Getting flirted with by older men at work, what do you do?

Getting flirted with by older men at work, what do you do?

Hi everyone,

I want to discuss something which has been at the forefront of my interactions with men in the past years. As a young woman, I cannot ignore the fact anymore that I'm getting looked at, checked out and potentially hit on guys of all ages. That includes pretty damn much older than me.

Generally, I don't have a problem with being shown attention or even affection and I try to view it as a compliment. But, what do you do when attention like that happens at the workplace? Is it really that easy to differentiate simple "like" and attention from flirting and the potential want to act on it?

By being nice in return, which is basically my only choice here, as I've tried out being cold too and it just gives off a bad impression of me, I have the feeling I'm sometimes sliding into the grey area of "is there some tension between us or is this just imagination". It is a bit exhausting.

How do you deal with such things? Do you ever take flirtation at the workplace seriously? In the past, I didn't, but then some incidents happened and I've become aware that people are not always as innocent as it may seem. So, how do you all distinguish between what is what?

Getting flirted with by older men at work, what do you do?
Add Opinion
11Girl Opinion
21Guy Opinion

Most Helpful Girl

  • btbc92

    take it to your boss. A lot of them I just lusting after you anyway because you're younger and they want to try to see if they can get sex out of here. It's sexual harassment. I take it very seriously because I don't need any trouble and I don't want to cause harm and trouble to other people. None of it is innocent please remember that.

    I just simply stay away from them, until they actually do something that is causing me harm, make me feel unsafe, what is affecting my ability to work. If you're going to any of that then you have a problem and you must address it immediately.

    LikeDisagree 3 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • zagor

      Kind of depends on what that attention is. If she goes to the boss every time someone compliments her or smiles too long she will get a reputation as hypersensitive and needy.

    • btbc92

      Who cares if she's hyposensitive or needy that's just flat-out rude and that's wrong to be thinking that way about people. If they wouldn't be doing that in the first place she wouldn't even be in that position to even feel like something is wrong. People do it out of intent. If it was friendly she would not have this problem. She goes to the boys because it's not friendly and it is a problem. I don't care for the people don't like me because I built a reputation of being hypersensitive or whatever. I'm a human being just like the rest of them and I deserve to be treated the way I want to be treated no different. It doesn't depend on what that tension is. Flirting is flirting and is not acceptable especially at the workplace. Then if something happens if you got bit and up in a sexual situation with them, then what's the problem is going to be? Better to live with that reputation than to be caught up with drama and then you end up sorry. Save me from a lot of hell and potential harm when I was working.

    • btbc92

      If people think of that is being hypersensitive and needy, than they sure better get themselves checked at the psychiatrist. Because that is not normal behavior to be thinking that way about people when they clearly say through not only that body language but verbally they are not comfortable with it. You're there to be working not there to be fooling around. Or else those same guys might as well just give their jobs away to people who are willing to actually take their job seriously. Smiling and complimenting have nothing to do with flirting. We can tell flirting from simple compliments and being friendly we're not stupid. What is so hard with the word respect anymore? These guys are older men and they should know better. I'm sure they would not do it if her father was around. Just like some had the balls to try to catcall me at the store, and never knew my father saw the whole thing. When he approached them and told him I was his daughter, you can bet they changed their tune. Immediately. Respectful men and women don't do that. At all. If I don't like you I have the right to refuse your advances. It's a shame if a woman tries to protect herself she gets looked at as being hypersensitive or needy. If she curses them out and starts yelling and screaming all of a sudden she starting trouble. If you don't want problems don't escalate those problems with people. If they cannot respect you when you say no, they going to have no choice but to answer to the one they have to respect. And that's the one that's giving him a paycheck.

    • Show All

Most Helpful Guy

  • Adam1978

    Simple answer politely if required, Don't go around trying to analyze guys behavior you wouldn't consider dating, waste of time and effort. Just do your thing and reject any none work related suggestions from them. And do a professional judgement on the work related. If it's guy you could consider dating let them do their thing, maybe encourage or do your own moves to make the final judgment if it should lead to more.

    Like 4 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • zeroluck

      I agree and if these older men start getting "insistent" and making it difficult for you to work, dismissing your rejection, start getting physical with you, or start implying that your rejection would reflect on your professional life don't be afraid to REPORT IT and don't be afraid to LEAVE either. No job is worth your safety like that.

