Who’s Zooming Who: When Being Polite Doesn’t Work In Your Favor

What is it with people lately?

You’re with a group of people and one woman, Queen Bee, starts to talk about her moral dilemma “blah blah blah” problem.  She wants everyone in the group to tell her what to do, that’s how distraught she claims to be.

You remain politely reserved saying nothing, thinking to yourself this isn’t a problem you crowdsource for a solution, while everyone else [oh. my. to. the. goodness. gracious.] tells Queen Bee what is wrong with her. And what she should do. And how she should do it.

Eventually all eyes fall on you so you go all Glinda the Good Witch.  You say something like you don’t need any help because you’ve always had the power within you to solve this problem.  Just put on your magic slippers, click your heels together, Dorothy Queen Bee, and you’ll find your way home solution.

Well a short time later you run into Queen Bee who tells you that she has no intention of following any of the advice from the group.  In fact she says that she only talked about her moral dilemma “blah blah blah” problem because she was testing everyone to see who was on her side.

Oh dear.

In a nanosecond you realize that Queen Bee now considers you a supportive friend.  You find yourself wondering how it is that being polite got you into this situation?  And how in the future you’ll be politely distancing yourself from Queen Bee?

Your new deceitful [I. don’t. think. so.] friend.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

131 thoughts on “Who’s Zooming Who: When Being Polite Doesn’t Work In Your Favor”

    1. Deb, yes there was a lot of poor pitiful Pearl going on with Queen Bee. She was looking for sympathy/confirmation, but she played people and instead got told off. She’d have been better off if she’d have just kept her mouth shut.

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  1. I’ve only been there twice: once in real life and once with an online ‘friend.’ I walked away in real life, and I’ve deleted a lot of emails (same song, forty-second verse). I finally figured out that, in both cases, telling the story was more important than finding a solution to the issues at hand. It can be annoying, for sure, but it also is so easy to get sucked in. That great sucking sound is the emotionally needy, draining life from people around them.

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    1. shoreacres, yes, yes, you said it: “That great sucking sound is the emotionally needy, draining life from people around them.” I sensed that was going on which is why I went all upbeat and Glinda on her. Still, why play people at all? I don’t get into that kind of mind game stuff.

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    1. Deb, aren’t you clever? Of course, she might be too self-absorbed to ever read this. All personal bloggers know what it’s like to share your life online only to find out the people who you thought would care, don’t. 😒

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  2. I used to have friends like that (the key here is used to). They weren’t looking for solutions. I got caught a few times until I wised up. Now my head says “not my monkey” and my mouth says, “gotta go, have an appointment.” I find most people know what they need to do. They just don’t want to. Or in your case are trolling for something.

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    1. Kate, yes I hear ‘ya. Queen Bee is/was at best an acquaintance who is now in the someone I used to know category. Like I said her problem wasn’t one you decide via committee, you decide it based on your own values and goals. The whole convo was wrong, wrong, wrong.

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  3. Oh my word!!! What’s the point of testing people like that??? I mean I know she gave a reason for doing so. But how is trust built if someone does something like that? Life is too short for that!

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    1. L. Marie, your outrage is where I was in the moment when I realized what had been going on. When she brought up her problem I was all “you can figure it out” ’cause you’re smart, but then to find out what she was really up to… not cool.

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  4. “Testing everyone to see who is on her side!?” You got her pegged right..deceitful. I don’t really mind if someone ask a group for opinions on something but to do so under false pretensions is playing with people and wasting their time and energy for her amusement.

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    1. Jean, I agree with you. She was playing people for her own amusement and I’m glad my spidey senses told me to stay above the conversation. That being said, what kind of reward for goodness is it when the deceitful one likes you best? 😟

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    1. AutumnAshbough, now that you say it Queen Bee’s behavior was very 9th grade mean girl. You’re right of course, I’m busy the rest of my life. Pity I won’t be able to stay in touch with her.

