Don't make me ask : stressing out over getting the cold shoulder

by Jo
(Alexandra Hills)

If I am stressing out over getting the cold shoulder - wondering what I have done to deserve it - then I NEED to approach them - for my own sanity.


BUT if I am getting the cold shoulder and I'm NOT stressing out over it - then I can let is slide and wait for the day where they have sorted it out themselves and things go back to 'normal'.

What I've realised is when I wait for them to come to me (hell. . .it's their prolem - not mine). .. is that I am not coming from a place of Love, but from fear of confrontation / conflict.

If I want to be able to walk my talk - I need to approach and them and say 'Hey - I'm get a feeling that somethings going on for you. Do you feel that I did something to upset you?' Once I tell them it was unintentional, and they get their learning from their experience - Life at work with my colleague goes back to 'normal'.

It's a bit like bullying in schools. . . they say there are three parties to bullying 1. the bullies. 2. the person being bullied and 3. the bystander. School kids are taught the bystander is just as much a bully as the bully themselves.

So for me, dealing with a work colleague who is giving me the cold shoulder - and doing it any other way - is running away from conflict and I am indirectly saying 'hey I'm not at fault here - all I am doing is my job (despite the fact that I am very well aware that there is a problem').

So, if I know I didn't do anything wrong why would it be a big deal about who approaches who first?

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Oct 29, 2015
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Sep 28, 2010
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Don't Be Manipulated
by: Anonymous

I think you can do it depends on a couple of factors:

1. Are you approachable/have you two worked well in the past

2. Does this coworker use the "cold shoulder" as a way of making YOU deal with his/her feelings instead of being assertive and approaching the "offendng" party? Very passive-aggressive stuff here.

I've worked with a woman where the entire office (and she was NOT the boss---an admin with a very strong personality) was on pins and needles every day wondering what kind of mood she'd been in that day. If you were on her sh&t list, then you were going to have a very bad day indeed!

I like Alexandra's direct approach---if you have the internal strength and this person isn't manipulative, go for it.

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