My boss and I are strongly attracted to each other’s sense of humor. We flirt furiously. (It’s an office joke.) The problem is that I recently met his wife. I knew he was married, but somehow putting a face with a name shook me up. She’s so nice. I really liked her. Yesterday, my boss sent me an e-mail about an out-of-town trip that he wants us to take together. I don’t think it’s just business. Today, he told me that I understand him better than anyone else. (I don’t think that’s true.) Please help me. I want to do the right thing, but I also want to keep my job.
Why do you think your job is in jeopardy? If you do the right thing (avoid an affair) in the right way (with grace), you will gain respect, not lose it. The first step is to admit to yourself that you were attracted to more than just your boss’ sense of humor. You were attracted to at least one of the following: the intensity of the repartee between you, the attention from co-workers, the power of being the boss’s girl or the excitement of crossing a forbidden boundary (he’s married, and he’s your boss). Once you understand your need, you can arrange to fill it in a healthier way. For example, if you want more power at work, gain the skills necessary to get promoted. Or, if you relish having an audience, take your talents to an open-mic night at a comedy club. Channel your energy into something positive for yourself rather than something negative for everyone. When you consciously choose to avoid an affair, you are choosing to create harmony instead of chaos for yourself and those around you.
Of course, this means you need to turn the heat down (and eventually off) on your flirting. Work interactions should be conversations, not seductions. When your boss tells you that you understand him better than anyone, respond as an employee. If your boss points out that you’ve changed, admit that it’s true and let him know that meeting his wife inspired you to respect his marriage (even if he doesn’t).
I’m a freshman in high school, and I really need your help. There’s this girl I like at school, and I want to ask her out, but I have a really embarrassing problem. The palms of my hands sweat, and I’m afraid if I try to hold her hand, she will think I’m disgusting. When I was in sixth grade, I held hands with a girl for a school play, and she made fun of me. I don’t want that to happen again.
Me, either! Try the direct approach. Tell her that you want to hold her hand but that your palms tend to sweat. If she likes you, she will probably say something like, “I don’t mind.” That’s your signal to take her hand. You also might talk to a pharmacist about products to keep your palms dry. Or, just forget about holding hands. Put your arm around her instead.
Can you suggest a simple way to remind myself to stop getting involved in soap operas with my family? I get over-involved in everyone’s problems, and I can’t stop thinking about it all.
“Save the drama for your mama!” is a fun mantra for a mind intent on being in other people’s business. But don’t take your troubles to your biological mother. This chant is a reminder to turn your own problems over in prayer to the divine feminine. And take care not to chastise others by admonishing, “Save the drama for your mama!” That’s just unkind. Another helpful prayer is: “God, lift this obsession from me.”