Scroll Down to Read Other Opinions

What Girls & Guys Said

  • kespethdude

    Flirtation has NO PLACE at work at ANY age. You should at least speak up and ask why they are looking at you and to stop it. If they do not, contact HR. If they make any harassing comments, contact HR. If they assault you, call the police. This is regardless of the age. Wanna flirt? Do it outside company time. It is sexual harassment and not to be tolerated.

    Like 4 People
    • A simple "What are you looking at?" will usually suffice. If they persist, contact HR.

  • lol20075

    I work in retail and have been hit on a lot from customers of all ages too. The creepiest hit was an older dude (maybe in his 50s?) who joked out loud to another coworker about buying me and taking me home with him. The colleague and I were looking at each other like wtf but knowing that this guy isn't a returning customer I just kind of shrugged and let it go. There's also this exterminator guy who I met for the first time a year back and he was smiling like crazy at me and always going where I went.

    A lot of my colleagues are older men who are happily married or in a serious relationship. They are friendly but not flirty to the point where it's uncomfortable. My boyfriend also works in the same place I do, they are smart enough to not hit on me or pull any fast ones.

    Now that we have to wear masks I don't encounter any kind of flirting when I'm up there cashiering, but it's when the masks come off I know its going to make a comeback. Thankfully I don't have to be up there as much anymore. Some customers are just sincerely trying to flatter you (after all, who can resist a pretty face) and others are plain creeps about it. If it really bothers you I highly suggest you talk to your boss. I'm not sure if you're referring to older men as in your coworkers, or customers. But bring it up with your boss and see if you can be reassigned to a different workstation away from leering eyes. I'm not going to lie, some men are going to be sleazy enough to try to get you to go home with them, and this has happened to me once at my first job when I was walking home from work. This guy slowed down his car and offered to drive me home and followed me for 3 blocks, even circling the block. Thank God the 99 cents store was nearby. I quickly went inside and he was gone.

  • zeitgeist057

    I think it is important you find a space where you feel comfortable.
    For me, I like to flirt with everyone, but have a hard boundary if anyone tries to get serious with me that I am not into. I really have no interest in the married or very physically unattractive people I am around, but I like to flirt and be friendly with everyone. Most people can understand I am not seriously pursuing them in the slightest way, but there may be someone who develops a crush on me that I am not reciprocating. In that case, I am aware of it, and I can even keep flirting with them, but if they confess to me or approach me with a date proposal, then I let them know I am not interested.

    This should be enough but I do realize I experience the male privilege and people may not be so respectful of your boundaries as a female. In this case, you must be continuously firm with your boundary so they know you are serious, and you must also begin to follow up in a legal manner if it is at work.

    This means letting the person know on their second attempt that you have already said "no", you were not interested one time and that you do not need to repeat your disinterest multiple times, once should be enough. But if they continue, it needs to be brought up to a supervisor, or if they are your supervisor it should be brought up to their supervisor two levels above you. If it is the top level supervisor, then outside government agencies need to be reported to.
    Unfortunately, this is the very real and unfair times we live in, but you can use the tools at your disposal.

    That is just my approach, because I enjoy flirting. But if you don't want to flirt at all, you are not required. You can stay cool and still be polite.

  • DrMeow

    talk to someone about it. (depending on how uncomfortable it was) And maybe talk to your boss about this, keep note if there were witness. Stay assertive and confident and tell them to stop nice and loud so everyone can hear. U can search online some tips or ask other trusted people for advice.

    Like 1 Person
  • kaylaS91

    I ignore it or kinda shut it down if it’s persistent.
    I mean.. it’s important to remember that, for a woman, if she pursues a guy sexually/romantically in the workplace, that tends to make her automatically lose credit for any work she’s contributed to. People have no issue attributing what she’s done to being because she’s flirting with, hooking up with or dating xyz.

  • R3DthatDude

    I try to stay way from office romance, especially if your a woman. It can end badly and You don’t want a soap opera drama at your work place. Women tend to get the worst off the end of the stick. If your uncomfortable tell them to please stop. I wish I could take your place for one moment and handle it. My little sister gets hit on a lot and she has a husband and it angers me, some guys can be aggressive.

