Her Nosy Co-Worker Kept Asking Questions About Her Personal Life so She Decided To Teach Her a Lesson

A woman recently shared an experience with a nosy co-worker and explained how she got the colleague to mind her business. 

Here’s what happened.

nosy co worker
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The woman says that she had quite a difficult childhood. One that made her decide to keep her personal life very private at work.

She grew up watching her father sell drugs, and her mother was a drug addict. Sadly, her mother died, and her father was given a life sentence in prison. 

With no one to look after her, the woman was put into foster care at the age of 7. At one point, she was homeless and worked as an escort. Despite the challenges, she was able to go to college and landed her first corporate job shortly after graduation.

Even though the job gave her the opportunity for a fresh start, it had some downsides. As a single woman without kids, she was only considered for time off after other team members had taken their leave. In previous jobs, she had felt that she was never given priority when it came to holidays because she had shared her personal life with her co-workers. She was therefore determined to do things differently in her next job.

So at this new job, she decided that all her conversations with co-workers would be strictly about work, and she had no intention of getting personal with her colleagues. She didn’t mention this to any of her colleagues and figured they would just leave her be.

The woman usually arrived at her desk by 8.45 am and left the office at exactly 5 pm. She took her lunch breaks outside the office and declined invitations from colleagues for social events. 

“My new colleagues understood I needed my privacy when I would just say ‘no thank you’ to all invitations,” she said. 

She even opted out of Secret Santa even though she usually celebrates Christmas. She also didn’t go to her colleague’s wedding but sent a gift instead.

Her colleagues respected her boundaries, and they had a cordial relationship. “They leave me alone, I leave them alone, but we are friendly, and I am happy to lend a hand when the need arises,” she said. 

Everything seemed to be going well until a new co-worker arrived. The woman was very outgoing and social and got along great with everyone in the office. Well, except this woman. The new colleague had decided to take up the challenge of getting to know the woman more personally, which did not sit well with the woman.

“In a direct polite tone, I told her that I appreciated her interest in getting to know me, but I am an extremely private person who does not like to mix her professional and private life together,” she said.

She hoped the new colleague would get the message and back off, but she doubled her efforts instead. The woman considered reporting her to HR, but she didn’t feel she had enough reason to file a report.

She tried everything she possibly could to enforce boundaries with the woman. For instance, she attempted to redirect the conversation whenever the woman asked her personal questions. She also tried changing the subject and told her she was busy several times. All of this didn’t work, so she decided it was time to explore an unusual approach.

On a regular workday, the woman approached her colleague at her desk in front of everyone and asked if she had any plans for the weekend. The colleague said she had plans but didn’t provide any specific details. Then the woman asked for details on her weekend plans and also wanted to know if she was planning to spend it with someone special. At this point, the lady went mute and gave her a blank stare that lasted for minutes. The woman was initially stunned and felt embarrassed.

“At first, she was annoyed, then she started rambling, turned red, and left in a hurry,” she said.

Some of her colleagues felt that the woman was being too harsh on the new co-worker. They understood that the woman wanted her privacy respected but felt it was not right to be rude to someone who was just trying to be friendly.

The woman, therefore, asked the Reddit community if she was in the wrong, but the majority agreed with her.

One user said, “the only way to maintain your privacy is to not let her wear you down. You deserve privacy at whatever level you’re comfortable with. Her being nosy is not your problem. If your response makes her uncomfortable, then she can stop initiating the conversations.”


Another user said, “brilliant power move. She is not trying to be friendly; she is just trying to find a way to control you”.

What do you think? Did the woman take it too far?

Source: Reddit

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