How to Know If Your Boss Has a Crush on You
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Verbal signs, body language, gifts and favoritism are all signs that can suggest that your boss has a crush on you. Even if he's subtle, the prevalence of enough indicators should trigger your senses. Although you may feel partially flattered by the attention, the situation could also be uncomfortable and might even border on harassment. Once you're sure that you're receiving clear signs of his crush, take the necessary steps to deal with the problem.
Overly Personal Conversations
Be on the alert for a boss who engages in overly personal discussions with you -- especially if he doesn't behave the same way with other employees. Some casual banter about weekend activities can be innocent, but a boss who consistently asks you questions about your private life or tells you intimate details about his may have a crush on you. Watch for relationship talk, such as a boss who asks if you're dating anyone or who tells you that he's recently single.
Uncomfortable Body Language
The boss' actions and body language can often indicate if he has a crush on you. Notice if the boss spends an excessive amount of time in your workspace, doing things such as sitting or leaning on the edge of your desk. Leaning toward you, making uncomfortably long eye contact, looking at your body and casually touching you, such as tapping you on the shoulder, are all body-language indicators of romantic interest. In addition to making you feel uncomfortable, his actions can harm your productivity. For example, it's tough to meet your daily goals if your boss spends an inordinate amount of time chatting at your desk.
Gifts, Invitations and Favoritism
A number of other indicators can reveal that your boss has a crush on you. Signs include a boss who buys a gift for you but insists that you keep it a secret, asks you to work late with him alone or invites you to an activity outside of work, such as grabbing a coffee together. Other signs include when your boss calls, emails or text messages you outside of work hours or shows significant favoritism to you at work. While each of these issues can be problematic, they can also lead to difficulties between you and your colleagues. For example, your workmates may begin to resent you if your boss blatantly shows you favoritism.
Dealing With the Problem
When you're sure that your boss has a crush on you, deal with the situation promptly. For example, tell him, "yes" when he asks if you're dating someone if you are; or, say you aren't if that is so, but that you're happily single and not looking to date. Politely refuse his gift or offer to take you to coffee or ask if another co-worker can join you to work late. If you begin to feel uncomfortable, speak to your company's human resources professional and explain the situation. Or, if your business doesn't have a formal HR department, speak to your boss' manager -- provided you're sure the manager will take the issue seriously and protect you from your boss retaliating.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.