Help me understand "Julia"

Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 04:38 am
Hello! (PS English is not my mother language)
I'll change the names for privacy. So sorry, it's gonna be a LONG text...

I have a new job, everything is fine so far, I talk with everybody (we are only 10), I like what I'm doing, best position I ever had.
There's 2 women and 8 men.

The first time I met Julia, I saw her eyes were big and she automatically smiled at me when I greeted her.
We directly talked a lot about everything and anything, I helped her with some issues on her work.
She's 30, single, I'm 31 and single.

She only talks to Matt or me. Matt is 31 and single too.
It's Julia's first job. (She tried different studies, and finally had her Science degree)

- Julia likes to be alone with Matt or me.
Colleagues were assuming Julia and Matt were sexfriend or something like that. I was assuming this too because of their close relationship. She is really close physically from him (Never saw that on my previous jobs).

- Julia ALWAYS smiles at me
- Julia told me a bunch of really nice things (I'm calm, serious, apparently they automatically put my resume on top of the list, etc).
- Julia has always something to tell me in the morning (I enjoy our conversations)
- Sometimes she comes in my office to do her tasks, but tries to have my attention by talking.
- She giggles a lot with me
- In the beginning she was very tactile with me (touching my hand, poking my belly while laughing at a joke, ...) - Though I try to avoid physical contact, I'm not his chief, but I have a higher position...
- She's not so tactile anymore but she keeps being physically REALLY close from me. So close her left boob were squeezed on the side of my arm. (She has normal boobs)
- She gazes at me

The other female colleague works directly with me, she once came in my office like this:
Vanessa : Hey what's happening? (rolling her eyes)
Me : (WTF? did I do something wrong in my work) About what!?
Vanessa : Well about Julia!!! You know she has talk more with you than with the entire team during 6 months (she's there for 6 months).
Me : Well, we kinda like to talk, she seems (and it's true) really shy, you know, it's just the feelings.
End of the conversation - I'll talk about this later.

Julia insists to ask me to go to the company party, and ask me to go with her sister and her on her car. I didn't really want to go, it was a theme park, I'm scared as hell on rollercoaster. (Never went on one btw)
I told her different things to avoid going there : the booking date has passed, last time I was on a theme park I was like 10, I'm scared as hell on rollercoaster, never been to a real one, etc.
But I saw, the more I said no, the more she insisted, the more her pretty smiling face were changing into a sad/deceived face. So I finally accepted.
When we were there, she talked a bit with me, insist that I do this or that, but to summarize, she was mostly with Matt; they even went together doing whatever they were doing, leaving us (we were a dozen) alone.

So I was like. Is she really in a relationship with Matt? Does she want to make me react? What's goin' on!?

Back at work, on Wednesday, we were finally alone in the entire building, so I asked her this :
"Well I'm glad we're alone, I'd like to discuss about one thing, it's kinda strange because it has never happened to me with a colleague, but it looks like you're flirting with me, are you? Or you're just a friendly colleague!?"
She flushed and told me silly things, I was maybe a bit too direct, she said "No no no, I'm just friendly with everyone". (No, she's friendly with Matt and I... And all of my colleagues are really nice, I can tell you, I've seen quiet some jerks at work, we are a really good team).

The next days at work, she entered by the back door to avoid seeing me. Though she kept gazing and smiling at me.
Later in the evening, I send her a message to say sorry, I didn't want to make her feel unconfortable at work (we have each other's phone number)

Some days passed, she kept seeing me first (When I wasn't in the company, another colleague told me she always entered by the back door) and we have fun conversations. (our weekends, the weather, how we feel, the work, etc)

Another male colleague was talking to me about Julia.
So I ended up asking him, don't you think she's a bit strange?
And he basically told me, we all saw she has a crush on you, though we don't really know what's happening with Matt, maybe she's just a kinky girl, you should try your luck, Matt seems to do it. (He seems to have sex with her...)
I told my colleague I'm not into this kind of relations, and ask nothing, well she's cute, why not a real relationship but I can't figure out what she want, I asked her and said there was nothing between us.

