Help me with this difficult office friendship
January 24, 2014 8:14 AM Subscribe
I've run into a rough patch with a coworker and I may have overstepped my boundaries. Help!
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (62 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I work at an office that's predominantly 40+-year-old career women. Late last year they hired a guy who's close to my age, and we share many of the same interests and have similar aspirations outside of the workday. (I find him attractive, but we're both in long-term relationships and pursuing him romantically is off the table. He also lives down the street from me and has met my boyfriend in passing.) Though he's more of an introvert than I am, I sought him out as a friend, and he reciprocated my friendly overtures. (We're not in the same department and I work second shift, but he has come out to say goodbye to me and chat before he leaves.)
Earlier this week he confided in me that his girlfriend was in the hospital with a mystery illness. I gave him space for a few days (and he did say goodbye to me earlier this week, after telling me this)...but I sent him a quick email yesterday to check in on him and let him know that I was around if he needed any help. Three minutes later, I got a cryptic one-line response, and he didn't come to visit me that night. Even if he didn't take me up on his offer to help, I had hoped he'd at least say thank you.
I know I've been curt and snippy with people when I've been in crises like this, and even though his response didn't sit well with me I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I half-thought of giving him another week, laying low, and sending him a more lighthearted email late next week with a funny YouTube clip or something. One of my coworkers -- who knew how nervous I was about sending the email -- is livid with him on my behalf and thinks I should cut all ties to him.
So my questions are:
- Did I overstep my boundaries by sending this email in the first place?
- Should I completely cut him off and just be "country club nice" when the need arises, or should I wait a week or two and make another, lighter attempt at contacting him?