What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Conflict With Male Coworker

I'm not sure if this is bullying or a personality conflict between me and a younger male coworker. He joined the team I'm on 15 months ago. I worked very closely with him to help him learn the job and also served as a resource as he worked on various client issues.

For three months early this year he asked me about my lunch plans on a daily basis. He also began stopping my desk frequently to talk about personal topics and tease/make fun of me. At first it seemed good natured but then his comments became more critical and controlling. He would put down my opinions and choices stating that his viewpoint was better. He called me wishy washy and said I didn't know what I was talking about in front of another coworker. I began to feel uncomfortable chatting with him because I felt he wouldn't approve of me.

In October I got upset over something he said and very harshly told him to talk to someone else. I felt terrible and apologized immediately. He said it was okay but stopped speaking to me and refused to make eye contact or acknowledge me for days on end. Our team is rather small and we interact with mainly each other so this has been awkward. I apologized again in person a couple of weeks later in an effort to move past it. He shrugged and the silent treatment continued. It's been almost three months since the incident and his behavior toward me has been a "mixed bag." He still avoids me for the most part while being very friendly and outgoing with everyone else on the team. A couple of times he has gone over to the cubes of the coworkers who sit across and in front of me and said things like " et's give all that work to her" referring to me in the third person even though I was clearly sitting at my desk and could hear them.

On a positive note he has initiated three nice, normal conversations and asked for help on some work related questions here and there. However, afterwards he avoided me again or was sarcastic/borderline hostile. It's been very confusing. Sometimes I feel upset because of what appears to be bullying but then I wonder if this is his way of socializing and I'm overreacting?

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