Another week, another Monday and another same old unpleasant question (at least for me) - What did you do for the weekend?
A couple years ago I moved to another country in western Europe from South-East of Europe. As you might be familiar, the culture is a bit different between these two regions, but that mostly depends of a person's adaptability and how strong he is holding to his values (religion and tradition).
So, from this point on, I would like to exclude those dimensions of differences between people, and focus on other dimensions (mentioned bellow).
Now, very often at work I've been asked by my colleagues "what did you do for the weekend"?! I find myself in very uncomfortable position answering this question because of several reasons.
First, for the sake of simplicity let's consider that I am some form of introvert, geek and hard-working person. This means that most of my weekends I am spending on learning and working on something (sometimes related to work, sometimes very different from it).
Second, I am seeing this question as a way to express to others what they did, by replying to it and then asking back what they did. I do understand that this is very basic way to create ongoing discussion, but I also know that I am often being judged by doing what I want and not "enjoying life instead" (by their definition).
On other hand, I feel very comfortable speaking about very wide range of topics like economics, technology or anything which is not really personal (seems logical for introvert, right?). Another thing why not speaking about personal things matters to me, is because I found that mostly in my line of job, if I keep personal relationship out is the best for everyone. Very often my ideas at work, threatened some positions around me, and they acted defensively on it. So, I have difficult time to keep the balance between sharing personal life, and competing with the colleagues at the same time. To be also clear, I am not rude at all while I am working my job, but very often I am stating facts citing resources and addressing the real problems. I am also not a solo player, in fact very helpful to those who want me to help. And also I am aware of this question, but I didn't find the answers satisfying.
How can you address to those questions in a way that it'll be polite, but acknowledge them you are not fine answering those question over and over again? I would like to hear more like a general answer that can be applied to a different organizations, rather than to my current position.