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Nice but shy colleague?

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Question - (27 October 2021) 7 Answers - (Newest, 11 November 2021)
A male age 51-59, *ng_vice writes:

Hello,

How do I initiate talking with a nice woman who seems very shy? We are colleagues but don't work together and we are quite mature.

I know she is divorced and a mother of grown up sons but she doesn't seem to socialise much at the workplace, and is mostly glued to her PC.

I have said "hello" in passing with a bright "hi" reply, but I think she is quite shy.

Regards.

View related questions: divorce, shy, workplace

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A male reader, CMMP United States +, writes (11 November 2021):

@honeypie if someone doesn't want to make friends at work they can communicate that I'm a number of ways.

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A male reader, Eng_vice  +, writes (9 November 2021):

Eng_vice is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hello.

So far so good. I don't think she is particularly shy now, after a couple of small retorts.

I get them impression she is Mega busy on the job, simple as that.

Answers appreciated, and taken on board.

Thanks

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A male reader, Eng_vice  +, writes (8 November 2021):

Eng_vice is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hello. So far so good. She is not particularly shy, but she is glued to work 99% of the time.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 October 2021):

If her "shyness" seems impenetrable and constant; that may be because she wishes to keep things at the workplace professional, especially with male-coworkers.

Blunt, curt, or single-word answers are pretty much an indication that a person just wants to be left alone. It may or may not be due to any personal-issue with you. Either way, you're at work, on the clock; and you should respect her space. She's apparently focused, and doesn't want to be distracted with idle chit-chat. It may not be shyness at all. You don't know her reasons, she doesn't owe you any explanation; and you should continue to be cordially-professional. Too friendly can be misconstrued as "interest."

If she's shy as you presume, her workplace is the last place anyone should be testing ways to break through her shyness. That's a mild form of harassment.

Some people are only shy at work; because they want to send the message to all their co-workers that they don't wish to be sociable or over-friendly with them. I'm cordial, easy to talk to, and humorous; but I'm strictly professional on the job. People respect it, and they seem to like me all the same. I lower the professional-shield, but stay within proper distance, during company socials and parties. That's when it's appropriate, and there won't be any misunderstandings. Especially, with female co-workers. It's dicey trying to make romantic-connections with co-workers; it's too risky, and a misunderstanding could cost you your job.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (29 October 2021):

Honeypie agony auntPerhaps not.

But there are people out there who are not really looking to make friends at work.

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A male reader, CMMP United States +, writes (29 October 2021):

Sorry Honeypie but that's not really the most helpful advice.

I think if you want to start talking to her than start talking to her the way you've started talking to people your whole life... Ask a question. How are you liking your job? Are you from here? Can you believe how much is been raining? Whatever.

If she doesn't seem interested in having a conversation than take a hint. Like Honeypie said maybe she's not interested in that case. But there's nothing wrong with showing your interest in a professional way by starting a conversation.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (29 October 2021):

Honeypie agony auntI know it's a novel idea, but maybe she just goes to work to... work. Maybe she isn't looking to make friends but be friendly and professional.

You can't MAKe her want to talk to you.

Keep saying hi and how are you and see if she takes the "bite" if she doesn't, then perhaps she isn't interested.

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