Hello, my name is Roxie, and I'm a chronic flirt.
Humor and flirtation are my defense mechanisms. Fortunately, I've managed to shift my humor from making fun of myself to actual comedy. The flirtation is another thing.
Most of the guys at my workplace have been warned up front with "I'm a flirt; my fiance knows this, but he also knows where I sleep." Most of them understand what this means. However, one young supervisor doesn't seem to get it. So there you have two people with boundary issues.
Lately, he's been making comments about how nice my hair looks. When I ask him questions and add that I ask a lot of them, he says, "That's OK, I like seeing you in front of me." I laugh it off and go on about my business.
It didn't dawn on me that this was more than typical warehouse banter until a girl who enjoys talking to him asked me to stop flirting with him. She was absolutely cool about it--straightforward, to the point, and very polite. I told her that I will do my absolute best to respect her wishes--but added that I have a problem, and it may take a while, and I might need to be reminded.Now, my question: what is the best way to approach this situation?
I'm personally not uncomfortable with the situation, but I value my co-worker's feelings. However, I also don't want to antagonize the supervisor. I was thinking of approaching the supervisor with something like this:"Hey [Tom], remember when you processed my paperwork and I told you I had a disability? Well, trouble with boundaries is part of it. Can you help me be more appropriate in the workplace? If you catch me flirting--or if you catch yourself flirting with me--can you help me nip it in the bud?"
I don't see him saying no.
This way, if he compliments me again, I could say, "Hey--you're supposed to be helping me break this habit, not encourage it!"
I'm thinking that, this way, I could diffuse the situation before it gets any deeper, show my co-worker that I'm trying my best to respect her feelings, and accomplish both without causing too much stink. I fear that if I just came out and said, "We can't be flirting like this in the workplace!" might put him on the defensive, he could ask her what she said to me, cause problems, etc.
Like I said, I'm not uncomfortable with the situation beyond my co-worker's needs. I know where I sleep.
Any advice, thoughts, comments, and/or input would be awesome. Thanks, folks.
Do not take my advice before talking to your doctor/counselor/other professional. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find free, confidential care. Most importantly, sometimes your shrink can be wrong. Get a second opinion.