A social butterfly is usually accused of being a “Chatty Cathy” when she doesn’t know when to cut the convo short. If your coworkers are truly busy, they don’t always have time to engage in meaningless chitchat at the water cooler or in the middle of drafting a time-sensitive email. Ask yourself these 3 questions to help you determine if you’re the office chatterbox.
How’s the body language?
Is your coworker actively listening to your relentless banter about what went wrong on your date from hell? Maybe you haven’t stopped to catch your breath long enough to realize she’s been shuffling paperwork on her desk or pretending to formulate the month-end report, hoping you can take a hint. Instead, you’re going off the deep end about how your Shih-Tzu hasn’t been potty trained. If she is avoiding eye contact during your conversation and seems super distracted, this is your cue to head back to your desk and do some work. You’ve just worn out your welcome.
Are they asking questions?
One surefire way to tell if she’s really interested in hearing about your weekend rendezvous is if she is asking questions. When the conversation is one-sided and she’s only giving you one-word answers with an occasional head nod, you’re probably one eye roll away from being told to “get to stepping.” Go ahead and cut it off when you see she’s lost interest. Ask her to reach out to you for the remainder of the story later. If she doesn’t follow up, don’t take it personal. She either wasn’t intrigued enough or had tons of work to complete before she missed her fast-approaching deadline.
Are they sitting or standing?
Most people sit when they are engaged in juicy conversation. Sitting also means they plan to stay for a little bit. If your coworker leaves her sitting position and begins pacing back and forth while getting things done in her office, what you’re talking about is probably going in one ear and out of the other. This is especially true if she stands and slowly guides you toward her door. She doesn’t want to get up close and personal with you, she is silently telling you she has things to do. Take heed to these nonverbal cues and suggest a lunch date or happy hour session after work to catch up.
It’s hard to find balance between being sociable and being a pest – being blunt and appearing rude. Sometimes women play too nice and can’t find their way out of unwanted conversations. Maybe we’ve all been guilty at one time or another, but save yourself the heartbreak of annoying your coworkers to the point they run for the hills when they see or hear you coming.