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This Engineer Grew Tired Of Her Male Coworker’s Domineering Behavior, She Started Calling Him ‘Emotional’ Around The Office
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People, Social Issues1 week ago

Management Did Nothing About A Hot-Tempered Employee, So This Co-Worker Started Calling Out His Behavior As ‘Emotional’ To Annoy Him Even More

Women are often stereotyped as more “irrational” and “emotional” than men. Despite the studies that debunk this, such labels continue to be unequally reserved for just the ladies. Not only do these labels also become roadblocks when trying to understand and identify emotional maturity in all adults, but they can also lead to unprofessional and even unaddressed problematic behaviors in the workplace.

The narrative that men are “rational” while women are just ‘emotional beings incapable of restraint’ was put to the test in a recent post in the AITA subreddit. The Original Poster (OP) u/imonvacaaation wanted to know if her decision to turn the tables on her male coworker by using labels often attributed to women was justified…

More info: Reddit

A woman starts calling her male coworker’s aggressive outbursts “emotional” and gets fellow coworkers to do the same

The post starts with the OP telling readers she is an engineer, on a team of seven others, that is trying to navigate the unruly behavior of one male teammate. She goes on to describe him as someone who is unable to have a respectful disagreement, who raises his voice, yells, and doesn’t respect personal space: a behavior the OP hates. She continues by describing the indifference demonstrated by her boss when she brought up this co-worker’s problematic behavior.

The boss responded to her concerns by brushing the situation aside and saying his behavior was better now than a decade ago. This made the OP wonder what he was like 10 years ago, given that his present behavior is far from “mellow.”

Image credits: imonvacaaation

The woman tried to inform her supervisor of her coworker’s unprofessional behavior, but it was “brushed under the rug”

Image credits: imonvacaaation

So, with no hope of intervention from upper management on the horizon, the OP chose an alternative course of action. Rather than commenting on the aggressive coworker’s behavior and labeling it as “anger” or “arguing” and “yelling,” she flipped the script. She began to swap in the words and phrases like “emotional” or “throwing a tantrum,” in hopes it would shift the office’s perception of him from being “domineering” to being “emotional.”

Image credits: imonvacaaation

The OP took matters into her own hands and started making comments about the situation to her coworkers

Image credits: imonvacaaation

As the OP describes, she began to subtly drop her curated comments in meetings with work colleagues and to her boss. If she had a meeting with him and he showed his temper, she would mention it to others with comments of disbelief over his overly “emotional” behavior, also not being able to understand how he had the energy to throw a “hissy fit” at 9 am.

If a coworker asked her why he was yelling, she would express a loss for words and continued to remark on how irrationally he was behaving. If the OP had a meeting with her boss, she started by praising her other male coworkers and then mentioning how the problematic coworker had trouble “managing his emotions” and had a “temper tantrum,” reminding them of “how he was.”

Image credits: imonvacaaation

This change of language even began to be adopted by others in her workplace and they started to refer to the problematic behavior as “Jay’s Fits.” The OP adds that she even got bold enough to start remarking on his “emotional” behavior to his face, informing him she couldn’t understand him when he was being so emotional.

So, how exactly did the problematic coworker adjust to the OP’s shift of tactics, which was becoming an office trend? She goes on that coworkers started picking up the tactic and started to tell him to get a hold of himself. In time, the problematic coworker stopped yelling at the OP.

The change of language started to catch the attention of the OP’s other coworkers

Image credits: imonvacaaation

Others in the OP’s office then started to refer to the problematic coworker as “irrational” and “emotional”

Image credits: imonvacaaation

The tactic appears to be working out for the OP. Her present interactions with her coworker seem to look a bit different from earlier ones. The OP talks about a recent interaction where “Jay” fell back into his old ways and she informed him that she couldn’t talk to him when he was being so “emotional.”

