AM I BEING SEXUALLY HARASSED?

Would you feel uncomfortable treating one of your employees or coworkers in this manner?

Are you hiding this from your spouse and/or loved ones as you know it would make them uncomfortable?

Does the person engaging in questionable behavior punish or guilt you for keeping your distance?

Do you dread work because of your interactions with this person? Does it make you ill or anxious?

Do you wonder whether or not you are the only person that is being treated in this manner?

If you answered yes...

A few thoughts from someone who has been there *see disclaimer*:

  1. KEEP EVERYTHING.  Don't delete anything. Often people delete embarrassing emails or texts because they don't want anyone to see. That should be a big red warning sign. You don't hide things that are above bar!
  2. INFORM YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM. Tell your loved ones. You did nothing that you should feel the need to hide from those that care for you. 
  3. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE WHILE YOU CONSIDER YOUR NEXT MOVE. Don't discount how hard of a decision this is. It may take time and that is OK. But be sure to keep your distance from this person while you thoughtfully consider your next steps. 
  4. CONSIDER ALL OF YOUR OPTIONS AND SEEK OUT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. Everyone can benefit from speaking to a professional. Recognizing that you don't have all of the answers is smart and asking for help is brave. 
  5. ASK YOURSELF THE HARD QUESTIONS AND WRITE DOWN YOUR ANSWERS:
    1. What actions can you live with?
    2. Would you regret not speaking up?
    3. Would you feel guilty allowing someone else to experience this
    4. Are you scared of this person?
    5. Are you scared of the repercussions?
    6. Have you considered leaving your job to get away from this person?
  6. UNDERSTAND THAT NO MATTER WHAT, EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT NOW. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. Everything is different now and you can't pretend for long. If you move ahead with reporting, it is likely that your workplace will never be the same, in ways that are difficult to imagine. It will not be easy and it may impact your future with that company. 
  7. MAKE THE BEST DECISION FOR YOURSELF POSSIBLE. Everyone in your life will have an opinion but you need to trust yourself. At the end of the day, it is your life and career so don't allow yourself to feel pressured. This is something that you will have to live with and you can't hold anyone else responsible for the decision you make. 


Final Thoughts

  • Doing the right this is rarely easy. It can be a risk. But ask yourself.. what are you risking by doing nothing?
  • You are probably not the first, and you're probably not the only one. 
  • Trust your gut and never depreciate your own value by making justifications for other people.
  • Be a fierce champion for those around you. Take care of each other. Every single person deserves to be treated with respect so don't accept anything less. 
  • Stick up for your coworkers, because more often than not, a company will always put the firm first. You need to be able to trust your team because it's those around you that matter. 
  • Be the change. 

"Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching." ~ C.S. Lewis.