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  5. One of the benefits of my INFJ personality is that I tell people the truth. Always. I can’t help it. I try to do it kindly, but sometimes, the raw unfiltered truth comes out of my mouth. Hence, a person like this would never have asked me in the first place. I would recommend, if not an INFJ yourself, you attempt to adopt some of this trait, especially for situations such as this. It leads to a possibly less polite, but gloriously quieter, life. 🙂

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    1. Tara, you make a strong case for your personality type. I’m INFP so I’m almost there with you. I was truthful with Queen Bee in that I felt she needed to solve her own problem, not bother us with it. But I did invoke my favorite “Glinda” response that I fall back on when I’m attempting to be diplomatic. Apparently I need to be more direct if I’m to avoid this sort of thing again. Lesson learned.

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  6. Well, I certainly don’t shy away from groups of women, but not being one probably has a lot to do with that. I do have a tendency to be overly polite myself, much to my chagrin sometimes, so I can totally relate to your dilemma!

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    1. Swinged Cat, thank you. I was trying to rise above the situation, not because I’m a saint, but because it was a problem that required thought/contemplation/planning– not jibber jabber from a bunch of people. But there you go, sometimes being polite backfires on you. Case in point.

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    1. Janis, oh you are a clever one! I see what you did there. Kudos.

      I agree that I know exactly what I’m going to do about Queen Bee. She was a casual acquaintance, but one who I won’t be seeking out any more. Too weird for me.

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  7. Wow. Another strange person in your life who likes to, essentially, make stuff up. When are these people going to grow up and just be comfortable with who they are–not needing to play tricks to gain confidence in who “their real friends are.” Weird.

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    1. Betsey, you ask THE question: when will they grow up and be adults? I’m perfectly happy as an adult, would recommend. But this need to play games with people, so juvenile and tedious. Not a fan of such behavior.

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        1. Some days I’m less sane than others, BUT overall I keep it together. One of my better attributes, if I say so myself, is that I make few assumptions about anyone is going to act. Keeps my expectations in check.

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  8. Hi ally – you did the right thing when you were put on the spot like that.
    And you also will do the right thing to distance yourself and be cautious – hate game playing like that – and the unprofessional side of her using that platform like that!

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    1. Yvette, thanks for your support. I’ve often found that quoting Glinda’s speech [more or less accurately] is a good way to be non-committal and truthful. I agree that I’ll be steering clear of Queen Bee in the future, but she’s one of those people who seems to turn up when I least expect it.

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    1. Almost Iowa, you’ve got a point, I’ll give you that. It was a strange conversation and then follow-up conversation. I don’t why I talk to people some days. 🤨

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  9. This is one of those situations where you just have to not be that person (either her or the person you feel like being.) Take the high road and unfriend her. I’ve had to unfriend some people who were so needy that there just wasn’t anything to be done or that I could do.

    janet

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  10. Oh dear. I think you’re right. Moral dilemmas are knowing what the right thing to do is but not wanting to pay the consequences. Definitely on the rise because of the assault on morals and decency with no consequences we must witness every day.

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    1. Jan, yes, sadly I think you’re right. I was polite because I didn’t think Queen Bee’s problem was any of my business, but then to have my behavior lead to her thinking I’m on her side? I don’t know how to unpack this because it’s twisted. Like a few pragmatic commenters have said, don’t be so nice next time so the sneaky ones won’t like you. I dunno.

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  11. I Love it! I’ll have to remember Glinda’s words of wisdom the next time I’m put on the spot. In my basement cleaning out project I recently found an old pink chiffony bridesmaids dress that I saved in case I wanted to be Glinda on Halloween some day….

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    1. Joni, oh how perfect! You have to be Glinda on Halloween now. That’d be fun and then you can say Glinda’s words of wisdom to everyone. I call my approach to handling awkward conversations going all Glinda on people. Usually it works, but this time things went sideways. 😳

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      1. People are strange. Going all Glinda – I will remember that. The truths that can be gleaned from old movies. My dress was very similar, except no big puffy sleeves. It had tiny sleeves you could pull down off the shoulder, but up for church of course as it was a church wedding. A real Scarlett O’Hara dress with a full skirt only in pink. I’ll keep my eye out for a wand. We used to have a wand at work, and one of the technicians would wave it over all the unfinished work at the end of the day and invoke the pharmacy fairies to finish it over night. Her name was Gwendlyn, she was probably a sister of Glinda. The dollar store would have a wand and a tiara – yes now, I just need a Halloween party! I have a whole trunk full of pirate clothes too, as we have annual pirate festival here – why do I keep all this stuff – no wonder there’s so much junk in the basement.

