WORKPLACE / OCT. 05, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Tips for Dealing With a Boss Who is Interested in You

It isn’t uncommon for bosses to hit on or become interested in their employees. Mixing business with pleasure is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. In most situations, the feelings are not mutual. Office romances cause drama and tension in the workplace, which is something that should always be avoided. There are tactful ways that you can avoid these situations and still keep your job.

Maintain a Professional Attitude

Regardless of the insinuations your boss might make toward you, it is important to maintain a professional attitude. One of the best ways to avoid the conversation taking a turn south is to repeat the question regarding work. Completely ignore the personal complement or the boss’s attempt at flirting with you.

In some cases, being turned down or blown off only makes the boss more interested. At this point, avoid contact unless absolutely necessary and keep everything strictly business.

Set Boundaries

There comes a point in time when a boss is hitting on you that boundaries have to be set. It is okay and necessary to put your foot down.

Boundaries to set:

  •          Work related conversations only
  •          No special treatment
  •          Refraining from complements and sexual commentary
  •          Ask for transfer to a different department with no contact

These may seem like harsh boundaries but if you love your job and the company, sometimes being stern is the only way to go. The boss has to know where you draw the line between what is okay and what goes too far.

Limit Personal Conversations

Once you are clear that the boss is personally interested in you for reasons other than work, it is best to limit personal conversations. Asking how you are or how the weekend was is fine, it is small talk. Do not get into specifics because this is what he or she is trying to get from you, details. When details are left out this gives the boss zero insight as to what you do in your spare time, which maintains professionalism in the workplace.

Refuse Gifts and Special Treatment

A boss may go far beyond the line and may begin to offer gifts or special treatment such as a raise or extra paid time off as examples. Remind the boss that your salary and fringe benefits are enough and as his or her employee, you cannot accept gifts or special treatment. Be adamant in the statement and maintain a stern voice.

Don’t Work Late Alone

When the boss offers you, and only you, the opportunity to work late for overtime, refuse to do it without a team of co-workers. The alone time can turn into what the boss may refer to as an affair or date. This is a bad situation that can leave you jobless if things go the wrong way or too far. Separate business from your personal life by not getting romantically involved with anyone from work.

Remind the Boss that you are Taken and not Interested

Sometimes bosses have to be reminded that you are taken and have a family. This may not be important to them, but it is to you. Maintain your strong family values and tell the boss simply that you are not interested in being anything more than an employee.

In some cases, bosses take things too far. If the situation really gets bad you may have to consider searching for new employment. Once you notice that the boss is paying extra attention to you, consider the way you dress first. Try to show less of yourself off, regardless if you are male or female.  In other words, do what you believe is necessary in order to make it quite clear that you are uninterested.


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