Dear Abby: Work is awkward because I have to interact with a flirty colleague

Divorced man seems to be into his single co-worker, who is not interested.

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DEAR ABBY: I am single, never married. A male manager at my job is divorced. I have been here for about a year. This manager is flirty and appears to be into me. He acts a lot like my brother-in-law, who I don’t get along with, and I don’t want to date anyone who reminds me of my brother-in-law.

This manager complained to a second manager last month about his impression that I don’t like him. I need this job because it’s one of the few I have found with good health insurance. Now I have to interact with the manager in the hope that he no longer assumes I don’t like him, but it’s really awkward.

I doubt it would go well if I point out my suspicion that this guy is into me. I suppose he might just be a flirt who hits on lots of girls or someone who doesn’t realize they’re flirting with their team members. What can I do? — NEEDS THE JOB IN THE WEST

DEAR NEEDS: There is a middle ground between being openly hostile to this manager and acting like you are interested in him. Be professional, cordial and businesslike. If he makes a move on you or asks to see you outside of business hours, tell him you do not socialize with fellow employees. However, if he continues after that, be sure to document it. Then tell the other manager that you are uncomfortable and that this situation is creating a hostile working environment.

DEAR ABBY: I’ve been in a relationship with “Blake” for 24 years, and his siblings won’t talk to me. They come over, knock on the door, tell Blake they are here and then wait for him to come outside. They say it’s because of my cigarette smoke, but I’ve tried going outside and joining them numerous times.

When I say something, even Blake ignores me, and they move away and start talking again. I asked him why they treat me like I’m not there. He says he has no clue. I have asked HIM to ask them why they don’t talk to me, but he says he always forgets to do it.

My family treats Blake like family. He is accepted and included in everything, even though they don’t care for him. Should I feel left out? How can I attempt to solve this? Or should I just give up? It really hurts my feelings. — NONEXISTENT IN WASHINGTON

DEAR NONEXISTENT: You cannot “solve” the rudeness of Blake’s relatives or the fact that the man you love has allowed it to continue for 24 years. (!) You can, however, grow a thicker hide and stop allowing them to get to you.

Blake’s family doesn’t like you, which I’m sure is reciprocal. Your family doesn’t like him either, although they have enough class to tolerate his presence. If I thought there was anything you could do to change the dynamic, I’d gladly share it. But the best I can offer is to forget about wanting to be accepted and keep yourself busy (or absent) during those visits.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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