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        1. Joni, I agree that you’ve the making for a great costume. Maybe you can remake or add something to the sleeves so you’ll be more Glinda-esque. Now there’s a word. You’ll find a wand and tiara somewhere along the line now that you’re focused on it. I like knowing that you know Glinda’s sister! 😉

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    1. Akilah, thanks for your support. I’ll extricate myself no doubt. I’ve no problem saying “NO” to people, especially now that I know more about Queen Bee. But can you even with her?

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  12. How to tackle the situation with tact … get the heck out of there. You kept your cool which is hard to do sometimes. There seems to always be a “Queen Bee” or drama queen lurking about doesn’t there?

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    1. Linda, you nailed it both with how to handle with tact and the fact that there’s a drama queen around every corner. Oddly enough by being polite a la Glinda I got into a worse dynamic than if I’d just told Queen Bee what to do. How did that happen? Not what I wanted to happen.

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      1. Yes, your good intentions backfired Ally and that’s one time taking the high road didn’t work out so well. I’m really not around people that much to witness any drama queens, but that is one thing I don’t miss from the workplace. Something was always going on.

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        1. I’m not unfamiliar with good intentions going awry, so in some ways this was just another day, another insincere person, you know? But she did make me wonder about what some people think is acceptable behavior. 😐

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          1. I wonder what people think is acceptable behavior almost every day Ally; most times I am shaking my head while listening to the news before my eyes are fully open. 🙂 One of our online news sources (M-Live) put out a statement to all online readers this week saying that effective 02/20/20, all comments are suspended due to constant bickering, foul language and nonsense which does not pertain to the articles and especially as to the weather. (I mention that as we discussed weather and how they cover up their mistakes.)

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            1. Linda, that’s disheartening to learn that an online news source has discontinued their comments for that reason. Discussion is good, attacks are not.

              However, I realize that many people now think that their opinions are facts and that as such these people must correct everyone else. I think of such behavior as passive-aggressive behavior serving no purpose whatsoever, other than to make a small-minded nitwit feel superior to other people. Rather sad, really.

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              1. It sure is disheartening Ally. In fact, it made the news on other news stations and in social media that day. The problem is the people who are the loudest and most obnoxious hide behind their profile pics of their pets or a cartoon character, thinking that gives them license to say what they feel. Sometimes we need to put the brakes on free speech.

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                  1. That’s right … I know I have read that the advertisers have their commercials “X” amount of decibels higher than regular programming. I don’t have TV anymore, but I used to hate TVcommercials that scream and yell. I listen to the radio a lot and that happens all the time with loud and obnoxious commercials. I have to shut off the radio sometimes as it drives me crazy (that and speaking fast).

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  13. Whoa! Queen Bee sounds awfully self absorbed. It’s strange that she has come to be the Queen Bee and other people just take it for granted and go along with her. That kind of dynamic makes it hard for the lone person who thinks for herself. Group dynamics are tricky. We see it in politics. It doesn’t lead to smart decisions and good solutions.

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    1. Nicole, you said it: “Group dynamics are tricky.” I sometimes mention to other people that just because something happens doesn’t mean that I’ll have an opinion about it. This idea confuses some people. I don’t know how queen bees get to be the Queen Bee of a group, but I see it happen over and over again. I’m a free spirit by nature so I’m leery of any group, politics included.

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      1. I’m all for being a free spirit. It’s strange to me and sad to see how many people get sucked into a poisonous group dynamic rather than just walking away.

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        1. I wonder about that, too. I was raised to “think for myself” so I’m amazed when a seemingly nice person stays involved with an awful group. I think for some people the need to belong is stronger than the need to be rationale. A theory, of sorts.

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  14. I have a few choice words to describe what Queen Bee did … manipulative being one of the kinder ones. Then I’d be wondering what kind of mind game she was playing with me by confiding that morsel. Run, Ally. Run.

