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I currently have a conflict with a coworker (just call him Bob). Now he is challenging me to a fight. I am actually a violence free men: I think a fist fight is useless. I tried to convince him that it is useless but he thinks that I am just scared to fight him (maybe I am, he is bigger than me after all).

Background

I currently have a girlfriend and I love her (she's not in our workplace). He knows that. Bob and I had no problem with each other at this time.

One day, there is a new girl (just call her Alice) working at my company. She is pretty but I don't have any feeling to her. I still love my girlfriend and will always be, but sometimes I tease Alice just to play around and she know I am just kidding. It seems like Bob didn't think so. He liked Alice and he thought that I want to get her heart and dump my girlfriend after doing so.

I think that it is a very stupid way to think. Because I never think that way. I and Bob talked about this once; I explained that I just like talking and make somebody laugh including Alice. Sometimes I do that by teasing her. After that talk, our (I and Bob) relationship is better. But, after a while, I think he started to hate me again, seems like he thinks that what I said to him before is a lie and that I actually want to get Alice and leave my girlfriend.

Now, he wants to fight me because he thinks that I am a jerk. From my point of view, I just didn't want to have any conflict, if he thinks I am a jerk, than so be it. I don't care losing a friend, but if he wants to fight, I am thinking about my health, I am not a physically strong person. And a fight will make my daily life a mess.

So, how can I talk to him to prevent a fight?

Additional Information if that necessary. I am a 25 years old man and my coworker is around 30. Alice is around 24 (I don't know exactly I never try to remember).

closed as off-topic by Tinkeringbell, Anne Daunted, Tycho's Nose, Magisch, Rory Alsop Nov 25 '17 at 20:17

  • This question does not appear to be about interpersonal skills, within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    "I currently have a conflict with a coworker (just call him MenFriend). Now he is challenging me to a fight." I wonder if this may not be totally out of scope for IPS.SE. This is a workplace issue (all of the involved persons are coworkers) and you should rather ask your boss, a lawyer and maybe even the police for help, not some strangers on the Internet. – Anne Daunted Nov 25 '17 at 8:18
  • Sorry if this is not the right place. I recently found this site and think that this place can be a good place to ask this kind of question. And I think my question is not all about workplace because the conflict is not related to any job. I just asking for any suggestion to what I should do in this kind of situation. – Viki Theolorado Nov 25 '17 at 9:03
  • It is unknown what the work setting is here, but be aware that a physical fight would very probably get you fired. Employers want employees to act maturely not a schoolyard bully. – MaxW Nov 25 '17 at 13:56
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because if your co-worker is threatening with physical violence, this needs more assistance than we can provide. You should contact the police, a lawyer, or HR. If you want to know what to do when the co-worker attacks you, that's also not in scope of IPS.SE. – Tinkeringbell Nov 25 '17 at 15:49
  • Hey @VikiTheolorado, I edited your question slightly to focus more closely on communicating (IPS). – JAD Nov 25 '17 at 15:50
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In my experience the prospect of a physical fight is just noise until it actually starts. Most adults have too much to lose to take the risk, and are usually too mature to let things go that far without being drunk.[citation needed]

So chances are pretty good that this guy isn't going to actually fight you. If he was really going to, he probably would have done it already.

With that said, you could probably ease tensions by leaving him and this girl alone. He's likely upset that she seems to respond better to you than she does to him. If you leave them both alone till she makes it clear to him that she isn't interested, or he wins her heart, things will probably be just fine.

Until he gets over his anger, leave him alone. Don't try to make amends and definitely don't go out drinking with him. Remember what I said about drunk adults above.

Sometimes a little bit of time and distance is all it takes to resolve these things.

  • In my experience the prospect of a physical fight is just noise, I hope so. I'll try not talking to both of them for now. Thanks for your suggestion. – Viki Theolorado Nov 25 '17 at 9:08
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The easiest answer is to stop talking to the NewGirl. I am not suggesting you allow some third party dictate your social interactions, but if you have your girlfriend, you are happy with your girlfriend, you have no interest in dating NewGirl, and you are worried about FightGuy pummeling you because he is bigger than you, it seems to me the best idea would be the next time NewGirl is around, have some discipline and be friendly at a level appropriate for a work environment and go on about your day.

First, that should calm FightGuy down, although he sounds a bit like an animal that doesn't really exemplify human-level thought processes, but that's another discussion... And second, because of human nature, your waning attention has decent odds of inciting some extra drive within her to talk to you.

A great revenge upon FightGuy would certainly be for him to see you actively not associating with NewGirl, yet NewGirl pursuing you!

  • Interesting idea you have here. But I think I don't want her pursuing me too, because it can make him angry again. – Viki Theolorado Nov 25 '17 at 9:12
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    Well, if you must get beaten up, having the reason be a woman was pursuing you is a lot better than having the reason be for no reason. – A.fm. Nov 25 '17 at 23:41
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Your new friend seems to have a peculiar world view, in which NewGirl is secretly in love with him... (so secretly in fact that she hasn't noticed it yet, but that doesn't seem to stop him). I wouldn't be surprised if he viewed himself as some kind of "secret superhero" or the misunderstood kind. No-one knows his true worth! He's an alpha male! Grraaaaawr! In his dreams, he's punching dragons, so he's challenging you to a fight. Seems legit.

Breaking news: "challenging to a fight" is supreme idiocy. It's OK to challenge someone into any competition which does not result in going to jail, the hospital, or the morgue, but a fight does not satisfy any of these conditions.

A way out of your predicament would be to tell NewGirl that this guy is interested in her. Maybe she's interested in him too! But if he has the kind of personality that you seem to describe, you wouldn't be doing her a service at all. In fact, she will dump him after a week, and then he will stalk her for a few years. Both will blame the resulting mess on you, of course.

Therefore, I would recommend talking to your manager and getting this guy either reprimanded or fired. Simple as that. Threats of physical violence against coworkers are unacceptable.

  • The existence of boxing suggests that it's certainly possible for two people to fight without either going to jail, hospital or morgue. You might want to clarify further what you mean with that part. – Erik Nov 25 '17 at 11:38
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    I'd say that boxing (and other martial arts) isn't a fight but a competitive sport, with rules, a referee, etc. Sure you can get hurt, but that's not the main goal of it. Unlike a streetfight... – peufeu Nov 25 '17 at 12:41
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First stop talking to newgirl what if your girlfriend is talking some guy like you too and teasing her? you might get angry like your Menfriend. Second be loyal to your girlfriend talking like teasing another girl is like flirting if you want to talk to her talk as a coworker. third talk again to your menfriend that you dont like her and beside there not together to make him angry and talk to him one on one and say to him fighting will not make resolve anything and it will make him a person that is not educated

  • just an addition you may want someone to open this problem because your menfriend is 30 years old this can go badly adult person that Challenging you is not just like a school fight. – Ndrangheta Nov 25 '17 at 14:29

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