However, this response from the OP caused “Jay” to become hyper-aggressive and ask why she labeled him “emotional.” The OP just gave the response “dude, you look like you’re on the verge of tears, go look in the mirror before you ask me.” She also remarked that he looked as if he was about to cry, knowing this would annoy the coworker further, but was fully aware that his red face was out of aggression, and not tearful anger.

The OP still uses this method whenever she is confronted with her coworker’s behavior

Image credits: imonvacaaation

The OP reflected on her tactics and understands how it could seem “petty,” but still feels it’s been effective

Image credits: imonvacaaation

Image credits: I am R. (not the actual photo)

The OP feels that she may have been on the verge of gaslighting the coworker, but also feels this was the best course of action because “…it worked when the ‘proper channels’ didn’t.”

So, the question remains: was the OP TA for calling her coworker emotional when he got mad? Okay, Pandas, tell us what you think and leave your comments below!

People in the comments told the woman that she did everything right and commended her for flipping the script!

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JB
Community Member
1 week ago

Truly at a loss to understand why telling a yelling/tantrum style man and everyone around him that his loss of emotional control is unprofessional (crybaby) is gaslighting? Aren’t we fighting to move beyond “oh, it’s down to your hormones” to it’s ok if you have emotions but you don’t get to verbally or emotionally abuse your co-workers, take a few to regroup?

Chucky Cheezburger
Community Member
1 week ago

Yeah, I don't see this as gaslighting, but more like...speaking the unvarnished truth? I mean, this guy IS being emotional...he is letting his emotions rule over his reactions to conflict. It's seems like the definition of emotional.

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Ansi
Community Member
1 week ago

I love this. ❤️ Deflating his screaming and rude behaviour for calling it what it actually are... temper tantrums. Grownups at work, can't run around and scream at coworkers. It's silly and I love how she's finding an effective way of calling him out on it instead of letting it go because "that's Jays personality". Their coworker also sounds like they are done with his BS. Hopefully they will have a calm and better workplace when Jay learns to not throw fits at work. 🙂

Jennik
Community Member
1 week ago

I'm going to remember this tactic! I once worked with an IT manager who did the same thing - if anyone disagreed with him he'd go scarlet in the face and start shouting. If people walked away he'd follow them across the office, still shouting. I was once in a meeting with him and a third party IT company and they called for a break. They then took me aside and asked if they need to be worried about "Bob" having a heart attack or stroke - they were genuinely horrified about how he was reacting.

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JB
Community Member
1 week ago

Truly at a loss to understand why telling a yelling/tantrum style man and everyone around him that his loss of emotional control is unprofessional (crybaby) is gaslighting? Aren’t we fighting to move beyond “oh, it’s down to your hormones” to it’s ok if you have emotions but you don’t get to verbally or emotionally abuse your co-workers, take a few to regroup?

Chucky Cheezburger
Community Member
1 week ago

Yeah, I don't see this as gaslighting, but more like...speaking the unvarnished truth? I mean, this guy IS being emotional...he is letting his emotions rule over his reactions to conflict. It's seems like the definition of emotional.

Load More Replies...
Ansi
Community Member
1 week ago

I love this. ❤️ Deflating his screaming and rude behaviour for calling it what it actually are... temper tantrums. Grownups at work, can't run around and scream at coworkers. It's silly and I love how she's finding an effective way of calling him out on it instead of letting it go because "that's Jays personality". Their coworker also sounds like they are done with his BS. Hopefully they will have a calm and better workplace when Jay learns to not throw fits at work. 🙂

Jennik
Community Member
1 week ago

I'm going to remember this tactic! I once worked with an IT manager who did the same thing - if anyone disagreed with him he'd go scarlet in the face and start shouting. If people walked away he'd follow them across the office, still shouting. I was once in a meeting with him and a third party IT company and they called for a break. They then took me aside and asked if they need to be worried about "Bob" having a heart attack or stroke - they were genuinely horrified about how he was reacting.

Load More Comments
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