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HomeCareermy boss retains asking if I am OK — Ask a Supervisor

my boss retains asking if I am OK — Ask a Supervisor


A reader writes:

My supervisor is general an honest boss, and is cheap and type. Nonetheless she has this one behavior that has began to eat away at me. She continuously asks if I’m okay. Even typing this, it appears so inane/good, however it’s a sample that’s carrying me down.

A pair examples: As soon as, she requested if I wished to begin a mission that she considered and I respectfully declined, as a result of I advised her I had an excessive amount of on my plate and wished to attend till I heard again from some shoppers to tackle extra issues. I believed I used to be very respectful and possibly somewhat agency, however figured it was a standard interplay. Then 5 minutes later, she approached me and mentioned in a involved voice, “Are you okay?” and it made it appear as if as a result of I disagreed together with her on one thing that I used to be ailing/unwell? Different instances I’ll come into the workplace and possibly placed on my headphones whereas I do unbiased work, as a result of I want some quiet. She is going to then come over to me and ask if I’m okay.

The factor is, even when I’m in a nasty temper/not okay, I don’t actually wish to discuss to her about it! I simply wish to do my job, and I’m doing my job completely effectively, even on days when I’m not tremendous chatty. Ought to I simply recover from this or is there a solution to carry this as much as her?

That’s legitimately annoying! It will get tiring if somebody retains assigning feelings to you that you simply’re not feeling so that you then must spend vitality assuring them that you simply’re high-quality and in any other case managing these improper assumptions.

In your case, it’s notably attention-grabbing that each your examples have been your boss asking should you have been okay after you set fairly regular and affordable boundaries — saying your workload was already overwhelming and also you didn’t have room for extra at that actual second, and carrying headphones so you may focus. “Are you okay?” in each these contexts seems like she’s actually saying, “I don’t just like the boundary you’re setting, so is one thing improper with you?”

In equity, with the workload one, possibly there was extra to it. Possibly she wasn’t actually asking should you wished to begin that new mission, however simply assigning it to you and he or she was greatly surprised that you simply declined. In that case, although, it might be on her to make clear what she meant — and ideally additionally to dig into what was happening together with your workload, should you and he or she had totally different assessments of its quantity.

However since she’s additionally asking should you’re okay once you’re merely carrying headphones, I believe it’s extra probably that you simply coping with somebody who both:

(a) genuinely assumes you’re not okay once you do one thing that appears totally different out of your normal (“Jane is often so chatty through the day and in addition cheerfully takes on new tasks; at this time she’s totally different so one thing should be improper”)

or

(b) is utilizing “are you okay?” as a passive-aggressive means of telling you, “You’re doing one thing that I don’t like.”

Personally, I’d simply identify it the following time it occurs: “You’ve been asking me rather a lot if I’m okay. Am I doing one thing that’s making you are concerned that I’m not?”

Typically simply asking that may be sufficient for the opposite individual to understand that repeatedly asking is coming throughout unusually — or at the least is unwelcome — and it might get them to cease. But when it doesn’t, you may additionally say, “If there’s ever one thing improper that you need to find out about, please know that I’ll let you know proactively. It might be simpler on me if we will agree I’ll do this reasonably than you feeling it’s worthwhile to test.”

You say your boss is in any other case affordable and type, so hopefully naming the conduct that’s bugging you’ll get her to rein it in. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t — nevertheless it’s affordable to offer it a shot.

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