Q: My office has weekly staff meetings. During these meetings, one of my co-workers stares at me so much that it’s really making me uncomfortable. I’ve tried holding papers up to block the view, but that seems so rude. What can I do?
A: A look or glance morphs into a stare when it makes the object of the look feel uncomfortable. Holding up papers or sitting where the person staring can’t look directly at you may serve as temporary fixes, but they do nothing to end the problem. Talking to the person doing the staring is the first step. You could start by trying a less direct approach: “Lisa, I noticed you staring at me. Is there something wrong that I should know about?” Approaching the issue in this way lets Lisa know you’re aware of her staring without making the exchange confrontational and makes it her responsibility to explain her behavior. If that doesn’t work, you can take a more direct approach: “Lisa, I can’t help noticing you staring at me during meetings. It’s making me uncomfortable. Would you please stop?” If the staring continues, discuss the situation with your human resources officer or your manager.