The cold shoulder

As someone experiencing transitions in both my personal and professional life, I’ve been isolated. I work from home and usually alone. So I avoid office politics.

Lately through I’ve witnessed some behaviour that has caught me off guard. Even though I attended a private girls’ school, the situations remind me of high school. I don’t know how to react when this sort of thing happens. What is the etiquette when you’re obviously being snubbed?

Most of the snubbing experiences have happened when I’ve been with my boyfriend. Women will come up to him and speak only with him. They’ll act as though I’m invisible even though I’m standing right next to him and they won’t acknowledge me at all. When it first happened I thought I was imagining it, it struck me as strange. But it’s happened enough times now I’ve come to the conclusion that some people are just plain ill-mannered and rude. Growing up I was taught that when you meet two people you address both parties. I’ve taught my son the same thing.

I’ve fumed over these experiences. I’ve thought of boycotting certain events or even confronting the people who’ve snubbed me. My boyfriend has urged me to let it go, be the better person, shake it off.

Last night my boyfriend was snubbed by a former friend of his. She said hello but when he tried to answer her she ran off. This is the second time I’ve witnessed this rudeness on her part. He was upset and I found myself urging him to ignore her, stop expecting her to show him good manners and good will.

I think we all crave recognition from the people around us. You can do cognitive behaviour therapy exercises, put yourself in the other person’s shoes, shore up your self-esteem. But rejection may still hurt, no matter how old you are.

Jerk Therapy, courtesy Kim Stockwood


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