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Employee takes a stand after manager forced them to talk about personal life in work meetings

Employees at any office are meant to discuss work-related topics only until a manager like this shows up and tries to act like a therapist.

Employee takes a stand after manager forced them to talk about personal life in work meetings
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Antoni Skhraba

If you are a working professional, then you might know people are hardly coerced to discuss the details of their personal lives at their workplaces. Many times, sharing or oversharing about your personal life might spark ugly rumors and unpleasant situations. So, most people choose not to discuss work-related matters with their colleagues and managers. What can a person do if their manager is forcing the employees to talk about their personal lives even when they are not comfortable with the idea?

Representational Image Source: Pexels | 
Yan Krukau
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Yan Krukau

u/GrapefruitPrimary453 on Reddit shared how their new manager is somewhat crossing her boundaries by forcing her subordinates to spill details about their personal life. According to the post, the new manager who joined the office about 6 months ago has been trying her best to do her job and sometimes, she feels she can do her job better by getting other employees to share about their personal lives.

The employee has told the manager multiple times during their private meetings that they are not comfortable sharing about their personal life, feelings or anything else that is not related to work. However, things unexpectedly took an ugly turn. "On our first 1:1 meeting, we had a huge fight because she told me there was something wrong with me for not wanting to talk about my life in work meetings," the post read. The manager dared to tell the person that the employee's boyfriend must be frustrated with their attitude.

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

"Today, we had a retrospective meeting where we talked about the last two weeks of work. She started the meeting with the question, 'What weather are you according to your mood?' and forced everyone to answer. Multiple people told her they were in a bad mood. Then, we were again forced to talk one by one about our moods and feelings. The previous manager never forced anyone to talk about this because she understood that not everyone was comfortable with it," the story continued.

However, one coworker even tried to explain to the manager that her methods were wrong and that she wouldn't achieve anything but contempt from her subordinates. However, she remained unfazed and continued to force people to talk one by one about their personal stuff. "Then she asked me to talk. I told her that I refused to participate in this because I told her multiple times I was not comfortable with this approach. Also, I told her that I hate when people are forced to talk when they have nothing relevant to say. We are adults, we will speak if we have something to say. Of course, she wasn't happy. She told me that I would have a private talk with our main manager because of my inappropriate behavior," the post concluded.

Image Source: Reddit | u/newwriter365
Image Source: Reddit | u/newwriter365


Image Source: Reddit | u/Calbinan
Image Source: Reddit | u/Calbinan

The employee turned to the Reddit community, seeking advice on what could be done in this tricky situation. u/ABeerAndABook suggested: "Look at the conversation with the main manager as an opportunity. Go in cool and collected and point out details on how her management style is losing the department and multiple employees feel uncomfortable sharing the type of personal information she is demanding. Don't let them frame the behavior and be ready to shut down attempts to do so." u/Banana_Havok wrote: "Start telling depressing stories and breaking down, derailing the meeting. Get other people to do it. Drag these meetings on for hours."

Image Source: Reddit | u/ReaverRogue
Image Source: Reddit | u/ReaverRogue

u/Wilgrove wondered: "Why is your manager treating everyone like they're in kindergarten? What's with this 'Describe your mood with the weather?' Also, unless your personal life directly intersects with your work life, you don't owe her a thing. I hate it when people try to force you to be their friend." u/SurpassingAllKings joked: "There's a scene in The Office where everyone goes around the circle pretending the plot of famous movies is happening in their lives. You should try that."

Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 18, 2023. It has since been updated.

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