Feeling awkward and not sure why

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2013
Feeling awkward and not sure why
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 12:52pm

I work for a big company with many different departments on different floors. I work in the HR area. Another man, I'll call him "S", works in IT on a different floor. S and I are both married with children and our families have many friends in common. We run in the same circles, so to speak, but we aren't friends ourselves.

Several months ago, I called about an issue with my computer and had the opportunity to chat with S a bit. We talked about kids and other small talk. After that, I would see him around (the elevators, cafeteria, hallway, etc.), and he was friendly and nice and funny. He stopped by my office a few times in this period, and he would ask me how I was, and we developed a somewhat small-scale aquaintanceship. I had thought maybe our families sometime could get together because he seemed nice, and we all kind of know each other (thought I definitely did not mention this). Then one day, something changed. I have no idea what it was. He went from going out of his way to say hello to avoiding eye contact. He started calling my coworkers whenever I had a computer issue (like when I was out of the office or at lunch, even though I would specify the best time to reach me), and coming in to look at things when he knew I would be gone.

One say I had a flat tire, and he saw me in the parking garage, with a jack trying to fix it myself, and he didn't say a word. Now I feel awkward. Whenever I have a computer issue, I try to fix it myself. I feel like I'm not "allowed" to call him for help or say hi or anything. It's very weird. I know I can come off as flirtatious (I'm outgoing and friendly), but I'm never inappropriate or forward. I can't think of anything I said or did that may have been offputting.

It normally wouldn't be a big deal except that now that I have picked up on the awkwardness, I don't know how to ignore it and return to acting normally. Even my coworkers are starting to comment on the fact that S seems to go out of his way to not talk to me.

Now I feel like my motives are constantly being read the wrong way, or I make people uncomfortable, or I shouldn't talk to men. I don't know. Anyone ever get this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2013
Fri, 04-05-2013 - 10:41am

Ugh, I really feel for you. I hate when I feel like someone is upset with me but I don't know why. I wonder if someone at the office is friends with his wife and started a rumor that he was flirting with you. And then maybe his wife flipped out and told him to not even talk to you anymore?

I think I would just flat out ask him what's going on. Something like " Hey, I felt like we were becoming friends but lately you've stopped talking to me and have been avoiding me. Have I done something to upset you?"

Good luck and keep us updated!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2013
Fri, 04-05-2013 - 11:33am
Thanks so much for the response. I guess it is possible that his wife forbade him from speaking to me, though that seems a little extreme (I guess I don't think in that way. My husband and I don't have that kind of relationship). I have met her on a few occasions and have always been very friendly to her. Maybe if I continue to be friendly with her, she will see that I am just trying to be friends with all of them. I may try to bring it up sometime, though it may be a little difficult since he won't talk to me.
Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
Sat, 04-06-2013 - 12:48pm

I don't know that I would say anything to him about the seeming change in his approach toward you. Obviously, I think you should still call the IT helpdesk if you have a computer issue. It's that department's job to help you as an employee in the office. You both should be able to act professionally without focusing on any outside or additional friendship.

I actually think that since you weren't really friends to begin, you didn't actually hang out with each other after work though you have friends in common, and though you thought about hanging out with him and his family it never happened, that you really haven't lost anything. Things have just gone back to normac actually in a way. So, I would encourage you to just let it be and not worry about any reasons behind a change that you are sensing either way.


Clinical Research Associate


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2013
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 2:23pm

You'd be surprised how many super-jealous women are out there! I still remember this time back when I was 15, I think. I was good friends with a guy I worked with who was 19 or 20. We used to just hang out and talk, play pinball together, etc. Well, a few months later he got married and he started pulling away. I was quite confused until a mutual friend of ours told me that his new wife didn't want him to hang out with me as much anymore. I was like "really??!!?? she's worried about a 15 year old?!??".

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2013
Mon, 04-15-2013 - 10:06am

i agree with lizmvr, from what you have said you guys are acquitances and not friends per se, so keep things professional and officially. Contact IT directly if you have computer issues.

hopefully he will see you want nothing more from him and start acting normal.

all the best!

Aloted...writer at www.superworkingmum.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2013
Mon, 04-29-2013 - 2:17pm

Always stay professional and non confrontational of course, but I still believe honesty is the best policy and communication usually helps. I know its awkward now, and the thought of asking him what is the matter probably is something you might dread doing, but I think it will make YOU feel better if you just go for it and ask him.

Or else you will have to continue avoiding him or watching him avoid you and that does not make for a happy and healthy work environment.

In Success,  Katherine at