I’m trying to think of a nice way to ease into this post, but I really can’t so I’m just going to jump right in to the situation and my revelation.
There is this woman I deal with on a somewhat regular basis, at least twice a month. Let’s call her Faye because Faye is a name that’s just not used often enough. Anyway, Faye seems like a nice person. I have absolutely nothing against Faye. She lives in an area that’s notorious for weird aloof personalities who think their business is more important than anyone else’s business. Not that Faye necessarily emotes those characteristics, but my friend described her as a fembot the other day and I thought that was pretty accurate.
Faye has always confused me. I can never tell if she is joking, if she is serious, if she is bad at saying something in a joking manner, or if she is just snarky. I really can’t tell if she likes me or not and she has squinty eyes that make it impossible to make accurate eye contact.
At a meeting the other night I was wearing my name tag and she commented on it saying “I never remember to wear mine.” I replied that as a newer member I just think it’s easier for me to wear mine so there aren’t any of those awkward moments where people are trying to remember my name and feel bad for asking. To which she replied “oh, if I know your name then everyone else definitely knows it.”
I truly do not remember my reply because I immediately decided to take her comment as “I don’t know many people so if I know your name I’m sure others do as well.” But because Faye is extremely confusing it could have very well been a dig on me. Maybe something about how I’m obnoxious or how I talk a lot, which I actually don’t in these particular meetings.
The point of my story about Faye is that I really surprised myself. Rather than replying sarcastically to match her possible sarcasm, I chose to absorb her comment in a positive way. And that’s when I realized that we chose how to take others’ words.
I could have easily decided to take Faye’s words in a negative manner and assume she doesn’t like me, but I didn’t. And she might have meant them negatively and she might not like me, but by taking them and reacting positively I kept my mindset positive and she might grow to like me if she doesn’t already.
I know I tend to use my sarcasm as a security blanket when I’m feeling insecure or self-conscious and maybe Faye does too. Maybe it’s the only way she knows how to break the ice. So I hope my positive reaction encourages her to continue reaching out to me, but in a positive way.
Does any of this make sense? Have you ever encountered a similar situation?