T Nation

Advice About a Co-Worker

Hello dear t-nationers and t-nationettes!

I have come to off topic yet again to humbly seek your advice. And for anyone who warned me about this particular situation in my log , you were right and I was wrong , na na na foo foo.

Ok back story :
I’ve made a lot of friends in my office and it’s my happy place of socializing and escape from my bubble of solitude . I work from home most days, but was there for 5 months during training and occasionally go in during the month for meetings etc.

I made friends with this one fellow who seemed very nice. He liked working out and narcos and we had great conversations. He is married, but that didnt phase me because I’ve been in love with the same person I started a thread about titled “am I a bitch?” Sixish years ago.
This man we will call him bob . He was overly nice to me from the start and complimented me quite frequently. A lot of it seemed like he just had a great respect for me and my workouts , and my work ethic. I’m very ocd about work and I’m doing very well because of it.
Anyway, he and I started chatting more and more . Mostly goofy things sometimes gym talk , sometimes rap talk. I mentioned if I had super powers I’d want them to be lava because I like volcanoes. He got his artist friend to draw me as lava lady which was thoughtful , but almost too thoughtful because why would a married person do that for a single young gal in the office.
He read my mental health blog and it seemed like he created me as this very vulnerable character because of it. I express my anxiety and what not a lot in there , but that’s my therapy . That’s not my 24/7 . Anyway, he always acted like he wanted to rescue me from situations that I didnt need help with or tried to get me into this victim status so he could always be relied upon to save the day.
He worried about everything, just like if I mentioned I was tired. “Why!? Is everything okay?!”
When I started working from home he worried I’d become too isolated and wanted to go for a walk after my in office day so we did. It was fine , but unnecessary if it was for the sake of pity, which I cant really tell at this point .
He seemed to get too emotionally involved in my dating attempts and heartaches to the point where he lost sleep over someone ghosting me because it hurt my feelings .
It all started to weird me out so i stopped communicating with him and i found out his wife was due to give birth any day and he never told me she was pregnant.
When he got back from his two weeks off he was cold and distant and told me he was thinking or re thinking our friendship because I didnt welcome him back to work or message him enough while he was gone …

Now I said I wasn’t going to share personal things with him anymore because he reacted too strongly and we agreed it was for the best .
I reconnected with my ex (whom i mentioned at the beginning of this too long post) who is currently in prison and going to aa meetings and has put me down as a support to stay sober when he gets out.
Some people in the office must have mentioned at lunch i had a boyfriend because of this and he flipped out at me. Passive aggressive messages telling me he Hope’s this ones a keeper and all this weird crap.

Now to today’s stress of it all. He randomly deleted me off facebook and is very cold via work emails and IMs and what not. Not a huge deal, but hes a team lead and i do have to talk to him and see him occasionally in the office and this whole situation makes me quite uncomfortable. My job can be stressful and I dont need any of this weird drama, and I dont really know what to do about it. He seems to go out of his way to send me work emails in a very cold, stern tone just so I can be reminded hes upset with me. Hes like that a lot, passive aggressive and whatnot…
I dont want to hash this out because it’s all just too weird to even understand, but I’m not sure what to do just to make my work environment more enjoyable.
I want to be excited about my office visits again , not terrified .

Thanks for any advice , or at the very least thanks for letting me share.

All my love


You should stop shitting where you eat Spock!


Looks like you only meet weird guys (to put it lightly)! He looks like a narcissistic emotional vampire, you did right getting away from him. I hope he will get over it at some point. But office life is rarely enjoyable anyway. There are always “characters”

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I think as a response to you both , I agree to keep the work place work and my social life separate, but I really dont meet very many people, and I have found great friends from this job.
I’m a single mom and I get up at 4am to work out so my evenings are for my son and sleep so the work place was kind of an important social outlet for me, even if less than ideal.

Well, because things are tense with one weird guy doesn’t mean work life is now shit. You still have your other friends etc right? I mean I’m probably right but I don’t think he’ll go too far (and on what grounds…?), office harassment is a serious thing (in my country at least).

I have made some good friends at work. Also met insufferable people. I would just explain that to them very clearly, ignore their mischief and keep it to the minimum possible cordial work relationship.

