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How to Deal with a Flirtatious Boss

He's not exactly demanding sexual favors, but his flirting is getting really gross. What's a girl who likes her job to do?


  • Step 1: Assess his behavior Now, don't be offended, but we have to ask: Is he really coming on to you, or is he just a sociable, flirtatious kind of guy? If it's the latter, just ignore it.
  • TIP: Do your part to keep the relationship professional. Don't chat about how your last two boyfriends cheated on you and then expect him to know that discussing sex is off limits.
  • Step 2: Discourage his behavior passively Discourage his behavior passively. If he stands too close, step back. If he suggests you should do something outside of work or floats a sexual innuendo, suddenly remember a pressing work-related question or stare at him blankly.
  • Step 3: Confront him Ask to speak to him privately, and let him know that while you appreciate a laidback office atmosphere, his "friendliness" is distracting you from doing your work. For diplomacy sake, make it sound like your issue, not his.
  • TIP: Use neutral "I" arguments like "I feel uncomfortable discussing Brazilian waxes with you," as opposed to the accusatory "You're making me uncomfortable."
  • Step 4: Document everything Start keeping a file on every inappropriate thing he says and does so you'll have back-up if things get out of hand.
  • Step 5: Report him If he refuses to shape up his act, or if his behavior feels aggressive or threatening, file a formal complaint with the personnel department. Sexual harassment isn't in his job description, and dealing with it shouldn't be part of yours.
  • FACT: 17% of women responding to a Harris Interactive poll said they have felt sexually harassed at work.

You Will Need

  • Diplomacy
  • And documentation

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