How to deal with an unwanted office relationship

work relationship

As the saying goes, “do not get your meat from the same place you get your bread”. Office relationships can be very messy for more than just the two people involved. It could distract you from your work and your personal life, and it could ultimately make the office space extremely uncomfortable for your coworkers.

And as a woman at work, you should know how to avoid these situations that could potentially jeopardize your career.

Here are some tips you could use to steer clear from the awkwardness of stumbling into an office relationship:

Be professional:

Your office is where you should be as professional as you can be. If everybody knows you strictly mean business, the chances of an office relationship spurting is highly unlikely. If you are a naturally affectionate person, your behavior would send the wrong signals to anyone who is interested. Therefore, don’t be too friendly with any of your coworkers, especially your bosses. Avoid anything that would categorize as flirting. Keep the physical contacts to a minimum so that nobody gets the wrong idea about your intentions. If you do happen to talk with a coworker, stick to work related topics.

Remain private at work:

Your work life and personal life should be two very separate parts of you. Therefore, refuse to talk about your personal life at work. Do not confide in any of your male coworkers about your personal problems. Many men love to be the white knight, so avoid these situations. Do not get too comfortable and close with anyone you might think is interested in you, or you are interested in. Maintain your work-life balance to your absolute best.

Minimize social interactions with coworkers:

As a woman at work you probably spend your 9:00-5:00 in your office, surrounded by your coworkers with whom you’re supposed to have a strictly professional relationship. This is the main reason that you should not fraternize with them. It’s always okay to be friends with your coworkers. But when you spend a good amount of the day with them, you really shouldn’t spend your after work hours with them either. Have a social life outside of work. While it’s normal to go for lunch with your fellow coworkers, decline any offer for an out-of-work event with just one other person.

Discourage apparent interest:

It could be difficult for women to not go unnoticed in an office. So there will be some coworkers who would be very interested in you. But refuse any and every advancement that’s made to tarnish your reputation and your work life. Decline any offers for anything that could remotely qualify as a date, and do not accept any gifts. Avoid being alone with just one of your coworker. If you do, you will be the subject to office gossip and things will not be pretty for either one of you. If your coworker or your boss, does not adhere to your wishes, you could always turn to Human Resources.

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