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How Do I Tell My Depressed Coworker to Leave Me Alone?

"How Do I Tell My Depressed Co-Worker to Leave Me Alone?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I work at a hospital and I met a cook at the cafeteria where I go to every day, inside the hospital, about two years ago. So, since I see him everyday and ask him to fix me a sandwich or whatever, we became friends. We talked every day a little bit about soccer or things like that, nothing too deep. About two months ago, I ended up adding him on Facebook, and he gave me his number to call him anytime I needed something to eat and didn't have time to wait or something like that (that's what he said). So, he started to go further, texting me occasionally, offering me chocolates or homemade sweets. Slowly, everybody at work started noticing that he had a crush on me, when I just thought he was being kind. I never liked him, he is so not my type.

One day he started asking me how long I'd been single. So, I asked what caused him to think that, because I'm in a relationship. (It's been six years, on and off, very complicated but that's a whole other story). He thought I was single because I had nothing about my boyfriend on Facebook (the last time we broke up was last May and I switched my relationship status and haven't changed it back to "in a relationship").

I started to suspect that he thought I was into him, when all I had previously thought we had a totally innocent friendship. Soon after this revelation, he told me that whenever I went to the cafeteria, I couldn't take my eyes off of him. Of course, I was like WTF? He knew I had been in a serious relationship, and yet he thought I liked him and was trying to pursue me!

From then on, I kept my distance, keeping the conversations to a hello/goodbye only. Of course, he noticed and asked me what was up. I told him I didn't want him to misinterpret things; that I have a boyfriend who I love, and I have no plans to cheat on him. He said OK and apologized. The next day, I go to the cafeteria and I find he's not there. Same story the next day. He texts me and tells me that I'm not going to see him for a while, since everything that happened made him get depressed and that he was going through a crisis. He took a medical leave for two weeks, during which he texted and called me incessantly. I never answered his texts or calls.

When I finally saw him back at work, he ignored me. Soon after, though, he texted me saying that "he missed our friendship." I never answered him. I've really had it with this guy; I used to like our chats, but I certainly don't anymore. I want to tell him to stop texting me completely, but I don't know how to do it without him suffering from a "crisis." He is constantly telling me how bad he feels, and how he doesn't want to come to work anymore, and I just don't know what to do.

How can I tell him to leave me alone?

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