DEAR HARRIET: I remember how my co-workers treated me when I was new to the job: cold, distant, and totally uninterested in helping me adjust.
While they dutifully answered any questions I had, their responses were curt and unwelcoming.
Now I look around and see them cooing about a new colleague, trying to help as much as they can and treating them like one of the family. It doesn’t feel right or fair. What could this be about? How do I not take it personally?
DEAR NOT FAIR: It’s hard to notice someone being treated significantly better than you and not responding to this behavior.
Do your best to let it go. Asking your colleagues about it won’t help you. Begrudging the new person will only create more tension.
Instead, do your job and look to see who it is wise to build relationships with. You may never be a favorite at the company, but you can form meaningful connections with key colleagues if you make it a goal.
DEAR HARRIET: Every time I see a certain woman in my wife’s friend group she looks at me, says hello and asks for my name.
I want to say that I have been in her company for over 15 years (though not closely). I see her somewhere between five and ten times a year. We go to the same parties and share many of the same friends and acquaintances.
I find it baffling that this woman never recognizes me.
Should I be offended by this? Should I say something to her, or should I just keep introducing myself and let it go?
At first I was surprised, but now I don’t care anymore. (Maybe that’s not entirely true.) When I catch a glimpse of her chatting about it with other friends of mine, I can’t help but wonder why I’m not memorable at all.
Do not forget me
DEAR FORGET ME NOT: There is a chance that this woman suffers from some form of amnesia. Instead of you being unmemorable, she may experience times when she can’t remember people, places, or experiences. Who knows? You don’t have to find that out.
What you can do is feel sorry for her and reintroduce yourself if she asks. You can also refresh her memory by reminding her of the last time you saw her or pointing out something noteworthy to her.
Sometimes people don’t remember others when the interactions they have are fleeting and unimportant. If you’ve mostly said hello to this woman over the years without stopping to talk to her and establish some kind of connection, she may not have an anchor point on which to create memories of you. Consider talking to her for a few minutes in the future. The same goes for anyone you want to build memories with. Otherwise, just say hello and keep moving.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people achieve and activate their dreams. Inquiries may be sent to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.