Nairobi News


How to discreetly turn the tables on that overly flirtatious boss at work

By Winnie Mabel December 11th, 2023 3 min read

Do you ever wake up in the morning and dread going to work at a job you love and are handsomely paid for?

Your energy remains on the bed as you mentally struggle to get ready for work and commute while counting down the number of hours until you can go back home.

All because of a boss at work who does not know how to take a hint that their romantic and sexual advances targeting you are not welcome.

You find yourself spending office days strategically dodging encounters and interactions with the said boss because you know your day will be ruined, leaving you uncomfortable and feeling bitter about life.

Exhaustingly, you schedule your lunch breaks either earlier or later. You alternate the routes you use in the office, sit at the furthest inconveniencing location at office meetings and often have to get someone else to interact with said boss on your behalf.

Maintaining personal boundaries between you and the said boss becomes another job within the job. And while some bosses go to extreme lengths to cross these boundaries, Nairobi News brings you some discreet methods you can use to beat this flirtatious boss and turn the tables on them.

However tasking it may be, whenever you have to interact with the flirtatious boss, remember to either record or involve a third party in your conversations as a potential witness should you wish to report them to Human Resources or another superior.

Yes, in some places, recording someone without their knowledge is deemed illegal, but if you intend to use it internally within the company, the recordings and witness statements may help you get the boss to back off before things escalate to unmanageable levels.

Obviously, you will be banking on them becoming ashamed of being reported, so make sure your evidence is solid.

You can also use sarcasm as a weapon to put them down. There are jokes that hurt one’s self-esteem and worth, but you have to tactfully use them to avoid getting written up for insubordination and harassment.

If these bosses feel too confident in obtaining you, prickle their self-esteem. If they feel they are your sun and moon, show them that you prefer stars instead.

Some people internalize such kinds of jokes and begin seeing that their efforts are worthless or that their targets consider them to be a joke and not worth the attention. They may end up backing off.

Additionally, if the above two means do not bring about the ends you desire, you can decide to collaborate with someone to fake a relationship and publicize it in as many circles as possible.

Do work hard to rub it in the boss’ face that you are happy with someone else- probably much better than they are.

Publicly agree to wear that fake engagement ring, agree to go on those fake romantic vacations when you ask for leave days- do what it takes to show the boss that they have nothing on your ‘new lover’ and you have no time or patience for their flirting.

Some bosses will shy off from pursuing ‘taken’ people and this will definitely work in your favor.

At the end of the day, if you do manage to thwart the boss’ advances, make sure to watch out for retaliation.

At this point, in any work you do, make sure to involve a third party. Copy them in any correspondence between you and the boss, and seek the support of a trusted colleague who can help you manage the situation.

By involving them in your interactions, you will be able to create and maintain a professional atmosphere and discourage any more inappropriate behavior from the flirtatious boss.