Apparently, my other female colleague and this male colleague used to said I was the new "candy" of Julia.
Though, I'm maybe wrong, I don't really think Julia is an easy girl. She is SHY has hell. Flush easily, etc.

Well, we're getting at the end...
This last week, I was doing my job, had an headache, didn't feel too good, hopefully I was done with the urgent tasks.
Suddenly Julia enters for no reason, she's awkward and still gazing at me, so I asked what she wanted, and she said nothing. So my eyes went back at the computer screen.
While I was working, Julia grab a chair and turn it back so it faces my desk, she sat down, and starts gazing at me, without saying a single word, I'm working and doing like I didn't notice...
After 5 minutes, I stopped my work and talk a bit with her. (Well she talked 2 hours with me)
During the conversation I asked her a second time.
Me : "I don't understand you"
Julia : "Why?"
Me : "Let's talk frankly, you're really shy, aren't you?"
Julia :"Yes, I have issues with emotions"
Me : "Ok, there's no prob, my sister and mother have that too, blablabla"
" We're both in our 30's, I don't want to miss an opportunity, it seems like you want me to ask you out, I have no feelings towards you, we are friendly, but if you want, I'm open, you're good looking, we can try to be more than colleagues. I'm serious, I'm not saying this just to have sex with you, it's not my kind of relation"
Julia : She giggles and seems to find what to say "we just have a good feeling, I like talking to you, blablabla" but she never said the word no.
After that we talked about everything and anything, now it's "clear", but she's still acting weird with me.
The next day she never came in my office. (Maybe too shy because I'm frank with her?)

My colleague was a bit upset because she needs to work instead of talking to boys. I agreed with him, I kindly asked her if she had nothing more to do, but she apparently wanted to talk with me... My colleague was obviously curious and wanted to know, I told him, she doesn't want anything.
He is in his 50's and told me "No way, she's into you, we all saw the way she looks at you".

There's a bunch of weird things like :
One day a colleague asks us (us=Julia and I, she was once again in my office ^^), he asks us if we wanted pizza for tomorrow at work. (I never buy food at work, neither Julia) but for once I accepted. I hadn't the time to say "yes", that she cut me to spontaneously say "yes, me too I'll take a pizza". She was excited... I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have order one if I didn't.
I didn't eat it all, bring the rest at home to finish it. Julia ate her entire pizza.
The next day, in the morning, Julia ask me about the pizza. I told her, I don't eat a lot of pizzas, it's not my favorite food anymore, and it wasn't the best but it was ok and fun to try.
Julia replied to me "Neither do I, I never eat pizza" -_-' HOLY CRAP, why the hell she was so excited about the pizza if she never eat pizzas.

I won't ask her anymore about her feelings towards me, I don't want to annoy her, and I like when we talk/meet at work (Without wanting more), but the way she acts is completely different from her words.

I always felt she was a bit immature, I enjoy her, but she doesn't act like a 30 year old woman. (She forgets or don't do her job properly, some colleagues complain about her job and the way she acts, ...)

I understand my colleagues, I noticed we have to almost clearly say every instructions to Julia so she can do the job. She's not dumb, but she's a bit like a robot, you know what I mean?

I also never met somebody that shy.

She's shy, but really close to me (physically and emotionally, I feel her), she does this just with Matt and me.
She has a crush on both of us? She's manipulating one of us? She's just a 30 year old woman who discover her sexuality!? She's just extremely shy!? I have like a thousand questions because of her weird behavior.

SO... What do you think?
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Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 05:53 am
I forget to mention :
During 2 Fridays, she stayed later at work to stay with Matt (Julia has the same schedule as me, Matt finish later every Friday).
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Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 07:05 am
She doesn't understand how to behave at work.

That's probably the driver behind most of her behavior.