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Oh and as a whole other can of worms, why do I only meet crazy men ?
Is that my fault?
I’m crazy myself, but in a let’s organize too much and dress up as elton john at comic con sort of way

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He sounds like a low-T bitch. However, your best bet wrt this insecure sad excuse for a man is to be better than his passive-aggressive ass. The best course of action is to be unlike they who performed the injury. Take the high road and be utterly professional WITH HIM. Be friendly with whoever else (within reason - I’d say professionally friendly) but be just utterly professional with him … I wouldn’t say be cold like he is, or passive aggressive, just professional. Treat his passive aggressiveness as if it does not bother you and render his attempts to emotionally manipulate you (because that’s what he’s doing) as impotent.

Probably. Seems you like emotionally unavailable men, or those who are somewhat “off limits” (married with a kid?) … granted it’s not entirely your fault (takes two to tango) but this particular guy comes across as emotionally weak and with an exaggerated feminine side (passive aggressive behavior is considered a feminine trait to my understanding).


Sorry but my only advice is smile, be polite and pretend you were never more than co-workers. You weren’t really. You shared private information with a friend which turned out to be a mistake with trust.

Regarding meeting damaged men, are there no women in your orbit? Good girl friends are the best and are irreplaceable.

With respect to the other; you can plaster over a lot of cracks with a bland, polite smile and a civil response. Reading over that, it sounds old school and ‘don’t create waves’. However, the intent is to deescalate and minimize the impact of his behaviour. It’s no fun for people when it seems like their shenanigans aren’t even on your radar.


Spock, I think you can just ignore it and pretend everything is fine, with him and everything else - and eventually it WILL be. Passive-aggression requires that the target participate to have any effect. Just take him at face value, offer a cheery “good morning!” as appropriate, and move on with your happy life.

Eleanor Roosevelt said “no one can be made to feel inferior without their consent,” and I find that you can substitute most any shitty feeling. If you don’t consent to accept his anger or blame or disappointment, or whatever, it doesn’t exist outside of him.


Bullshit … she stole that shit from Seneca haha

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This, tho… :confused:

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The system won’t let me respond as I wanted to. Take that!

when are you going to take responsibility for your own actions and stop blaming “the system”? Sad.


I don’t think there’s anything wrong with work friends. I’m friends with one guy who trains jits and a group of us stay late every other week to play D&D. Every once in a while some of us grab beers.

This is very different from becoming emotionally involved with a married co worker of the opposite sex.

If you’re not sure if you’re flirting or being flirted with, trust your gut. You’ve been here before, you know what it feels like.


You said this guy is a team lead. Does he have authority over you? Do you report to him? If not, then I would shut him down hard and only respond to emails and business matters. Nothing else. If he gets to be an even bigger dick, threaten him that you will report him to HR. Companies, dont really tolerate that shit anymore as it can lead to lawsuits. They may even require that he no longer interacts with you.


I’ve noticed that women who are too aware of their own flaws can appear to lack confidence and be more permissive to others–especially men, that have problems with boundaries and control.


Which is why oblivious is the way to go. Too much navel gazing and introspection has it’s downside.


It is for some. Others just can’t hide it.

And there are guys that see it like blood in the water (I’m one of them).

This is exactly how the super nice girl that would do anything for anybody ends up with the complete asshole.


You can’t agree to keep these things separate, because you haven’t. That’s honestly okay. But you are making your work place stressful and unfriendly because you’re not setting any boundaries for yourself. You opened yourself up 100% to another person and then let THEM decide where to push the boundaries. Letting a married guy read your self-help blog requires ENORMOUS trust in that person. Even the fact that people in the office are mentioning you have a boyfriend because they’re aware that you reconnected with your ex shows that you’re letting too many people into things that are too personal too quickly.
You are obviously nice and kind, but this isn’t an isolated incident, and if you truly love being at your job, you’ll take it easy on the open-book policy.


Sounds like your co-worker is not a very great person. I would not be interested in anything but the minimum required interaction with him.

Sounds like he does not respect his wife very much, and does not respect you either.

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