fancyfeast Posted November 12, 2013 Share Posted November 12, 2013 (edited) Hi. I'm new here. I'm an undergrad, female, and a junior. Just wanted advice on how to handle this situation that I put myself in. There is a graduate student in the lab I work in who I'm kind of friends with (we're both female - not lesbians, just kinda friends. I say "kinda" because there's a bit of an age difference; it's not always possible to relate to one another/she helps guide me when I ask, she's not my mentor though). We get along fairly well, we like the same things and actually spend a good deal of time hanging out outside the lab... Sounds great, right? Well, here's the problem... When she's stressed - which can be quite often - she is utterly, absolutely rude, mean, and dismissive towards me. There's never any warning - something as simple as a hello in the morning when I first see her or a glance in her direction that can set her off. She'll glare at me, mumble what I assume is hello, and say something about how she's working on an experiment (aka - leave me the hell alone). Once she ran out of the office after I said asked how her week was after being out of the lab for exams - I guess she had somewhere to be? I don't think I can convey how she looks/talks/acts towards me via writing. It's all sneers and annoyance - and I swear I'm not pestering her! And I don't usually get mad. How can I when I know she just does it because she's stressed? The thing is, she only does it to me and, to be honest, it stings. How am I to know when she's willing to talk and when she just wants to be left alone? It's one thing for me to bother her after realizing she's busy, but I feel like it's another to say hello to her or look in her general direction, and get treated like crap - maybe it's because I'm younger than her so it's okay? It's fine to be stressed and just want some space but it's not okay to be rude to me for no reason. I think this is happening because there are blurred lines between the mentor/friend relationship that we have and it's never been an issue until recently. When I first learned how she gets when she's busy or stressed I didn't know her very well and I actually worked under her. I accepted it as part of life as an undergraduate researcher. Now that I'm working on my own with a mentor who knows more about my project, and now that I am sort of friends with my old mentor, I think I am getting confused and perhaps (keyword) offended like I would if she were a friend/peer. Do I take a step back? I really like her as a friend, but it's really, really getting kind of old. I've started only talking to her if she approaches me, but she noticed I'm not as friendly as before and I just told her I was worried about an exam this week... I think maybe leaving her alone in the lab is my best course of action, but I want to know if I am justified enough in feeling consistently disrespected (not exactly the word I want to use) or if I should just accept it as part of being the bottom of the rung and move on. I'd like to be honest and let her know it bothers me, but if it's not worth it/not appropriate, I won't. PS - sorry if the title was misleading! No romantic affairs here Ninja edit - Just reread this and I'm not convinced I accurately described how she is, thus making me look super sensitive. Let me put this another way, she is normally the sweetest girl ever. So kind, so willing to help, and really funny. It's like one hour she'll be friends with me, the next hour I'm the scourge of the lab for distracting her from her work. To me, that is not normal behavior that one should put up with (if the behavior comes from a friend). Maybe this is just how it's supposed to be, but how do I just learn to accept it? Edit edit... Wanted to see if you could upvote yourself and I guess you can - I swear I'm not vain, just curious! Edited November 12, 2013 by fancyfeast fancyfeast 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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