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I work in an environment where there are three to five of us( depending on the day) who waste a lot of time together just due to the nature of the work and the set-up of our place. There are three to four members of us at these levels and one boss, and it’s a highly hierarchical arrangement( what our boss says croaks ).

I genuinely like everyone I working in collaboration with and feel luck to have such great coworkers, but there’s one thing( of course) that are actually bothers me. My boss is really into football: college, pro, fantasy, whatever. My coworkers are also into football.

I rightfully could not care less about football; of all the athletics, it’s by far my least favorite( which is not saying much, to be fair ).

They talk about football A LOT( like five times a day ), mainly due to the boss’s induce. That’s fine: I understand that for people who love football as much as he does, football is a big part of their out-of-work social living and makes up a lot of head space, and I don’t expect it to not be talked about at work.

The problem is that when it comes up and I’m already in the conversation, I do not know how to politely leave/ condone myself, and often they will joke about how little I am interested in it. Like,” what do you think about that play, Sarah ?” -type explains. At first I could go along with the joke, but it’s really starting to bother me now — it’s wearying to invariably joke about my need of interest in something, especially when it feels like the jokes are their way of saying,” I know it’s rude that we talk about this so much in conferences that you were just a part of, but … too bad! At least we are acknowledging your attendance .”

How can I only get out of these exchanges as soon as football comes up without being rude to the boss or originating him feel like his jokes aren’t actually conciliating me in these conversations? If “its just” equals doing it, I’d have no problem leaving, but because it’s the boss who ever imparts it up in a really hierarchical organization where he has a lot of capability over me, I don’t know what to do. And how can I forestall feeling like my coworkers aren’t favored over me due to my non-love of football?

Start treating it like any other subject that doesn’t interest you, and turn back to your work. If they try to draw you back into the sports talk, say in a distracted mood,” What’s that? I wasn’t attaches great importance — I is currently working on the X campaign .” Or,” Sorry, I tune out when the subject turns to football. What did “youre telling” ?” If you do that generally enough, it’s pretty likely they’ll stop with the” haha, how’d you like that touchdown, Sarah ?” observes because continuing “wouldve been” increasingly obnoxious. But “youve got to” resonated amused , not vexed. And actually perform the distraction — pause for a minute, slowly tear your eyes away from your computer screen, etc.( Not simply will this ram home the point that you were focused on work, but it’ll likewise disincentivize the jokes by starting a knot of breathers in their conference .)

If your boss nurses it against you that you don’t share all of his personal interests and that you choose to work rather than pretend an interest in football … he’s a terrible boss. It’s possible he is, but you didn’t mention that being the event and it sounds like you’re worried solely because he’s the boss and it’s a hierarchical environment. If that’s developments in the situation, I’d say do him the courtesy of presupposing he doesn’t operate that acces — because rightfully, most administrators wouldn’t and most decent people wouldn’t.( And most “couldve been” terrified to learn you was concerned that! If I found out person on my crew thought they had to talk about cats or Game of Thrones to preserve my good favor even though those topics abode them, I’d be appalled .)

That doesn’t mean there’s not quality in building rapport with your boss. Here i am! But you can look for other ways and means to do that. It doesn’t have to be through this one, very specific topic.

For what it’s worth, I don’t know that it is terribly rude of your boss and coworkers to bond over rights and interests that you don’t share. It sounds like you work in a somewhat open space, and if that’s the case, “theres going to be” dialogues that don’t interest everyone. That’s okay. It would be one thing is this was all they talked about around you, but it sounds like it’s sporadic , not constant. And that’s okay. You time need to give yourself permission to tune it out.

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can I avoid talking football without annoying my boss ? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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