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I will be leaving the company I work for currently in a couple of weeks. I have decided to invite a few of my colleagues that I have worked with and interacted on a daily basis to tea individually to tell them that I am leaving and just say my goodbyes.

Now, there is a female coworker that I am not quite friendly with, but I have spoken to her on occasion. The usual "How are you?" to the "What did you do during the weekend?". I am quite torn as to how I should ask her to join me for tea for two reasons

  1. This is the first time I will be asking her.
  2. I am not really sure how she will take it, because she may not be used to that sort of thing with the sort of relationship that I highlighted above.

How should I do it in a way that is comfortable for her?

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    Why do you want to ask her? Is she friends with or acquainted with the others you are inviting? Do you feel an obligation or are you attempting to form a closer relationship before you depart this company?
    – Catija
    Jan 13 '18 at 18:39
  • @doctordonna Oh , I am sorry , I didn't mean to type the word "close". I intended to say the colleagues I have worked or interacted with.
    – Bharath
    Jan 13 '18 at 18:39
  • @Catija I would like to inform her about my departure. I felt like I wasn't very friendly to her , not as much as I would like and I want to have a light hearted chat with her before I leave. Its just to make myself feel better
    – Bharath
    Jan 13 '18 at 18:54
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A variation of doctoranna's comment: simply notify her informally during one of your usual conversation. When she asks how you are, you can reply something along the lines:

As you may know, I am leaving the company in a few weeks, so I have to wrap up things here.

If she just acknowledges the information and politely wish you a good time in your new company, thank her and forget about inviting her. If she seems to express some regret of you leaving, that probably means there is no problem with inviting her. It seems that her being a woman is a concern for you, so you can mention you are also doing this with other colleagues.

There are some coworkers I appreciated working with in the company and I wanted to invite them to have a small chat over a tea. Would you have some time for a tea?

I also have had difficulties to speak to the other gender in the past and worried that my intentions were misunderstood. I believe that being nervous and overthinking it makes things more awkward and that your body language will show it. Keeping things simple and casual will help to make the conversation go smoothly. Don't forget that, even with all your good will, some people will misunderstand you and that's not your fault.

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A few things here point to it possibly being a bad idea to ask her out for tea...

  1. there is a female coworker that I am not quite friendly with

  2. This is the first time I will be asking her.

  3. I am not really sure how she will take it

  4. I felt like I wasn't very friendly to her , not as much as I would like and I want to have a light hearted chat with her before I leave. Its just to make myself feel better

Taken together these really point to this invitation being a bad idea. Particularly that last one from the comments. If the point of this invitation is "just to make yourself feel better" and it's likely to make her uncomfortable, then definitely think twice about doing this at all.

If you really feel you must offer an invitation, think about going out with your close friends individually and then see about organizing a larger group activity. A group activity, like an office lunch or after work drinks would probably eliminate a lot of the awkwardness and offer a lower key environment to say your goodbyes to people you aren't as close to.

Like it, or not, this also makes declining the invitation a little easier. Group activities tend carry a little less obligation, socially speaking, and that's good in this case. You shouldn't want people to feel like they "have to go" (particularly people who you weren't particularly close to)

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You could try by forgetting for a little while that she is a female. Act like if she has no gender and may be easier for you. I had lived with females allmost all my life (sisters; friends; girldfriends; roomates) and all that they want is to be treated like equals in this kind of situation. May be if you think that she could receive a wrong message with the tea proposition, you could skip that step in this case, and only comment to her in a hallway talk.

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