Worker’s ‘Unpleasant’ Reaction to Colleague’s Engagement Ring Applauded
Worker’s ‘Unpleasant’ Reaction to Colleague’s Engagement Ring Applauded

Worker’s ‘Unpleasant’ Reaction to Colleague’s Engagement Ring Applauded

A woman was backed online for refusing to celebrate her colleague’s engagement, after revealing she was told off by other team members for not showing any enthusiasm when the news was announced.

In a post shared on Mumsnet earlier in March, under the username Thelaughingtonepoliceman, she explained that the reason she wasn’t sufficiently excited when her colleague broke her engagement news and started “waving [her] medium-sized rock around the office,” was that she didn’t think the woman was truly happy.

According to the poster, the woman who just got engaged had been in a relationship with her now-fiance for over seven years. During their relationship, on two occasions she had been in tears at work parties because of his behavior, including once when he accused her of going out just to try to sleep with other men.

engagement-sparks-debate.png?w=790&f=a1c24ee3de8420a9d38da5853a4ef71b 1x”>woman's reaction to coworker's engagement sparks debate
Stock images of a workplace argument and, inset, a woman flaunting an engagement ring. A woman’s reaction to her coworker’s engagement news has sparked debate online.
Getty Images

A recent survey by YouGov found that 63 percent of Americans who have been in a monogamous relationship say they have never cheated on their partner, while 33 percent say they have cheated somehow, either physically, emotionally, or both. And 54 percent of those who have been in a monogamous relationship say they have been cheated on.

The poster continued by saying that everyone at the office was giving the newly engaged woman attention while she just gave her a “peremptory” nod, said “congratulations, very exciting” and wandered off, while the rest of them talked about the ring for a further 20 minutes.

She wrote: “Full disclosure I find the whole business of engagement and engagement rings pointless and utterly embarrassing at the best of times. If you want to get married, get married but this ridiculous charade of having to be asked by the man and having to have an expensive ring to wave around as a badge of honor is just cringe. In the best of situations I find the business naff but I’m very happy to overlook it if the people getting married are happy.”

Later that day one of her colleagues pulled the poster aside and told her that her lack of enthusiasm around the engagement had been noted, asking why she felt it necessary to be this unpleasant. However, the poster still thought she had done nothing wrong.

“I honestly don’t understand why it should be mandatory to be interested in the engagements of people you don’t know all that well in the first place but particularly when everyone knows they aren’t well matched. I won’t be rude and I wasn’t rude, but why should I pretend to be overjoyed?” she wrote.

Carole Lieberman, Beverly Hills psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls and Bad Boys, told Newsweek that there are two issues that need to be addressed here.

Lieberman said: “One issue is the woman’s dislike of engagements and engagement rings. Clearly this woman is jealous of other women getting engaged and jealous of the size or attractiveness of their rings. It seems like this woman has either never gotten an engagement ring of her own, or she was engaged, and perhaps even married—and it didn’t work out. She feels that she’s been unlucky in love, and is jealous of other women who are excited about their romantic prospects.

“The other issue is that the woman feels worried for her newly engaged coworker since the coworker voiced complaints about this man in the past. She may feel that it’s a mistake for her to get engaged, especially if the man has been abusive—emotionally or physically. So she can’t fully endorse the engagement. She could tell the truth to any coworkers who complain about her lack of enthusiasm. The truth being both her own [disappointment] in love and her fears for the newly engaged coworker.”

Most of the 1,358 users who took the Am I Being Unreasonable? poll agreed she was not being unreasonable, with 77 percent of votes, although among the 440 comments, many thought otherwise.

One user, LlynTegid, commented: “Perhaps talk to the colleague concerned, quietly and express your wish not to be a hypocrite. Or say you have real concerns. Your response was a polite one and honest. I’d rather work with you than with people who are fake.”

And purpleboy said: “I don’t really understand what more was expected from you? ‘I’m engaged. Congratulations.’ All move on with the rest of our day.”

On the other hand, Drinkinggreentea wrote: “It sounds like you were rude tbh. It wouldn’t have cost you anything to fake a smile and pretend to be interested for two minutes.”

And ComtesseDeSpair added: “You clearly came across to several people who witnessed it as rude. If you didn’t want or intend to be rude, apologize to the colleague and say so. I can’t stand babies, but if a colleague brought theirs in I’d manage to find it in me to give it ‘a peremptory nod‘ and wander off, unless I didn’t care about being thought rude.”

Another user, Bearpawk, commented: “Judging by the tone of your post and the borderline ranting I’d be surprised if you managed to contain your disdain as well as you think you did. Having said that, you’re not required to say and do anything no, but it is just manners and makes thinks nice for everything.”

And CremeEggThief said: “I’d think the same as you, OP [original poster], but there is an expectation to gush over these things in the office culture most of us have to work in too.” Coffeellama added: “You sound like a misery guts, and it’s pretty clear you were rude. Totally your choice to be rude, but I don’t blame the colleague for calling you out on it either.”

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.

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