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Some People Like Selective Socialising

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by meVaidehi, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. meVaidehi

    meVaidehi Platinum IL'ite

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    So I live in Australia and have an acquaintance through son's school. Kids in same class, both active in school community live very close. Get along okay but not friends personally. He is formal and not rude to face. Some of the things he says and does bug me though.

    Last year on Diwali, I was giving a packet of sweets to someone I know. He is sitting with someone else nearby sees this exchange and says to the other person. "You know I have an Indian neighbor she came up with a box of sweets for Diwali. Apparently they distribute sweets. Thing is I don't appreciate it. I don't like Indian food". All this when I hadn't even acknowledged his presence around. Later on he personally told me he didn't like Indian food without asking. Said he doesn't like the smells and taste it leaves in your mouth. Not that he can't handle the spices. There was a discussion about the events calendar in school. Principal says she would like to keep the school neutral not celebrating any religious festivals like Christmas because there are kids from many different cultural backgrounds and she doesn't want anyone to celebrate a festival they don't at home to keep it fair for all. Other option is to celebrate all of them like christmas chinese new year diwali Eid. He says the people migrating here knew before coming that this is Christian majority country and they should celebrate local festivals since they live here. Of course that didn't go very well for him and the school remains neutral thanks to the strong principal. Once they were talking in a group where I had a few friends and one of them said hey bunch of us are going out this week do you want to join us? He looked visibly uncomfortable at the idea. I declined and he says I knew you wouldn't enjoy it since you don't drink or eat non vegetarian food. Now that's some weird reasoning which is unnecessary for him to assume.

    It's not that he has issues with me personally. He is the same way about food in general as well. Like no bake sale in school I wouldn't want to eat food made at someone's home. I would rather eat from a restaurant or catering. And few of these instances involved other people from different countries. He has some Indian friends too. In front of you he will talk very nicely exchanging pleasantries and small talk etc. But otherwise these kind of rude to a point remarks make me want to just avoid talking to him at all. Because I hate to pretend.

    How do you deal with people like these if you have ever encountered any?
     
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  2. Angela123

    Angela123 Silver IL'ite

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    I would just avoid them any cost. To me personally, he is a negative person. It looks like he tries to bring down the things that might have a good side. Unless I am friends with him for years or he is family, I do not have any obligation to keep him as a friend or acquaintance. So I would keep him as a hi bye person, just like the person whom we meet on the street and say hi but we never know them.
     
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  3. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    Basically he has insecurity.
    And looks like he also hates immigrants.
    Each person has specific liking towards food. That’s not wrong.
    And celebrating local festivals is ones choice.
    But forcing others to celebrate their festivals is a big no.
    Lot of red flags, so better to avoid such people.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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  4. SpringB

    SpringB Platinum IL'ite

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    I have one at work who thinks India is an undeveloped third world country His idea of India / Indians are what he saw in slumdog millionaire. He will not taste any indian food made here in this country or brought from India. I don’t debate or argue unnecessarily. Talk only where needed and give it back in a nice way if he puts the country down. US is also full of immigrants right where is your country of origin and that shuts him down. Better to stay away from such people and go on our way
     
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  5. MalStrom

    MalStrom Platinum IL'ite

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    Be polite when you have to interact, ignore otherwise and do not waste another ounce of mental energy on this person. His hangups are not your problem.
     
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  6. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    I have a Chinese colleague who is an exact copy of the person you described- Never eats anything someone else brings to bring, will not go out for lunch/dinner with colleagues, not participate in different cultural celebrations. He has been in the USA for over 20 years.

    Ignore and talk about the common stuff if you have to.
     
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  7. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    This guy's remarks remind me of a boss (male, Caucasian) who was a Sr. Director when I was a lowly Level 0 engineer. For a while due to an indefinitely suspended re-org, he managed about 40 employees directly including many women, and many engineers about three levels below Director. He used to openly make misogynistic remarks such as women belong in the kitchen, my wife knows her place, my wife goes to bed first and warms it up, then I join her later. Back then, I don't know if such remarks could have been reported as harassment. He was great as a manager, allowed extended WFH when it was still a novel concept, approved vacation beyond allotted days, trusted the engineers to do their job, did not micromanage. But, he was a jerk otherwise. Office parties were the time we knew he would make the most insensitive comments. And, when we were interviewing engineers. Back then, interviews were mostly 1-1. One day we had a series of candidates lined up, I was walking to one interview conference room. He tells me loudly in the hallway, "This one is an Oriental." I didn't know how to respond. He added, "Asian.. Chinese."

    When we encounter such types outside of work, it is easier to ignore them. There are always such samples in a given set of people. They are better avoided in person and also in local social media. Any necessary interaction should be handled by focusing on the specific task or event that necessitates talking with them.

    That being said, some of the seemingly objectionable comments listed in the first post could also be innocuous.
    i) A long time school celebration ending or being stripped of some religious nuances because now the community is more diverse can bring up some uncomfortable points for discussion. His argument is not inclusive, but it can be considered similar to how in India the school holidays and vacations can differ from state to state. A Keralite who moves to Kolkata insists that Onam also be celebrated because Durga Pooja is celebrated in a big way at school, or all celebrations be stopped and the school become neutral to religion. What would the school do? How would parents react if the school stops a century-old Durga pooja celebration in school?
    ii) "He is the same way about food in general as well. Like no bake sale in school I wouldn't want to eat food made at someone's home. I would rather eat from a restaurant or catering. " I was part of some fund-raiser committees, and brought up this point delicately. It was overwhelmingly vetoed. Later some parents agreed with me and I was like 'well then why not speak up earlier then!' : ) Time flies.. now the same school has strict rules on no food from home to be shared in class (not even birthday cake). Everything that is intended for sharing has to be store-bought and labeled/packaged due to serious allergies and more awareness about them.

    Part of the insensitivity of comments could be because we live in times when the "safe" topics are becoming rare. I was watching a TED Talk on public speaking. It said something like, "earlier we could talk about health or the weather as an ice-breaker, now with anti-vaxxers and global-warming even those are off-limits."
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  8. meVaidehi

    meVaidehi Platinum IL'ite

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    Thing is the interaction is unavoidable and on some days after such remarks I don't even want to say hi bye.
     
  9. meVaidehi

    meVaidehi Platinum IL'ite

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    He himself is a new immigrant but from Europe
    And he can have his food liking why always bring it up without anyone asking that too in such a putting down way?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  10. meVaidehi

    meVaidehi Platinum IL'ite

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    So they are everywhere. Good on you for shutting him down
     

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