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Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
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duedue Offline
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Post: #1
Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
We have a coffee hour each morning at the place I work. Today this Ukrainian or Russian (I don't know for sure) guy was talking to a few others about how difficult it is to get from Russia to Ukraine and back. I asked him when he was there last time and he said two weeks ago, to meet some friend.

Were they in east Ukraine or West Ukraine? [I meant western or eastern side of the country.]
You don't need to ask me this kind of question.
What?
You don't need to ask me this kind of question.


WTF? I'd talked to this guy before and he didn't sound like an asshole. I don't really understand.
08-17-2015 06:05 PM
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monster Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
He AMOGed you but it also sounds like it was a dumb question that had little relevance to the story he was trying to tell. If you're going to ask questions be a good listener and ask questions that pertain to the emotional appeal of someone's story not about things that don't matter.

If I'm telling a story about visiting a friend in a country and the hell I go through with customs I don't want to answer a silly question about details - I want to convey the emotion about the general experience not got caught up in nerd details. But yeah, he sounds like a dick when he could have been polite about it and then carry on with the story.

I'm a bit vengeful so I'd get back at him at work somehow.
(This post was last modified: 08-17-2015 07:51 PM by monster.)
08-17-2015 07:48 PM
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duedue Offline
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RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
Thanks. I remember he said he passed through "no man's land" on his way so the answer to my question was likely already given.

It seems that one good thing I can do is to not ask questions but to imply a statement based on what has been said. This is said about opening girls as well. For example if someone tells me s/he has worked for Subway for 5 years, instead of asking "How have you liked it" I can say "You must like Subway!". The difference is that when asking a question you are deferring to someone else's opinion (you show you "care") while in the other case you are just expressing your own.
08-17-2015 08:21 PM
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monster Offline
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RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
(08-17-2015 08:21 PM)duedue Wrote:  . The difference is that when asking a question you are deferring to someone else's opinion (you show you "care") while in the other case you are just expressing your own.

Not really. I ask a ton of questions - and many great conversationalists who I know - that we don't really give a shit about the answer. It's just to make small talk.

I think generally statements are better than questions but in this day and age a lot of people don't necessarily take the hint that a statement is to keep going on and moving forward so questions are necessary too.

It's totally situation ally relevant but I feel that asking questions has got a bad rap among pickup and completely unjustifiably.
08-17-2015 08:27 PM
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teh_skeeze Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
Your line of questioning comes off as if you are challenging the validity of his story. I don't think it was your intention, but it's how he perceived it. I work with a Georgian (country, not state). When a line gets crossed with him, he quickly and sternly deals with it. This seems no different.

10/14/15: The day I learned that convicted terrorists are treated with more human dignity than veterans.
08-17-2015 08:30 PM
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TigerMandingo Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
delete
(This post was last modified: 08-17-2015 09:31 PM by TigerMandingo.)
08-17-2015 09:18 PM
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heavy Offline
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RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
You spend an hour each morning drinking coffee at work? HR department? Just a guess.

Anywho, great answers above. I'd say in general don't think too much about it. He probably didn't. This sorta thing happens all the time among people from the same culture, and your story has the added element of a different culture.

I suppose it might be worth understanding what you said wrong in that specific moment but...

If you didn't do anything wrong and know you didn't, don't sweat it...but don't hate on the other person for it either. Hell, for all you know he had a sexually abusive uncle from the other side of the country who used to ass rape him while calling him a dirty East-Ukrainian pussy.

Or more likely what teh_skeeze said.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
(This post was last modified: 08-17-2015 09:41 PM by heavy.)
08-17-2015 09:32 PM
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spokepoker Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
Maybe he gets barraged with questions at home, so he doesn't want to deal with it at work?
The thing is, it doesn't matter. Some people are terse, others will take time to explain everything.
Just don't take offense to the demeanor of other people, not everything needs escalation.

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08-17-2015 09:37 PM
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Ingocnito Offline
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RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
The Easterners and Westerners apparently have differing views of one another, or this particular guy in particular.. My response to that would just be "I see."

Once in my early 20s, a guy who eventually turned out to be a great friend mine, I said to him during a poker game "Your momma." He stood up, and shook his head, and 3 other guys at the table stood up quickly, telling him I didn't know.... don't blame me. etc.

It struck a chord in him, there was no way I would have known about. I'd been regularly playing poker against him for about a month. Aparently, when he was in his teens, his mom was put in a coma in a horrific car wreck. They kept her alive for years as a vegetable, she eventually got cancer, and died recently.

People are weird like that. Not to say splitting rationale and sensitivities is easy for any of us.
08-17-2015 09:48 PM
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duedue Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
HR department? You are insulting me man! It's half an hour when people can get a coffee and socialize. Usually just a handful of people show up and hardly anybody stays for more than 15 minutes.
08-18-2015 07:02 AM
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debeguiled Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
Anyone can ask a question and get a response that freezes your brain and feels like it might be an insult. I wouldn't worry about it and for sure I wouldn't take it personally.

There could be a cultural reason for his response that would only be known to other Ukrainians. Or, you could have been pressing one of his idiosyncratic emotional buttons, and he just reacted.

Remember though, you were talking to a dude and not a woman. For whatever reason you crossed some boundary he had, and he clearly and openly let you know you had gone too far. Like guys do.

Should be the end of it. Because for the most part men don't hold weird grudges over this kind of shit. That's what women do. And remind you of it 9 months later in front of everyone at a Christmas party.

I would just treat him normally and as long as he isn't hostile or condescending towards you, it is over and in the past. And don't think about it too much, or you are in a state of male respect oneitis, and are overthinking it. If he seems offended, talk to him privately and ask if you said anything that bothered him.

Unless either of you did or said something that went beyond how you described it, this is just totally normal. It's called getting to know a stranger.
08-18-2015 01:21 PM
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Blunt Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
Your question was very personal considering the events going on in Ukraine. His story had already implied it when he said "no man's land" and you were trying to clarify (or to him, to put in the open). Even though it was completely innocent of you, to him it made him suspicious because that is exactly the question someone investigating his trip would ask.

Its like if one of your coffee circle buddies said he partied really hard over the weekend and you asked 'did you snort any cocaine?'
08-18-2015 01:32 PM
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Days of Broken Arrows Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Whe you don't understand soomeone else's (offhand) behavior
There is a certain segment of the population that is tightly-wound and gets offended at anything. You had the misfortune of finding one.

Two years ago, I asked a neighbor if he could not walk his dog directly outside my condo bedroom window because his talking and the dog's barking kept waking me up at 5 a.m. and/or midnight. I'd always gotten along with this guy -- he even took me to pick up my car from the shop once.

But this request rubbed him the wrong way to the degree that he started yelling at me and accusing me of bullying some contractors (WTF?). Since then, he's refused to ever acknowledge me. When I walk by he stares straight ahead into the void. He's also apparently told a bunch of neighbors I'm an animal-hating a-hole.

Like the country song says, people are crazy.
08-18-2015 01:50 PM
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