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8 Ways to Deal with an Overly Flirtatious Coworker

flirty coworker

A little light office flirtation can be exciting, but a coworker who can’t seem to tone down the flirtation can be downright irritating.

So you find yourself in a new workplace. Exciting, right? You enjoy the thought of a fresh career prospect, plus the chance to meet new people. The new employee syndrome kicks in: you’re enthusiastic at work, and you seem to attract attention. You get introductory emails, and a lot of handshakes and “hi’s” from your new coworkers.

However, there will always be this one person who will incessantly give you a great deal of unwanted attention. And then, it starts to get uncomfortable. You might have found yourself as the target of the office flirt.

Flirting is a game that both men and women play. It could take the form of a harmless compliment, or it could be as straightforward as a licentious remark that tiptoes the borders of decency. All of us have done this at some point to playfully show our interest in a certain person we find attractive. However, it is important to know that the workplace is a place of business. While we can get away with a few teasing remarks, too much flirting could lead anyone into trouble. [Read: How to stop a guy from flirting and hitting on you constantly]

How to deal with a flirty coworker

To be fair, maybe the person doesn’t really mean you harm, and merely wants to get your attention. Then, it is your sole duty to draw the borders and recognize acceptable levels of flirting in your professional relationship.

Other people might not, and there’s always that person at work who’s a notorious Casanova and tries to flirt with every single woman in the office. So before you go and barge into the HR office, try these tips to diffuse the situation with your own hands.

#1 Parry the flirting with straight professionalism. One of the most effective ways to counter any flirting attempt is to show sheer professionalism. If you adopt a serious, no-nonsense stance towards your coworkers, you could immediately get respect from them.

Make it known that you are there to do your job and that your relationship with them is purely professional. However, you must take care to not dismiss friendliness as well. Make it known that you’re okay with non-work-related interactions, but it should be done outside the workplace. [Read: 12 easy ways to avoid a first impression catastrophe]

#2 Use humor to your advantage. Another way to tame the pathological office flirt is to counter them with humor. Office flirts are usually not alone, and they also have buddies in their department with which they share their flirting escapades.

Use your wittiness to lightly embarrass them in front of their friends by pointing out that they’re obviously flirting with you, and then, share a laugh afterwards. If you scrape their ego a little bit, they’re sure to retreat and never do it again. [Read: How to effortlessly be funny and make everyone love your company]

#3 Be honest. To put it simply, you are mildly rejecting the person. Once you’ve established the fact that you are being flirted with, take some time to talk to the person, and pour out that you are uncomfortable with flirting.

You could cite a number of reasons like you already like someone or that you’re already committed, or most importantly, that they are becoming a bother to you during work hours. You could also insinuate that you are ready to escalate the matter to management if the person will not stop immediately.

#4 Confront the flirty coworker. If you allow a few flirty remarks to go unchecked, the person would think that you are absolutely okay with what they doing. The best thing to do is to bring it up suddenly while you’re being flirted with.

Ask the person questions like “What exactly are you trying to accomplish?” or the straightforward “Are you hitting on me?” This will catch the person off-guard, wherein you can expect a flimsy response. Usually, they will try to come up with an innocent response, and for that time, explain to the person clearly that you think that flirting with you is becoming uncomfortable and unnecessary. [Read: 6 quick and easy ways to deal with nosy coworkers]

#5 Ignore the person. Sometimes, the easiest way to deal with a flirty coworker is to ignore their advances completely. It does not mean that you’ll have to act as if the person doesn’t exist, especially if the person is a teammate and you’ll have to work together at some point.

If the person makes an offhanded joke about you, resist the urge to laugh, and tell them that it’s not funny. Try to keep idle talk to a minimum in order to avoid those small talks that would later on lead to coffee or date invitations.

#6 Stick around with your other coworkers. Another trick is to blend into a group of fellow coworkers that you’re comfortable with during breaks or office parties. This would “screen” out any attempts of that person flirting with you. Plus, if the person is bold enough, trying to flirt with you while you’re in a group adds the risk of embarrassment for the person if you shoot their advances down.

