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I found out about two days ago, that a coworker/friend has been upset with me for months.

A few of us were planning to go out after work with our team so we asked [Joe] if he wanted to join us, but he declined. Our lead asked him to go as well, and he told the lead that he didn't think [Jim] (me) wanted him around.

[Joe] told the lead that it was because I used to invite him to lunch, but I don't anymore, and I am always planning things without him.

In hindsight, he has been increasingly cold to me, but I just attributed it to his personality.

Some Facts:

  1. I used to invite him to lunch, but after the 5th time in a row he said no, I stopped asking.
  2. He has never invited me to lunch.
  3. I have never planned an event with coworkers without inviting him, so somehow he thinks I am planning things behind his back.
  4. I also found out that he has been mentioning this to other people, but no one has said anything to me until our work event.

What to do?

I have been going over my life with a fine toothed comb, trying to think of how I could have offended him, and nothing comes to mind.

Am I being overly sensitive? Should I just ignore him? Should I invite him to lunch everyday from now on? Should I make sure that he has a lunch buddy everyday and treat him like a child? Is there something else going on with him? Should I even care at all?

Should I attempt to "win" my friend back? Is he some kind of workplace sociopath looking for drama? Am I the sociopath?

This situation has me questioning reality, and I'm probably obsessing about more than I should, but I would appreciate any feedback.

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    Above average, I guess? We work together so we have to interact with one another daily. I would prefer a friendly work environment, and I he feels like I wronged him I want to take that seriously and try to resolve it. – steve Mar 6 at 21:11
  • I will give that a shot. – steve Mar 6 at 21:13
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    Who downvoted this? There's nothing wrong with this question and OP is a new contributor. – dan-klasson Mar 6 at 21:20
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    Interpersonal skills slack might be a better place to ask this, but Workplace isn't a wrong spot to ask. – Ben Barden Mar 6 at 21:53
  • @JoeStrazzere shouldn't that be an answer? – Ben Barden Mar 6 at 21:54
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The best thing you can do, if you value resolving the issue, is addressing it with him directly. Letting a lot of he sais she said go around only hurts the situation more. I think approaching it calmly and in a space where he would not feel too put on the spot or embarrassed to be open would be a good idea. Don't do this in the middle of the office with people within an earshot. Also expect that maybe he will say that he has no problem, in which case he may not be ready to chat about it or may be willing to recognize how inconsequential it all is and get over it. I would say if things end well, perhaps a sincere invitation for coffee would be nice.

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