When a guy you’re not interested in flirts with you, it can get very uncomfortable. And this is even worse in a professional environment. Here’s what you can do about that office flirt.

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You certainly don’t want to encourage him and the best way to get your message across is to be firm. You don’t have to shout and make a scene but be serious when you tell him ‘no’. Whether he’s asking you out or buying you gifts, be insistent that you’re not interested. And make sure your body language is giving the same message too.

If you respond in a friendly manner to his advances, he might get the wrong idea and think that you’re interested, so keep it professional. And, if his flirting crosses the line, let him know either by telling him or by walking away from the conversation. He might just be a flirty character and mean no actual harm but if it gets inappropriate, he needs to be told.

If he doesn’t get the hint that you’re not interested, make up an imaginary boyfriend or husband if you have to. Then mention your boyfriend or husband in conversations with this office flirt so that he knows that you’re only interested in your man and nobody else. In most cases, he will back off if he knows you’re taken.

Whether it’s via emails or instant messaging on your company’s chat platform, be careful what you type when dealing with him. Things can be taken the wrong way during online chats and you don’t want to encourage him by being too friendly when you’re not talking face-to-face. And, if he gets too suggestive or obscene, don’t reply and save those emails/messages in a folder for your reference, in case you need to use them against him at a later stage.

If he’s just being playful and flirty, try to get him to back off politely. However, if he gets out of hand and it really affects your life at work, tell your boss or supervisor about it.

Looking for more career tips? Check out our stories: How to make a part time job still look good on your CV!; How to dress for a job interview if you want to get the job; 4 tips on how to start your own business in Singapore.

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