#7 Emphasize that you already have someone. During small talks, casually bring up your significant other or someone you’re dating who happens to be a Karate black-belter swimsuit model. Or maybe tell the flirt that you’re not free for coffee this weekend because you got invited to a date by your Navy SEAL crush that just got home from their tour in Iraq killing insurgents. Plant these intimidating ideas in the flirt’s head to help dissuade them from making any further advances. [Read: The complete guide to rejecting a guy and turning him down nicely]

#8 Talk to management. If all else fails, it is high time that you consult your manager, the person’s manager, or the HR department to put an end to the inappropriate flirting. This is the last resort, especially if the flirting gets worse and takes the form of mild sexual harassment.

Be sure to make a comprehensive report on the instances where you got offended by their remarks, and take note of the exact words or statements that were said. You could also enlist the help of witnesses or other people who were also the recipients of unwanted flirting. [Read: 10 types of creepy guys you need to avoid talking to]

Flirting in a normal situation feels gratifying because it is a sign that we are attractive to other people. Admit it or not, we secretly enjoy being flirted with. However, there are times when it could become offensive or inappropriate, depending on the place that you’re in. You would not flirt openly with your friend’s sister in their own home, nor would you spend all day at work flirting with the new receptionist, would you?

[Read: 8 tips to be good friends with your coworkers]

Both you and your flirty coworker have work to do, and you’d better get on it. Plus, a sign of an emotionally mature person is knowing how to separate work from play.

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Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...
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5 thoughts on “8 Ways to Deal with an Overly Flirtatious Coworker”

  1. Lilalove says:

    Flirting can be a lot of fun and great for stroking your ego. I like to flirt a bit in certain situations but the work environment is to be avoided. It has happened there though with a co worker and what started out as purely innocent fun got a bit uncomfortable and since we worked together it was difficult to stop feeling weird around each other. Professionalism should be what gets you back to working effectively. We did that and things have gotten 80% better.

  2. Heather Francesco says:

    An overly flirty creeper at the office can get very annoying. I remember this creep with the beady eyes who worked in Accounting who was making the moves on me when I obviously wasn’t interested. It came to a point when I had to ask the help of my other workmates to fend him off. Thankfully he took the message and hasn’t tried anything since. Unwanted attention is such a pain to deal with and no should mean no. People need to get that into their heads.

  3. Shaunda says:

    Honesty really is the best policy. Nothing turns overly flirty coworker guys off faster than when I give them the blunt

  4. amanda says:

    The overly flirtatious coworker is the worst kind of coworker you could imagine having. I have been sexually abused countless of times by my coworkers and one day I just couldn’t take it anymore. I took the issue to higher management and got them fired from the company. It didn’t end there though, those group of coworkers that were harassing me sexually in the office broke into my home and raped me. I was never so scared and abused at the same time in my entire life. They got sentenced to 20 years in prison and I spit on their grave.

  5. i'll take my chances says:

    I fuck with my co workers all the freaking time and I love it. Flirt all you want guys because you’ll get the fucking of a lifetime. I like it when they see me as a sexual object because all I want to be in life is a girl that every guy wants to fuck. I don’t care if the guy is married or not, we fuck in the photocopy room and there were times that the other co workers of ours would come inside. I let them join, of course. If a girl would come inside they get disgusted but only because they are jealous. Right? Who wouldn’t be jealous of an independent girl who wants cum all over her face? I want that in my life and I know what to do to get it. I like it that no guy gets jealous and it’s because I treat them all equally. I let them all fuck me wherever they want because I enjoy it. It’s okay to cum inside my pussy because I am well protected by pills. I know they are all clean because We have to be tested before we even got to work here and we get tested every 2 months so it’s okay. I really like it when two co workers want me to suck their dicks at the same time. There was also this amazing moment where my not so big two co workers shared my pussy. The fucked me both at the same time. It got uncomfortable for me so I asked if one of them wanted to do me anally, It got more fun when they alternated fucking my holes simultaneously. That’s my story shitheads and I ain’t no hoe.

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