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    1. Joan, I, too, could have written this post using a few more *precise* words but this is a PG13 blog so I went the high road. I agree with you about how weird it is for her to tell me what she did. She thought it was funny, btw. You’d be amazed how busy I’m going to be for the rest of my life whenever Queen Bee wants something from me! 😒

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  15. Sometimes there’s nothing to do but shake your head and wonder whatever in the universe is wrong with people. That and adopt reclusive behaviors that keep you steered clear of potential “testy” people. Your future “too busy” tactic to engage with QB sounds spot on to me. But I confess I’m glad this little interaction lead you to post and include the …Zoomin clip. I needed a dose of AF today – thank you!

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    1. Deborah, yes, consider me shaking my head here. Beats me what her game is and I don’t want to know anything more about it. I feel no ill will toward Queen Bee, just a sense that I’m better off far away from her. Glad Aretha could brighten your day

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    1. Pam, I fear you may be right about the telenovela aspect of my life. I don’t go looking for people who behave badly, but I pay attention to people and it’s amazing what I see going on. Then, of course, I need to write about it here. 😒

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  16. Interesting that Queen Bee was aware of her own motivation for frothing forth her personal issues to the group. That is concerning as many people seem to vent and don’t want advice or solutions but have no concept that is what they are doing. Queen Bee is a Queen Bee then. Constantly vigilant for traitors amongst her tribe. Your response I thought was in line with my week of attempting to be non-judgemental, and allow others to experience life as they choose, however I can absolutely see that you would not have wanted to take sides within that wolf’s den!
    I would also be wary of this new found partnership that Queen Bee anticipates she has with you…..

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    1. Amanda, I agree that when Queen Bee told me her motive for talking about her problem, I was amazed. I didn’t anticipate that. I was polite in the group setting because it wasn’t a problem that a group can solve, but inadvertently I came out smelling like a rose. I’ll take your advice and be wary of Queen Bee– who I plan to avoid.

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    1. Ann, I hadn’t thought of the experience in that light, but you’re right. I was truthful which is why I like to go Glinda when I can. It’s tactful and seems to encourage people to look within, which I think is a good thing.

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  17. Yikes. What a manipulative person she seems to be. Why would she need to know who is really on her side unless she has some pretty deep insecurities?

    Not such a Queen Bee after all, perhaps.

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    1. nance, I imagine you’re right about the deep insecurities. At a certain point in life you have to be able to trust your own sense of who other people are, not try to trick them into revealing it to you. So maybe a bit immature, too?

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  18. Hi Ally, Sounds like Queen Bee has some issues. Being polite and too nice can also be an issue. I can see it from my perspective, although I get sucked into these dilemmas at times. Lots of good answers in the comments: steer clear, trust instincts, the age old ‘when someone shows you, believe them.’

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    1. Erica/Erika, I’ve come to believe wholeheartedly in the ‘when someone shows you, believe them’ adage. Took me a while, but I see it playing out everywhere. And yes, I agree that you can be too nice/polite. Although in this case I didn’t get taken advantage of as much as I was privileged to see behind the curtain: that is, what was really going on with Queen Bee. Aren’t I lucky? 🙄

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  19. LOL – I love this line, it describes those situations so well – “thinking to yourself this isn’t a problem you crowdsource for a solution!” 🙂 I’m polite for a bit, then I typically ask a side-question to side-track the crowdsourcer. It doesn’t always work!? 🙂

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    1. Shelley, I like your ask a side-question idea! That’s a perfect way to handle situations like this one. I’ve used the going Glinda approach over the years, but distracting a person/the group from talking about a problem we shouldn’t be talking about is great. Thanks for the tip.

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  20. I spent a lifetime saying ‘yes’ trying to be nice, but have found one of the greatest advantages of being a ‘mature’ age is saying ‘no’ and not having any regret. Sometimes silence and a smile works too. Oh, how I wish I had adopted this philosophy earlier.

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    1. Judy, you make a wonderful case for saying “no.” In my own way I was saying that to Queen Bee by going all Glinda on her, refusing to give her an answer to her “blah, blah, blah” question. But things went sideways for me. 🤷‍♀️

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  21. Jeez. That honestly made me feel icky. No good deed goes unpunished. Distance is a good call. Little does she know she flunked YOUR test.

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    1. joey, yes this was a weird situation. I’m sure you realize that in the future I’ll be so amazingly busy that I’ll be unable to do anything with her. Uh huh.

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