Q: A coworker I can’t stand wants to come to my bootcamp class after she heard me talking about it. I’m all for her finding a workout she likes, I just don’t want to see her outside of work. Can I tell her no without being a total B?
Bethany: I’d suggest being vague when she expresses interest. No details. No plans. If she insists, then she should go. I’ve found that most often people drop off after a session or two —or find a different time to go. And in the future, only hype workouts to people you’d actually be ok working out with :).
Erin Sian: That’s rough. What’s your relationship with her? If she’s your boss or has major political sway at the workplace, think about how much gross drama a “no” could unleash.
If you can stomach that, then tell her how you feel. (And let us know how that goes, because omg!) Other option: you can be positive when she brings it up, yet remain non-commital. Nothing says you have to take it upon yourself to chaperone her experience. Set expectations ahead of time by telling her that “gym you” is different from “work you” and that if you seem aloof, it’s because gym you is fucking focused. So even if you wind up in the same class, there’s a clear reason why you’re stretching in the corner instead of making small talk.
Jess: Tough one. I say you should tell her no, definitely. The escalation could get awkward if you don’t. Depends on who you are, but a good comment could be that you really enjoy anonymity at your workout because you find you work harder when you don’t worry about what others think. You hope she can find that same opportunity, and you’ve heard that xyz other gym also has a great class.
Yes to Bethany! I’d probably wuss out and give details but be less enthused for the workout myself… This is definitely a “do as I say, not as I do,” thing for me.
Best case would be this person comes to the workout and y’all find non-work common ground. But I know that doesn’t always happen.