She's used to flirting with men (consciously or not) to get what she wants outside the office, and can't understand why she shouldn't be doing that while at work. She probably also doesn't understand how her actions, speech, clothing, gestures, etc. can all be interpreted as flirting behavior when she might think she's just being friendly.

She's also (probably) unmotivated or under-motivated, so instead of doing her work, she's just looking to socialize.

Your colleague is right: she should quit yakking with you and Matt and do what the company is paying for her to do. And, if she's slipping and it's hurting the company or your (or anyone else's) career, then management needs to be told.

If that gets her disciplined and eventually fired, that's all on her. Keeping her goofing off from management isn't helping her or anyone else--- it's just perpetuating the problem.

And if you or anyone else are covering for her, stop that immediately. You're not being paid to smooth the way for her to hide behind "shyness" (I actually don't think she's shy at all, and that's just a convenient excuse) and not do her work.

I mean, seriously, when was the last time you truly saw she was working? Not flirting, not gossiping, but nose to the grindstone, actually coding or talking on the phone, or meeting with customers or whatever it is she's really supposed to be doing. This doesn't mean she has to be a soulless drone who does nothing but work. But from my perspective, it seems like she does everything but work.

Your office also seems to be excessively gossipy. If you truly don't want to have romantic relationships at work (which you shouldn't, particularly with someone who isn't at the same level as you), then you have to be a part of derailing the gossip train.

Someone says, "Did you hear about ___?"

You can always say, "That's none of my business." And then turn back to your work.

Will people be difficult the first few times you do that? Yes. But anyone with half a brain should know that if they gossip, then there's plenty of gossip being said about them.

If you get an office reputation as not being any fun, then so what? It's work, which is where you're supposed to be, you know, working.

If you get that (unfounded) reputation, then she'll stop giving you mixed signals.

PS suggesting a company-wide or at least office-wide meeting on communications can't hurt, particularly if there's a book to read. It should be a book on nonverbal communication. She clearly doesn't understand it. If she's made it to 30 and is still ignorant of it, then it's high time she learned.
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 07:43 am
Thanks Jespah.

No, there's no big gossip, believe me, I really like my team. I've been to places where people were rude. Here, we laugh a bit about the situation because it is strange, but nothing shocking.

The only problem is "Julia", as I said to my other colleague who told me she has crush on me, "As long as it doesn't ruin my reputation or my focus at work, I'm ok with that, she's just saying a lot of nice things to me, and being really friendly".
"If she'll get in troubles, it's her problem, she's an adult."

She won't get her contract thanks to me anyway. And I won't try to cover her, I'm not covering her... I talked about the situation with one colleague (same position) because it is strange and I'm careful, I'm at work, not in a bar.

I already met workers who were in couples, but if I didn't meet them outside, I would have never guessed they were together. Because they behave as pro when they do their jobs. (They're not physically close, not kissing, etc)
That's what I want if I had a relation with a colleague. (Not the best situation I know, but I don't really go out, thus I don't meet a lot of new people)

I'm a single man, she's attractive, I had to ask her. We are human, it's not the first nor the last time love/sex happens at work. (I will personally never have sex at work, not even a simple kiss)

I'm organized, and during a bunch of occasions, I politely told Julia I had important work to do. Except the day I felt a bit tired and had a headache, it wasn't that bad to talk with her... She doesn't go out that much too. There's some similarities with me, but sometimes I feel like she's a martian...

She does her job, not everytime perfectly (we sometimes have to check what she did, loss of time...), sometimes miss some obvious points, I'm personally patient because it's her first job, and I don't really know if there's not something wrong with her... Maybe... A kind of autism? (Autistic ppl don't like to be touched or to touch so I guess it's different)
As you mentioned it, I'm also wondering if she really understand human interactions... Mainly at work...

