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Dear Wendy

What is the correct response

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by avatar debbie 4 days, 2 hours ago.

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  • #672832 Reply
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    debbie

    Hello Wendy:

    I was relieved to see your website. I am from India but in Canada for 20 years now. My husband travels a lot and my work colleagues know about it. I have good friendly professional relationship with my colleagues. Something has occurred a few times to me now (3 times in the last 5 years). One of my colleagues said he is attracted to me and if I was not married he would have pursued harder and earlier. I told him I am happily married. But I am wondering how I should understand this. What he meant was he would like to sleep with me but ofcourse stick to his marriage. While his relationship is something he needs to worry about, I am trying to understand the north american culture and how I need to respond to someone considering me a side chick. How do I respond without hurting him but keeping my self respect. Is this to be treated as an insult? I am wondering why I am getting this kind of attention. I am average neither pretty nor ugly. I am good at my work. I dont dress to attract any attention but I am friendly and these guys are comfortable chatting with me. I am just going to play it down and anyways I am hoping to take another role. Please advise.

    #672833 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Is this 3 messages from the same colleague in the past 5 years? Or 3 different colleagues?

    The correct response depends on how you feel about the guy. If he’s not your friend and you’re creeped out by him, ask him to stop it and report him to HR. If he’s your friend but you’re not interested, just don’t reply, or tell him to knock it off. You don’t need to be worrying about what it *means* about you. It just means he’s a shady guy who sends inappropriate texts to co-workers.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by avatar Kate.
    #672834 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    It’s also important to understand that you’re not obligated to respond to anyone. Often the best response to something inappropriate is NO response.

    #672837 Reply
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    debbie

    Thank you Kate. 3 different guys so I am wondering if I am doing/saying something to get this attention. i am not sure if I should show offence bcos someone says they are attracted but it would seem offensive in my country and culture for a married man to suggest hookup to another married woman. This may be ok here. I work with him and we work very well together. I was just shocked and did not know what to say except happily married.Is this acceptable to say to each other in north america? have to face the dude at work on monday

    #672838 Reply
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    RedRoverRedRover

    I’m Canadian and this is not normal. I’m married and if a married guy suggested to me that we hook up, I’d be insulted.

    #672839 Reply
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    debbie

    thank you

    #672840 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Ok, that’s a bit weird that it happened with 3 different guys. I’m not sure what to make of it. Do YOU think you’re doing something to suggest you’d be open to cheating on your spouse?

    And no, not acceptable. You’re right. Unless you were getting drunk and sitting in their laps… no.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by avatar Kate.
    #672842 Reply
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    debbie

    Great point. We discuss many things including family life and spouse. I will stop that going forwardd…Thank you!

    #672843 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Nothing wrong with discussing family life!

    Another thing you can say if you’re annoyed by something offensive like that is, “Do we have an HR issue here?!” One time I was in a conference room by myself to do a call, and I needed the IT guy to come in and help me with something. He said something weird like did I find him attractive? I had no problem with the guy up until that point, but that was inappropriate. So I looked up and said sharply, “What? Do we have an HR issue here?”

    Never had a problem with him again.

    #672844 Reply
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    debbie

    Thank you Kate, that is helpful advise.

    #672845 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    You can also just look at him and say “why would you say that to me?”

    Don’t put up with this crap.

    #672855 Reply
    juliecatharine
    Juliecatharine

    I’m in sales in a fairly male dominated industry; this kind of thing has happened to me many times before I was married and since. Because it generally has come from a client and not a coworker I have usually laughed it off and left it with a thanks but no thanks kind of response. From coworkers I make it clear that I’m not interested and move on but scale back on the friendliness. It sucks because as a woman in business you need to foster relationships just lon anyone does but it can be a fine line when maintaining boundaries. Anyone with half a brain will back off when you indicate that you’re happily married. If they don’t be firm and take it to hr if needed. Sorry this is happening it sucks but seriously it’s not you-some guys really don’t know how to handle a friendly woman, it’s ridiculous.

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