Hey guys, I need your advice yet again! There is a team of us in our department working on similar topics with the same supervisor- about 12 of us, including one male, and we're all in adjacent offices. Now last year after starting my PhD I got quite friendly with this guy. Other people find him a bit odd, he's not really very sociable and can actually be quite rude to people, but we found that we shared a similar sense of humour and started spending more time together. After a while, he told me that he thought we should get together as a couple. I wasn't so sure, and I had to think about it for a while, but in the end I had to say I thought we should just remain friends. This was about 9 months ago. Now since then he has completely cut me off. He refuses point blank to talk to me, even if I ask him a direct question. If I walk into his office to talk to one of his office-mates he either puts his headphones on or storms out and slams the door. My supervisor has even offered to have a word with him, which I declined as I didn't want him to get into trouble over it and I suppose I feel a bit bad that I couldn't give him what he wanted. Anyway, he has recently got funding to stay on and do a PhD in the same team, which means that we will have to do some things together. Today I thought, this situation is ridiculous, so I spoke to him and asked if we could perhaps just even be civil to one another, to which he replied 'that is not going to happen'. Well, at least he replied! But how do I deal with this?! It's not bothering me from a personal perspective, but it's completely unprofessional and I wish we could just get on, but where do we go from here? Any bright ideas anyone? I do feel bad that I didn't feel the same way about him and I'm sad that I've hurt him but I can't agree to be his girlfriend just to keep him happy....Cheers, KB
he is the one who's having difficulty coping (hence the unprofessional behaviour); he has to learn to deal with it;
you dont have to feel bad about not feeling the same way about him, please don't feel bad or be pushed into feeling guilty just because he cannot handle himself; its a good thing that you were honest and told him so, instead of going further in a relationship that could have been worse for the two of you
maybe if everybody could meet (with your supervisor there) saying something like "we should all work as a team...etc" then there is no worry about getting him into trouble over his behaviour; either way he needs to grow up..
Hmm, Keenbean, you've done everything you can on your part. You've tried to build bridges and extend the olive branch. It's sour grapes on this guy's part. Professionally, he is obliged to be a productive member of the research team, and as such, I don't believe he's fulfilling his role. I could be wrong here, but, as such, this is no longer about him feeling personally rejected by you. It goes beyond that to his role as a work partner you have to communicate and collaborate with. For this reason, try not to be too lenient towards him. View him as a member of your team who, for his own unprofessional reasons, is being unco-operative towards you. So what if, for his own silly reasons, he resents you? He's a professional who has to do his job properly; it is what he is paid to do. You can't do your job as well as you can without it. His inner turmoil if for him to resolve himself.
As such, I feel that if he persists, in the professional work environment, to cause you problems then you consult your superior about it. If that superior happens to be your supervisor, then so be it. You are not the cause of the tension, he is. It's nothing personal on your part; it's professional.
Hi Keenbean, I think the others are right here. Of course you aren't to blame for how he is being, in a work environment everyone has to overcome those personal issues and work together. Especially in a department like yours where everyone seems to be working together and you may need to work directly with him in the future. I would see how it goes for a while, if you have team meetings try to get your supervisor to emphasise the team work aspect of the lab and how it's integral to science, and if there is someehing that you need resolved specifically then get your supervisor to have a word with him like he offered to before, this guy has put you both in this positiion so it's not your fault if you need assistance to get it resolved. good luck (up)
First of all it was a very sadistic thing to take this whole personal matter to the supervisor to humiliate him. And now to this forum. It was your responsibility to have kept the business n pleasure separate in first place. Don't try to drive this guy mad and try to resolve the issues through a mutual friend. I heard stories where issues like that go out of hand so abruptly and could become a dangerous situation.
Hi guys, thanks for your replies. I guess you've backed up what I think really- there's not a lot else I can do and it is up to him to behave professionally. It's just such a difficult situation and I feel bad about it, but I am doing everything I can to make things easier for him and he is determined to make things difficult. I really don't want to have to bring it up with my supervisor- I would be mortified if she got involved and he would be so embarrassed. Even though I'm not happy with how he is behaving I wouldn't want him to have to go through that.
