My Coworker Won’t Stop Staring At Me.

Sometimes, not confronting a coworker who keeps staring at you sends the wrong message. It’s a dicey situation, but one that can lead to serious ramifications when not dealt with immediately. So, how to deal with it?

Hi Jane,

I would like some advice on a situation I am in.

An intern at work stares at me. He holds eye contact until I break it off by looking away. Any time of the day, I look up I catch him staring at me. I’ve tried to smile and say a quick ‘hello,’ but the coworker either doesn’t respond or looks away as if I’ve said something hurtful about his appearance. What’s a tactful way of bringing this up to HR? I’m sure staring at your coworker isn’t an offense, but it’s making me feel very uncomfortable.

coworker staring at me

Like you said, staring at your coworker isn’t an offense. Unless you work at a big tech company like Netflix which has imposed an anti-harassment policy where looking at anyone longer than five seconds is considered creepy.

Years ago, I worked in an office where the intern won’t stop staring at us. This includes a staredown with our boss who had to look away out of embarrassment. It turns out he was simply socially awkward and didn’t realize it until his supervisor pointed it out to him.

If this guy is giving you a weird vibe, I would say you approach HR. Tell them you’re feeling that this guy is making you feel uncomfortable by staring at you multiple times per day. In scenarios like this, it’s always appropriate to speak out.

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Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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