On a regular basis, I have to interact and coordinate with a coworker who is one of those highly opinionated people that has no filter. I find myself avoiding her as much as possible, to the point where I used to enjoy team happy hours, but don't even go any more because of this single individual.
Examples of remarks she's made below - individually they sound harmless, but it's the relentless, constant nature of the remarks that are grinding me down and mentally exhausting to be around.
- I usually drink an IPA at work happy hours. Every time, the instant I place my order, she loudly remarks "EW! HOW CAN YOU DRINK THAT? THOSE ARE SO DISGUSTING!"
- Another coworker and I share a love of metal music, so often we'll have discussions about the merits/demerits of the latest Slayer album, or whatever. Every time: "HOW CAN YOU LISTEN TO THAT? YOU REALLY CALL THAT MUSIC? ALL IT IS IS YELLING!"
- Spiritual beliefs - something I don't bring up at work, but while at a convention a couple years back, she started questioning my beliefs, along the usual lines of "but why don't you believe [what she believes]?". It got to the point where she was implying I'm a bad person and will go to hell.
- Food choices - I'm adventurous and will try about anything, but that seems to really bother her, and 90% of the time I order something at a team lunch/happy hour, she'll start in again: "EW! HOW CAN YOU EAT THAT? YOU REALLY THINK THAT TASTES GOOD?!"
And so on. These remarks are always made with very expressive body language - she screws up her face, rolls her eyes, and uses a whiny tone of voice to hammer in her criticism. They end up short-circuiting any sort of real conversation as the only topics of discussion she'll allow are things she doesn't find gross, boring, disgusting, bad, etc etc etc. Which is pretty much nothing.
My complaint is not that she doesn't share my taste in beer, or anything else. I do not care what she thinks of my taste in beer, food, music, etc. The point is, the remarks are so constant that being around her sucks the life out of me. But, my job requires me to interact with this person often. I have taken steps to find a new contact for certain aspects of the job, which has reduced my interaction with her some degree, but it is still an issue.
How do I learn to deal with this, as short of finding a new job (where there very well may be another person with the same personality type), I'm not going to be able to simply avoid it all the time.