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Handle This: He's Desperate For Friendship

Handle This: He's Desperate For Friendship

Since starting a graduate program away from home, you decided to reach out to as many peers as possible to build your network. In doing so, you quickly became friends with your class partner. Although your friendship is relegated to school, he does talk about his wife from time to time.

One night before class you run into him and decide to get coffee. As soon as you’re alone, he suddenly starts talking about his uncertainties about his marriage and his desires to experience life; at one point he leans in for an awkward hug. You immediately feel uncomfortable and make an excuse to leave. Later that night after class you get an email from him expressing his apologies for his strange behavior — he's just been stressed out. He wants to make sure that he hasn’t damaged your friendship, which he deeply values. When you don't respond, you get another email the next day. His urgency is making you feel even more rattled, but you have to work with him in class next week so how do you handle this?

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