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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5837
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My male boss always gets physically close when showing me things.

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My male boss always gets physically close when showing me things. The other day he was showing me something on his ipad and he got really close to point where we were shoulder to shoulder. A few other times I was sitting down when he came over to show me something on his phone again and his crotch was almost in my face. It was very weird. Is he hitting on me?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like he is. If he is getting close enough to you that you are questioning his actions, then you have good reason to feel as you do. If he was at an appropriate distance, then you would not have any question about his actions. But that is not what he is doing. He is most likely sending you a sign that he wants to be closer.

Most people have a personal space that although not measurable, exists around them. It is a space that we use in society to say how we rank others in our lives. For example, family and close friends are usually allowed within our personal space because there is a relationship there that reduces threat to ourselves and there is also an established bond. Outside of that circle are others like casual friends and work partners. They can get closer, but not so close as to touch us or stand within our "area". And still others are strangers who we keep a good distance from.

What your boss is doing is crossing into your personal space, the one reserved for those close to you and to those you want to let in. He is most likely testing you to see if you will allow him into your space and if you do, he may want to start touching you or establishing a personal relationship.

What you can do is to move away when he does this to you. Each time he touches you, take a step away or back. If he pursues, let him know that you need some space. You can also say to him that you are uncomfortable with how close he is. If possible, try working around others, especially co workers you are friendly with so you have witnesses. And if he keeps doing this to you, then you may have to bring it up with his boss. If you feel things are going in that direction, be sure to keep a journal or list of behaviors by him including dates, times and actions he did and you took to make it clear you are unhappy with his behavior. That way, you can present your case as more than your word against his. And you will come across as logical and organized instead of just upset or sensitive.

I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your quick and thorough reply. Very helpful indeed

You're welcome, anytime. It sounds like he is trying to put you in a sticky situation. As long as you are careful, you should be fine.

I appreciate the positive rating! Thank you!