While being in the business world can be stressful in and of itself, if you’re having to deal with additional stresses on the job on top of your workload, it can make your life even more challenging. One situation that many people find themselves in at one point or another is trying to interpret certain advances at work. But in circumstances such as these, it can be hard to know what you should do to stop these potentially innocent gestures or remarks. So to help you better navigate these waters, here are three tips for dealing with unwelcome sexual or romantic advances in the workplace.
Make Your Intentions and Feelings Clear
When someone first approaches you and makes a remark or suggestion that makes you uncomfortable or that you don’t appreciate, the very first thing you’re going to want to do is make your intentions or feelings clear. According to Louisa Saunders, a contributor to the Independent, there’s no reason to feel guilty that someone misread your intentions if they ask you out at work. So if you know that you’re not interested in this person, make sure you clearly state this in no uncertain terms. In many cases, this should put a stop to the unwanted advances.
Speak To Your Supervisor
If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve made yourself clear that you don’t like or appreciate the advances being made toward you, now would be the time to speak to your supervisor about what’s going on. According to Patricia Valoy, a contributor to EverydayFeminism.com, it’s your supervisor’s job to mediate these types of situations when they arise in the workplace. After you’ve told your supervisor what’s going on, he or she may be able to more effectively get the point across to your pursuer or take disciplinary action if necessary.
Report and Document Everything
Even before you’ve spoken to your supervisor or otherwise spoken to someone in your human resources department, Stacey Epstein, a contributor to Inc.com, advises that you document and report everything that has happened in this situation and with this person. In the event that the harassment doesn’t stop or gets to the point where you want to press charges, you’ll be glad that you took careful records of what actions or words took place, what you did to stop these actions without taking legal action, and how both the perpetrator and your employer responded. While it’d be ideal that it would never come to this, it’s wise to be prepared for the worst possible outcome.
If you’re getting unwanted advances of a romantic or sexual nature while at work, consider using the tips mentioned above to know how to react to these situations.