It can be quite a tricky situation to be in, being hit on by your boss. You want him to stop, but you don’t want your job to be jeopardized! How do you wriggle yourself out of the situation without doing much damage? Read on…
You say the word “forevermore”, that’s not what I’m looking for; all I can commit to is maybe!
– Crush, Jennifer Paige
Flirting is indeed an art, and you take a long time to become a connoisseur! Flirting encompasses a wide variety of activities from mere talking, staring, smiling, giggling, to holding hands, acting coy, imitating someone, passing remarks, all of which suggest or imply a more than casual or friendly interest in the person. While it is indeed a good feeling to be the object or subject of a man’s romantic interest, it can be quite annoying, rather hideous and outright disrespectful to be the focus of cat-calls, whistles and hot pursuits! There are many situations when you just know it in your gut that it would be wrong to encourage the flirting you are being subjected to – as when coming from a best friend (dating your best friend is putting love and friendship both at risk), coming from your best friend’s ex (“He estranged her, how can I befriend him?”), coming from a colleague (“Romantic in office? That’s kinda weird…!”), or worse still coming from your boss (“Did I really deserve this promotion?”).
White Flirting, Sincere Flirting and Hot Pursuit!
One of my close friends once came up with this theory. According to his theory, there are three kinds of flirting.
- White flirting is the casual, friendly, good-humored and good-natured flirting; the kind that makes you feel good, puts a smile on your face and maybe adds color to your cheeks!
- Sincere flirting is when the guy is truly interested in something more and more serious than just friendship; when a guy is looking for a relationship.
- Hot pursuit on the other hand, is when a guy has only and only physical needs and gratification on his mind.
Each of the three types of ‘hitting-on’ require a different approach and method of tackling… and you could be subjected to either type by your boss! Read on to decipher in which of the three ways is your boss hitting on you, and how to stop him from doing just that!
Stopping Your Boss from Hitting on You
Complimenting you, appreciating your dressing sense, your hair-style, appreciating your work, greeting you while passing by your desk, dropping in to ask how you are doing etc.
How to Stop It
This is the kind of flirting that never did anyone any harm. I cannot think of reasons why you would want to stop your boss (or anyone at work, for that matter) from flirting with you so casually. It keeps you in good humor and makes you feel good about yourself, and when was that a problem?! The flip-side is, if left unchecked, this kind of flirting may lead to more serious, intense forms of flirting. If you have a hunch that may be the case with your boss, then better nip it in the bud! You can respond to this kind of flirting by dismissal or denial – “Oh come on, its nothing!”, “I’m just doing my job!”, “Oh really? I think this color in fact makes me look grumpy!” Do it with confidence, and do it with authority. Say it as matter-of-factly as you would state your birth date – leave no room for your boss to counter your statement, or insist on his!
Trying to find an opportunity to talk to you, trying to get you to go out for a date, attempting to increase social interaction with you, inquiring about your interests or hobbies, inquiring about your relationship status, seeming curious about your dating preferences, wanting to know more about your after-office life etc.
How to Stop It
This is the kind of flirting that shows your boss is genuinely interested in getting to know you better. He is trying to get out of the ‘work’ and into the ‘personal’ zone. Dating your boss can have its own repercussions; it can affect your work, the way your colleagues look at you, what they think about you. If you want to go ahead with it, that is okay. However, if you want to curb this kind of ‘hitting-on’, it is going to need more firmness than in the previous case. Begin by denying politely any requests for a date or a social meeting. Do it politely, but firmly. Avoid answering any personal questions directly or in a straightforward manner. Do not reveal any kind of personal information. If your boss still continues hitting on you, you can move to the next step – mention ‘him’. You don’t have to be really committed to make your boss or other people at work believe you are! Answer “So what plans for the big weekend?” with “I don’t know, I will have to check with (NAME).” Do not say “(NAME) is my boy-friend”. Something casual and diplomatic like “We are dating” can also work.
Making you stay back after work, always calling you in his cabin for one-on-one meetings, trying to get physically intimate with you, cornering you during lunch hours or in the elevator, passing blatant remarks or comments about your appearance, favoring you with perks and expensive gifts to make you feel compelled or obliged to submit etc.
How to Stop It
Hot pursuit is probably the worst kind of thing any man can impose upon a woman. It is distasteful, disrespectful, and can border on harassment. You will have to be more aggressive while dealing with this kind of flirting than the previous two. Tell your boss in clear words that nothing on the lines of what he has in mind is ever going to work out between the two of you. If you are committed or are dating someone, you can call upon your guy and ask him to intervene. If you are single, you can get your best friend to intervene. Seek out the employee welfare cell of your company or institution if you realize you are not able to handle the situation. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Use all your resources. Also do not panic or loose focus – he may be your boss, but he does not own you or your life! Do not be intimidated by his position or power. Do not be ashamed to call on others for help either. It is always better to be safe than be sorry.
Every woman has something we call a woman’s instinct – and believe me when I say this, your instinct will never cheat on you. Your instinct will always run to your aid and allow you to pick up on the flirting body language of men. It really isn’t too difficult to understand how men flirt, if only you observe keenly. The catch in the situation we are talking about is the fact that the guy hitting on you is in fact your boss. But always bear in mind one thing – there is no reason you should feel obliged or compelled to endure your boss’s romantic and/or sexual overtures if you do not want to, no matter what position your boss holds in the company. Be the strong, confident and responsible woman that you are and take charge of things. After all, you should be free to choose who you want to date!