When I asked her if she liked the job, she said yes but it wasn't convincing, I told her how wonderful the company was, we are serious and we make/sell a product that helps life in its global form (Humans/Animals and vegetals) - we have nice offices (1 personnal room for each office member, not an open space), a kitchen fully equiped, we can take a break when we want (as long as you do your work) and the company is located in a nice area.
At least, these things have a positive impact on my mental health. I feel good. :-)

Another colleague once said "we hired Julia because she was an internship and we needed somebody, but she's not the best"... Might be true, a bit rude, but they could have done a better interview.

Well you know, thanks for the reply, I'm just glad I'm not crazy and she really act in a weird way... I don't really know if she's really shy either, there's also the crying, fortunately I never saw Julia cries, but she easily has tears on her eyes when something is wrong, I once noticed it, when somebody from a higher position ask her something, she panics!
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2022 01:54 pm
It's not well enough documented, but I just realized she might just be autistic. From what I read about autistic woman and her behavior, it does match a lot... !

I'm myself quiet strange tbh. Never had big issues, I'm smart, talk several languages, etc. Apparently I'm cute... I think nobody can tell, but my social life is chaotic. I have no prob with that, but I'm not like the people of my age. Since I work, I still have contact of "friends" via Facebook, but I have 0 friends and see nobody.
When I go out, I go alone or I ask my dad. (nobody knows this, except my family)
Since I work, I had no girlfriend. (I'm not virgin)

She's at ease with me, because we share a lot of tiny strange things in common.
I feel so dumb not realizing this before. She acts. There's a lot of things she told me she likes, I knew she was saying this just to be "cool" but she's mimicking her sister. (Her sister is totally different from Julia, her sister is like a "barbie", a lot of makeup, go often in nightclubs, etc Not the kind of girl I would meet, though Julia is definitely the kind of girl I would meet)

With hindsight, I'm pretty sure she wasn't seducing me, she's autistic. She might really like me, but that's not the point.

Well, I'll stay focus on my work, but I have to admit I'm curious about Julia. I'd like to help her... Everybody see she's strange. I did a lot of work on myself to adapt to the society, I still need my moments of loneliness. I also enjoy good company, but I don't care having no friends, I care having no girlfriend though.
From my experience, I have a lot of empathy, I listen a lot, I think she saw her own reflection on me, like I'm doing with her right now with hindsight... I'm not autistic, I'm "gifted"... She might be autistic/gifted.
I'm wondering way too much questions ah ah ^^'
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Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2022 08:39 am
You may be overthinking this. Two single people can either move things along or nothing develops.

Neither of you is making the courageous step to ask the other one out on a real, adult date. ( why hadn’t she and Mark moved their relationship along? )

I think YOU are the one who is shy.

She is a flirt, manipulative, immature, and quirky, but not shy.

BTW - not a good idea to have workplace romances.

Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2022 10:27 am
Did you read well?
I asked her out, I asked her if she wanted me to do the next step.

I just realized how wrong I am, I'm pretty sure she is autistic. She acts, and she doesn't understand the things she does might be seen as "flirting".
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2022 12:01 am
Hi folks!

Just a quick update.

She talked to me a lot, and she obviously has mental health issues.
She was more open to talk about her problems when we were alone.
She's still always smiling at me, gazing at me, etc. But I know she's not really seducing me, it's more like a manipulation, she needs to be the center of attention with some men I guess. I know she has probs with her father and feel better when he's not alone (he works abroad)

I'm not searching anything, I'm just listening to her, but it's a bit exhausting, I'm not her psy... I act kindly because that's the way I am.

Yesterday she went outside with the other colleague, when he came back he had an hickey. They obviously had sex.

I think she's histrionic and maybe borderline. (I had psychologic lessons when I was student, I don't work on that domain now) - histrionic behavior look a lot like what she does... She's immature, wants to be the center of attention, likes to seduce (only my other colleague and me at work), IMO she also has other prob, she drives fast (like the risks?), well anyway I don't know why I have to analyze people...
I'm slowly keeping my distances with this woman.

Thank you for your replies guys :-)
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2022 10:56 am
*when he's father is not at home (and not "not alone") ^^'
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