Dear Dr. Lisa,
This is a tough one. It would take way too long to give you all of the details. Long story short, my manager and I have worked together for a few years. Recently, there was a situation where the most senior leader had to get involved. Even though it was not my fault, my boss blames me for the escalation and now is giving me the cold shoulder. I miss our warm and comfortable relationship and have no idea how to get it back on track. What should I do?
Blameless and Sad
Dear Blameless and Sad,
This is a tough one. It is always hard when a relationship changes in ways you don’t expect or can’t control. Unfortunately, you cannot control why people feel the way they do and why they choose the actions they do. The cold shoulder is always a bummer because it just keeps the discord going opposed to talking it out and resolving it. You cannot make her engage and you cannot stop her from giving you the cold shoulder. What you can do is decide how you will respond. You can consider approaching her to see if you can talk about it. If she not amenable, then know it is important to her to punish you in this way. Your decision will be whether or not you will allow it to punish you. You cannot stop it from happening but you can decide how you feel about it. If you decide not to accept the punishment, then you will have to let it roll off your back and remind yourself from time to time that this person has learned to handle conflict this way, which has nothing to do with you. If it seems like this is going to go on for some time, then you will need to start thinking about what’s next. That kind of discord every day for an extended period of time isn’t healthy.
PS: Your theme song is “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt