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There's a coworker in my team who's a good guy, we get along fairly well, but he is very pushy to hang out outside of work and to be honest I'm starting to feel like an excuse machine.

Don't get me wrong - I do have good relationships with people on my team, usually go out for drinks on a Friday, have a good laugh etc. But this one person is constantly asking me to do stuff outside of work. Now I don't want to be rude (I see him 40-45 hours a week!) and I do occasionally take him up on his offers, but it seems the more I take up his offers the more he wants to do stuff.

The problem is he's quite pushy. For example: "want to do x tonight?" "no thank you I'm busy" "what are you doing?" "blah blah" "oh OK how about tomorrow?" Etc.

I do like the guy and I dont want to offend him (I see him for hours every day and I do occasionally like to take him up on his offers to hang out), but he just sometimes struggles to see when I don't want to hang out.

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    Are you the only one he's doing this to ? – Radu Murzea Aug 17 '16 at 9:14
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    Tell him that you like him and enjoy hanging out at work, but if you are together much more than that you will have to marry him. – James Aug 17 '16 at 12:18
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Take the initiative, rather than him giving you different things to do counter with a proposal of your own.

Hanging out on X would be great fun, but I am terribly busy due to Y/Z/W etc. How about doing X on day T?

Thereby you are politely declining at the same time as you are showing that you have an interest in hanging out with him. It also allows you to plan your time.

Being straight-forward with the chap and telling him that you think he is too pushy might back-fire and spoil an otherwise good working relationship.

  • Good call, might start doing that instead - I think the main problem is just his inability to take a 'no'. Maybe changing plans into something for the future could fix it. Thanks! – Sphyxxy Aug 17 '16 at 9:06
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    This is a good solution if you really want to do X on day T. Otherwise it might be unhealthy conflict avoidance. – user45590 Aug 17 '16 at 11:42
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    This is a good way to end up doing a lot of things you don't want to do. If you want to politely decline, then politely decline. – Ethan The Brave Aug 17 '16 at 15:55
  • @EthanTheBrave given the context it seems as if Sphyxxy still has an interest in spending time with the co-worker. You are correct, there is a risk that OP might end up doing things he/she would rather not do. If that is the case then one could have a nice sit down and a little talk, but it is difficult to have these conversations without straining the relation. I believe this answer is a starting point before escalating the situation. – Charles Borg Aug 18 '16 at 5:32

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