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Question
Posted by: malebo | 2008/10/27

not sure how to deal with white coworker

this man is white and is aged 27 yrs and works on the top floor.

while im black african, 33 yrs and single mum of one.

since jan 2008, he has shown some interest in me. like when he comes in the morning (but not everyday), he passes by my office to say morning and complements me on my clothes.

since i work in hr, i interact with all staff but sometimes i feel that im not sure how to respond to him.

he is an introvert but gets more friendlier when he is used to you. we work in the same department and its been 2 years now.

this morning he came in to say ' hi'  and complemented me on my hairstyle. he said men do not normally notice things around them but he noticed my hairstyle.

was not sure what to say but i thanked him. and I asked if theres any hr matters that i can assist with and he said no, cause he came in just to greet me.

personally, i think he is a great guy but office romance is not a good idea, and he is not in my religion.

our cultures are different and that can bring some problems for us.

what do i do now? do i leave things as they are?

NB: also, i do not want him to get hurt cos he seems sensitive like me.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I agree that office romances are usually not a good idea, and often create needless problems. Maybe he just wants to be a bit more friendly ? Maybe you can say to him, that you get the feeling that he is sensitive, like you, and don't want to hurt his feelings ; but that you long ago decided against any office romances. But that you appreciate his friendship and kindness. As others say, his colour / race isn't directly relevant, except I think you're saying both that it could cause further problems if either of you DID want to move towards a deeper relationship ; and perhaps it makes it a bit more difficult for you to accurately read him and understand his intentions. As Candy says, he's probably just being friendly, and if he's a bit lonely himself, may be just a tiny bit awkward in how he does this. Friendship need be no problem, so long as you're both agreed on where the friendship is NOT going

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: malebo | 2008/10/27

thanks for the advice, i just posted to check if im handling the situation ok.

i really appreciate his kindness and friendlyness. there are other 2 females on the same floor and they never receive compliments or greetings. so im gonna appreciate it while it last.

he popped in during lunch and said something smells nice and i said he can come join me if he prefers. but he said no..thanks..

i enjoy his company, so i will leave things as they are.

Reply to malebo
Posted by: Candy | 2008/10/27

It sounds to me that he is just being friendly? Whats wrong with being nice to people? These days people have a problem if youre too nice or not friendly enough. Jeez get over yourselves.

Reply to Candy
Posted by: Bob' s Girlfriend | 2008/10/27

I don' t think it matters if he' s white, black, purple or blue.

You said it. OFFICE ROMANCE.

Dont go there.

Reply to Bob&#39 s Girlfriend
Posted by: An | 2008/10/27

Hi Malebo

Does he make you feel uncomfortalbe? If not, I would just leave things the way they are and see it a friendly gesture - and who doesn' t like a compliment on you hair of clothes from time to time?

I am a white girl and there is an indian man at the office who says the same type of stuff to me. I am not interested in him at all, so just thank him politely for the compliments and ignores him further - without being rude.

If however, it becomes uncomfortable for you, tell him that you appreciate the compliments, but think it is inappropriate in a work envirnoment.

Good luck!

Reply to An

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