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I Was Good Friends With A Male Colleague But Very Recently He Started Interfering Too Much In My Personal Life. He Gets Possessive When I Talk To Other Male Colleagues And Sometimes Even Comments On My Social Media Activities. How Do I Stop Him?

He had been a good friend in the past. But only recently he has started behaving strangely where he wants to impose himself as more than a friend in my life. I tried talking to him but he refuses to understand. He keeps saying that he is concerned as a friend and says things as a well-wisher. But I am very uncomfortable. How do I make him understand?

Arpita Kuila, Senior HR Professional

You need to tell him. Tell him that his behaviour is bothering you and set the boundaries of your friendship. List out the things that are clearly not okay with you. Without telling him, he won’t know. It also gives him a chance to go back to being the good friend that he was. Tell him what you valued in the friendship and that you want it to be that way. If it goes back to being the good friendship that you were comfortable with, then that is good. If not, you may want to restrict his access to your social media and also to your time. He will hopefully get the message.

Manish Puri, Business Consultant & Coach

There’s nothing like being polite yet firm & straightforward. Communicate your stance to him and clearly outline what he can expect from you in terms of behaviour. Politely apologise and say- “I am sorry if I gave you any other idea but the kind of person I am is- very straightforward & friendly. Anything more forthcoming than that, I am definitely not up to it. So kindly pardon me for not being up to your expectations”. Thereafter maintain a very to the point kind of communication with him.

Manbir Kaur, Professionally Certified Executive and Leadership Coach

It is important to have a conversation to clarify the boundaries and set the expectations. You may have a conversation about the following–
1. What is happening and what do you not like about these activities. And what makes you uncomfortable.
2. If you want to remain a friend, do mention that you want him to be a friend and let him know what a friend means to you. Set the boundaries very clearly.
If he still crosses those boundaries, remind him that this amounts to harassment.
If still happens, the next time, please raise an official complain about him. Your HR should be able to help you.