Random statements

ConfusedWhile at work, I hear a lot of random statements like “I can’t believe this”, or “why is it so cold in here?” My co-workers often make random statements based on what they’re thinking, feeling, or doing throughout the day. And they never address anyone, make eye contact, or start a conversation this way. I have nothing against people who do this, I just have no idea how to respond.

I never know if these comments are directed towards me, whether they’re talking to themselves, or if they even expect a reply. I don’t typically respond to most of these because I usually can’t think of an appropriate response. I’m not even sure if they expect me to say anything. Here are a few examples of what I hear on a daily basis and my own awkward replies:

“Wow, its sure cold out today.”
Yes, it is. (It’s winter, so you should probably expect cold temperatures.)

“I’m so tired right now.”
I’m sorry to hear that? (It’s not that I don’t care about your health, but why are you telling me this?)

“My legs hurt today.”
Umm… (I don’t know what you’re expecting to hear.)

All of these statements aren’t conversation starters. When I do reply, its usually “yup”, or “mmhmm”. And then there’s the awkward silence when they don’t acknowledge my reply. But when I choose not to respond,  my co-workers will typically continue speaking, wanting to share what they were thinking. Maybe its their way of starting a conversation?

What would you do?

Image credit: “So Confused” by Rach is licensed under CC by 2.0


12 thoughts on “Random statements

  1. KDKH says:

    I sometimes ask a question about their outburst. Why do their legs hurt? How cold is it? Etc. If I don’t have time to talk or I don’t want to engage, I don’t say a word. I think it is an invitation to share words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Warrior Freya says:

    I agree with KDKH.

    I think it is a way to begin a conversation, though not as socially graceful as what we would like.

    Maybe it’s the introvert in me, or an INFJ thing, but I want to be addressed when spoken to.

    “My legs hurt,” to me isn’t a conversation starter.

    I’m sorry your legs hurt. I have a job to do.

    Depending on if I feel like engaging or not, I might ask why, especially if they are a person I normally enjoy talking with.

    But if it’s just a ‘random comment’, then I’ll most likely not say anything and keep my attention on whatever I feel is worthwhile at the time.

    If they haven’t acknowledge my presence, why should I acknowledge their comment?

    Maybe that’s harsh of me, but if they want to talk, then talk to me, not the air. I think that’s fair and respectful. I’m not going to start the conversation for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I totally agree with you and I love the way you put it. I don’t see these random comments as a conversation starter. If they want to talk to me, at least say hello, or make eye contact. Thanks for your comment 🙂


  3. lisatochi says:

    My co-worker always like this… She tell everything. Everything… even about artist her like. “Aww today is the date for new album” or “duh.. Why they sell DVD now? I don’t have more money”
    Ummm….. I really feel uncomfortable… I don’t how to reply or it’s ok if I just ignore her? Something I feel rude not to ask her anything.. but I really not want to ask anything to her hahaha I’m really confuse..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I know, its so hard to tell if they want us to say something, or if they are just talking to themselves. If I don’t feel like talking, or I am busy working, I usually won’t reply. If I have some spare time, or I feel like talking, then I’ll answer them. I guess it depends on the situation. Thanks for your comment 🙂


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