@ Dispatcher- perhaps you need to re-read my post- I did not take the situation to the supervisor at all and I never would have done. She saw that he was behaving very unprofessionally towards me because it was so obvious and she offered to speak to him as other team-mates have previously also put in complaints about his behaviour over other matters. The reason I asked her not to speak to him was to save him from the humiliation. She actually offered to speak to him more than once and each time I asked her not to. And I don't believe I have done anything wrong- you talk about keeping work and pleasure separate, well I actually socialise with a number of people at work because they are also good friends of mine. There are married couples who work in our department. I didn't embark on a relationship with this person because I was worried about the effect it could have at work, so in that sense I think you are wrong again in your assertion that I have done something wrong. And finally- this is an anonymous forum, so I think I am entitled to ask for advice because this is an issue which is concerning me and I wanted the advice from others as I would like to resolve the situation. Plenty of people discuss sensitive issues on here because it is anonymous and I would rather ask for advice here than take it to other members of the team, which would be unfair and embarrassing for him. So I would ask you not to make so many assumptions before replying to my post in the manner that you have.
Cheers all, KB
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@KEENBEAN. Thanks Wally for a Kalm..That was Cool. I hate Assuming things KB. This was Apparent from your Thread. I Think You Need to send that Guys brain with UPS to WallyThePeaSucker to do an Analysis ASAP. There might be a Big Ego Worm in it if his behavior is so Apparent that Everybody Notices it. May be he thinks that you have rejected him and disrespected him. There are all sort of Physcho's in this World. Give him some Kalms as well. But, be careful Emotions are dangerous if he is not Pretending plz...There are 15 other people in the lab as well I dont know why you so keen on him?
Leave the poor folk alone to live his life...
@ Dispatcher- well it wasn't apparent from my thread actually, I never said I brought it up with the supervisor. The whole team have noticed his behaviour towards me and this is why it became apparent to my supervisor that there was a problem- I would never have mentioned it to her as I don't wish to upset or humiliate this guy in any way. He has put a lot of pressure on me to get together with him and I guess he does feel rejected. I am sorry for that, of course I am, but I can't embark on a relationship with him just to keep him happy. As I also said, this was over 9 months ago now, and I can understand that he might not want to see me, talk to me, socialise with me, whatever- I am not trying to force him to do that. But his behaviour is causing difficulties at work and I am concerned that my supervisor will insist on getting involved if he doesn't improve his behaviour. This would be immensely embarrassing for him which is way I am trying to make sure it doesn't get that far. My sup has made it clear that she has no problem with me in any way over this- as I said, other people have complained about his behaviour and attitude prior to this incident. So if you don't like to make assumptions then don't- but you certainly made a number of them in your first post. And as I said in my original post, he is the only guy on the team so it would be difficult for me to go chasing after any other members of team :) Best, KB
Hi Keenbean, I haven't got anything to really add to what everyone else has said, but I think this man is being totally unreasonable - he clearly needs to be able to cope with rejection better otherwise how is he going to succeed in academia?! His behaviour bears absolutely no reflection on you, I just find it hard to believe that he is acting like this, when you used to be good friends. I think you are doing the right thing to try to save him from being humiliated, hopefully when he actually starts his PhD he will grow up a bit and realise that his work and reputation in the department isn't worth jeopardising. Take care, Nxx
@ Dispatcher- well I think we are just going to have to differ in opinion on that one, I don't have the time or energy to keep arguing about it!
@Natassia and everyone else who replied- thanks, I'm glad that people seem to be agreeing with my actions on this one (with the exception of Dispatcher!). The last thing I want to do is to hurt him any more but equally I am so frustrated with his unreasonable behaviour. I understand that he doesn't want anything to do with me and that is up to him, but it is inappropriate to go around slamming doors in my face and blanking me outright when I ask him a work-related question. It is a difficult situation for me as well as him and to be honest he has been so unpleasant to me over the last 9 months I think I am just as entitled to be upset with him as he is with me, but I cannot bring myself to be so childish. I guess it will blow over, I don't think there is anything else I can do, I just hope for his sake that the sup doesn't insist in getting involved because it won't do him any favours and I don't know how long she will listen to me when I ask her not to haul him in over it. The other people on the team say I should just let her sort him out over it but even though he has been so unpleasant I can't bring myself to wish that on him. Maybe I am just being too nice, I have been accused of that before! Thanks all for your advice, KB
@KB OK Nevermind...He seems to be a Nice Blike 4U, One day not very far from now you will be someones gf/wify not just for his happiness but 4urs 2. Then why not that guy..you liked him despite all the warnings, he wants to be with you, you are both destined to b docs..bright future aye ;-) What are you scared off?
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