom to operate within their life. Under such conditions however, the intuition is free only to range over a small and limited field of vision, a field which usually consists only of the very things the ENTP is normally unconcerned about: the small details of life and its familiar objects. Without the ability to take stock and apply careful thought to the ways they might expand their horizons, the ENTP in such situations can become morose, niggardly and obsessed with the most minor or intangible details
     
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    #13 Morgain, May 17, 2010
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  14. myst

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    "I was thinking about her type. I'm sure she is a T. And since both she and the other collegue are T's it makes sence that they understand each other better than they understand me. I think she is ENTP. Very idea oriented, jumping from one idea to the other without finishing it, not taking care of details, not valueing other peoples input clearly"

    That's just what I was thinking as I was reading your post. Maybe she is really clueless about your feelings regarding her lack of common conversational curtesy. Maybe she doesn't realize she isn't explaining things clearly. I'm not sure about any of this. I will say that interacting with strong T's I'm starting to learn to be very blunt and not considerate of their feelings the way I would be with normal people because they (strong T's) don't realize they have feelings and they won't appreciate common curtesy. If they don't explain something correctly, I think a good approach might be to ask them questions until they explain it and ignore them if they act like you are stupid. I'm not sure. If it wasn't my boss, I might explain to them that they are being condescending, and explain why they are being condescending, because they probably aren't aware of it, and if you have patience to explain to them for a while, they might start to understand a bit. If it was my boss, I'd be afraid to explain how she should act too explicitly. I would just try to ignore it if she was condescending because I'm guessing she probably doesn't mean it as strongly as it comes across, she just doesn't know how to express herself very well.
     
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  15. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    I've had to work with people who sound exactly like the woman you described, and it was pretty terrible. There really is no good solution for them. At least, when I worked with them, I was in charge, not them. Having someone like that in charge is a nightmare.
     
  16. Betteralone

    Betteralone Regular Poster

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    Idk Morgain. Sounds like she is just a witch and feels she is better than others. Ignore her attitude. You know what needs to be done and how to do it. If you have questions as the other colleague. You could ask her what the problem is and when she says nothing, why do you ask, tell her she is rude and dismissive. Guess that scenario wouldn't end well, but then she would know you will stand up for yourself and treat you proper. Send an anonymous complaint to the boss about the experience in the previous group of 30. I certainly would not last long in ur situation!:m185:
     
  17. the

    the Si master race.
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    From what you said here, it seems like you are percieved on a first impression basis as incompetant. You will probably have to prove your competance over and over without making any mistakes before she gets that you can do your job. Also, asking questions that require her to micromanage you is going to erase all the competance you show.

    Also you seem like one of those people who are cursed to be perpetually picked on or at least disliked or looked down on. I am not sure how to handle that kind of situation. Maybe someone else knows.

    Well one thing I thought of, You should try to be more cruel to assert dominance. Hopefully you can pull it off.
     
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    #17 the, May 20, 2010
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  18. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Morgain: I haven't read all the posts - I haven't got much time right now. But they all look like you are questioning and theorising about why something is the way it is. Additionally the posts are VERY long and unresolved. If the way you function in the work place is anything like your posts in this thread I have some suggestions:

    Loquatiousness. In a work place loquatiousness about the work often implies insecurity or doubt about what one is doing. I suggest you don't talk about your work at all, but just do it. If you must talk, talk about other topics COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY unrelated in any way to your work. This implies that you are so familiar and comfortable with your work and abilities that you can do them and still have a conversation about something else.

    If you do have something work-related to say make it BRIEF.
     
  19. inigo

    inigo Newbie

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    This is obviously no fun and I hope it turns around for you. As far as typing people goes, it has only been useful to me in evaluating how people can be useful to me.

    I hate saying it that way because it sounds cold, but when it comes down to it, people have a natural style and it would not be good for me to expect people to deviate from it to accomodate me. Your "friend" H has a style that is not likely to function in a way that meets your ideals, and that is probably not going to change. As far as the H relationship with your other colleague, they seem to have a natural ability to communicate on a level that is better than the way you and she communicate. That is not anybody's fault, that is just the nature of what it is.

    So at this point, what do you need to do to achieve your professional objectives, and how can you do that with the cards you have been dealt? What can you do to influence the hand that you're dealt going forward?
     
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