Whether you’re dealing with a close friend, stranger from a dating website, or coworker you’re going to see in the break room, turning a woman down is bound to leave her embarrassed, pissed off, or both (not that I’d know from experience, of course). The good news for people who don’t want to spend their lives avoiding someone they’ve rejected is that there are easy steps you can take that will help contain the fallout. You just have to know how to handle yourself.
How to Turn Down … A Coworker
Ask if she can go on a coffee run on an afternoon during the workweek. That’ll make it feel less like a date. While you’re out of the office, say something like, “Hey, I wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking about that text (or email, heart-shaped doodle, etc.) you sent me, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a bad idea to date a coworker.” Letting her know you’ve thought about dating will flatter her without leading her on. And if you time the conversation right, you’ll have to get back to work right after you deliver the message. Discussion over.