I was pondering this. What is the fine line in say, a workplace, a social setting in general where a environment goes from fun and slightly amusing
talk and harmless flirtations to something much deeper and disturbing/nonproductive work.
I will focus alot on the workplace, but that is not just the only place where one should mind your manners so to speak...but too often we are told
It goes against our biology however to become little more than drones...so, understanding human nature, and your nature in general is key.
Its a -good- thing to have a somewhat open atmosphere at work. it makes the days go by a bit faster, makes work seem a bit less of a drag, and allows
for a person to feel comfortable just being (somewhat) themselves at work without the fear that their co-worker is trying to get too close.
Of course, each environment and dynamic has different levels, but as a rule of thumb, keep it light until you are well aware of all people
involved...then you can adjust accordingly, however, I would say never go over "that line"..even if it is welcomed. If anything, it simply teaches
you improper behavior and you might carry that to your next trait.
Finally, as dad once told me...never poop where you eat (of course he used a more colorful metaphore than poop)..good advice.
So, lets get some concepts and use jane and john as an example (feel free to adjust or add more)
What is harmless flirtations?
To me, this is minor innuendos with absolutely no reference to body parts, or actions between you and the person. Joking essencially with no visible
sign of an agenda.
Jane comes into the office on monday, she looks exausted.
John "Hey jane..wow, you look beat and the week just started"
Jane "Hi John, ya, long weekend"
John "You really should reconsider moonlighting as a gogo dancer in vegas"
Jane "lol. no, nothing like that. just helped a friend move"
ok, john had the subtle joy of basically saying "your hot and exciting" without harming anything..making a light joke, and moving on..jane, feeling
appreciated for her appearance without it being overt. now, jane may be happily married, however it never hurts to hear subtle complements about
yourself in a non threatening manner.
I have worked with people whom had a flat out crush on me. Now, I am fairly calm in such circumstances, but often it hasn't been the most attractive
girl in the office that liked me...and sometimes their tactics are about a thousand times more forceful than what I would do..
So, how do you deal with that?
This I don't know. I hate to get managment involved because I understand people in a fishbowl will eventually start poking into one anothers
lives...and at times, lines are crossed, but once everyone gets off, they got to pay bills, eat, etc...so getting a good worker fired is not the goal.
I will give you one of several examples I had to deal with (I will be john here)
John: "Hey Jane, can you slide out for a moment, I have to get under the desk and check your network cable"
Jane: "just crawl under, I may like it!" -spreads legs-
Now, here is a case where she is being humorous, however, the humor is explicit, involves a suggestive act with her, etc...all sorts of wrong (this is
actually a very tame example). How to react
Well, I could have barked at her, killing productivity and potentially getting her fired, or at the very least, have animosity grow...however, I try
to keep the smile going and try to decrease my worth into her eyes subtly...I match her level but use it to counter.
John: "Well, I would, but I get lost enough with computer bits, much less those...much better working on computers than people...hahaha...now move
before I break more than just the computer"
This was not the best of comebacks, but it did give the subtle message of both "not interested" and that I was not very good at what her imagination
was considering...making me less desirable in her eyes.
Women...you might give subtle references about hygene issues in areas you struggle with...nothing will destroy a man's fantasy faster than that..just
be subtle though...such as..."I haven't owned a razor in 5 years"
This is a work in progress (and will be finished when I retire no doubt)...but I am more interested in how you have handled such situations in your
past...how you think you could have reacted better upon reflection maybe, etc.
The common answer is to get the boss involved...or create a feeling of animosity by direct aggressive confrontation...I am not interested in those
tales because thats what your "supposed to do", but its not what people generally do. this thread is for alternative means and suggestions before
you reach that...
and please keep it subtle...don't give vulgar descriptions...we are a clever audience here and so no need to be overly descriptive...we will get the
(mods, I thought this was good for social issues, however, psychology may also be fitting...feel free to put it where you may)