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Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers/Other coworkers are trying to set me up with another coworker?

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Question
Hi,
    So there is this cute male colleague whom i work with closely and there are other women in my team who make comments like we date each other. They say stuff sounding like trying to set us up like asking us if we are romancing each other outside of office too (with this winking smiley). The difficult part is that my male colleague knows this and smiles when ever they make the comment. Today while we all were at the movies, they made too much of "pairing us up" comments that it was super awkward . When they later started to make plans to go out for dinner,I had to make excuses to slip out of the plans. My male coworker now thinks i am little weird and showing a bad attitude.How do i react now? and what to do? I cannot date him as he is from my own team! HELP!

Answer
Dear Viaishali,

Thanks for writing to me.

Matchmaking is something that's been going on for centuries. Some of it is banter, and some of it is a genuine attempt to put people together. I know people who have gotten married as a result of genuine matchmaking.

My guess is that your colleagues recognise that there is some attraction between the two of you and are taking advantage of it to tease you. The fact that you are being defensive adds to their enjoyment.

I think that you can all have fun with this. Here's how.

Arrange to meet with your colleague outside of work hours and some place where you won't be seen by your co-workers. It may mean independently travelling to a coffee shop that's a hundred miles away. You'll have to work it out between you.

When you meet, talk about the teasing and the banter, and then decide between you how the two of you are going to deal with it. Think of it as a little "friendly conspiracy."

If you both work together to deal with the teasing, all of you will be able to just laugh it off. But, if you decide not to meet, then nothing will change. You'll continue to be defensive about it, your colleague will think you're even weirder, and the discord at work will get worse.

There's no reason why all of you can't have fun. Your co-workers obviously like you or they wouldn't be doing this.

Feel free to write again if you wish.

Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers

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Dr Bruce Hoag, CPsychol AFBPsS

Expertise

How to retain top talent.
How to make your employees more productive
How to manage people across different cultures
How to make yourself more valuable to your current employer
How to manage your boss
How to become more employable

Experience

Co-wrote (with Professor Cary L Cooper, CBE) Managing Value-Based Organizations: It's Not What You Think, published in 2006.

Organizations
Academy of Management, British Psychological Society

Publications
Leadership & Organization Development Journal, http://www.ezinearticles.com

Education/Credentials
PhD, Organizational Psychology, Manchester Business School

Awards and Honors
Chartered Occupational Psychologist & Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society; Ezines Expert Author

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