  • pointyhat

    use ur intuition and what u think u should do.. thats usually the answer for most things in life... like for example u probably think the right thing to do is lightly reject him slowly and tell him no? thats is teh right thing to do, so go with it

  • Jake99999

    Stay away from any romantic relationship with someone you work with. Lots of reasons why that is not a good idea.

    If any man is saying things to you in the office that make you uncomfortable, report it to HR if it bothers you, is excessive, is out of line.

    Guys in the office should be respectful. Its not a pick-up bar, its a place of work. There are some gray areas where you are not sure if something is truly a problem or not, but in general you can tell when something crosses the line, right? if it makes you feel uncomfortable, its not right.

  • websterII

    well we shouldn't blame the victim.. but it's does increase the chance of it occuring.. if you dress to attract your probably gonna attract some flies.. if your so cursed that you look absolutly fantastic and attractive in anything.. well.. i'm sorry your so beautiful.. but that said.. you should always tell them no.. or please stop.. they might think they are complementing you and not think they are assaulting you.. so you have to take that first step and make sure they udnerstand it is offensive and intimdating to you and you should not have to experience that in the work place. basically if they are not attacking you.. touching you.. the onus is on you to inform them it is not acceptable.. ocne u them them that.. the onus is on them to stop. going official to your chain of command is risky.. cus you hit a bigot in that line it might effect your job.. so now you gottal decide what's more important.. and worst case you can talk to a lawyer.. but if you lose your gonna hve nothing

  • Liasso

    I have seen this a lot and in my opinion,
    Dating in the same workplace ends badly 85 percent of the time.
    And if you don't want to be hit on be clear about your intentions at work.
    Just do your job diligently and deny/warn them that you aren't interested and are here for work.
    Keep things professional if they dont abide by that then go to your superior with a harassment complaint.

    Also try to aside work related things to just avoid them completely, most guys will understand that gesture. If you keep being passive-aggressive about it they will see it as a game to conquer you.


  • Iron_Man

    Its a part of life appreciate your getting all the attention one day it could stop and you'll crave it big time.

    Like 1 Person
  • razilia

    Just pretend that I havnt noticed anything. Then they know that I'm not interested. After some unsuccessful attempts they stop.

    Like 1 Person
    • zagor

      That's what I did when a girl I worked with, who was a good friend, tried to make some unsubtle hints she wanted more. I pretended to be naive and clueless.

  • Redtop101

    Flirting, regardless of where can be seen as an encouragement which can only get you into trouble. Don’t engage in behaviour that is saying yes unless you want it.

  • OutWestBandit

    young or old guys are always testing you - especially if you are pretty.

    no guy is going to turn down the opportunity to get their dick wet. (ever)

    All you have to do is be polite and dont engage past what is required.
    you may have engaged in conversation past that a few times - pull back

    if they keep at it - then yeah distance yourself (he got thirsty wants another crack at you- keeps bringing up that conversation from 2 weeks ago)

    there is always the shame angle - if they are really making an effort in front of other people - these people notice and say WTF to him

  • Texaskid1

    Just tell them you have 10 kids from 8 different guys.

    That should scare them off.

  • Lovelybones1

    What are they saying? If you don’t want to be assertive just look at them and say nothing, make it awkward so they are discouraged from doing it again

  • Gedaria

    This happened about 18months ago. One of the companies I deal with , I'm always going in there for work. And I'm for ever joking with the girls in the office some times it is a bit flirty, but they laugh it off. Well I had just come out of the gents, and the young lad out of office, asked me don't you like me. I said why you laugh and joke with the others but you never even say hello to me.
    I was gutted, this lass was about 17. I didn't think you would want an old guy teasing you, she said why not I think you are great.
    I didn't know what to say,
    You never say anything , I didn't think you would like me teasing you why not, I enjoy it when you. come in. She smiled and walked away
    . I felt like some one had slapped my face.

  • Mautito

    Just shrug it off as a joke. Make them realize it’s not something serious.

  • justaskme555555

    Whip their ass as i am a older man also. check that weird shit , lol

  • jonahbona

    Why are there more answers from guys even on questions like this lmao

  • Show More (10)