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Unagie posted 12/15/2013 18:20 PM

Why are boundaries so hard for some people!? I am doing well at work, may be promoted soon. I work from home so all communications with my boss and team is done through meeting rooms and phone conferences. We have a room for just our team and a private messaging system. I communicate with 3 female coworkers regularly and with my female boss regularly. She is training me to do what she does so I hold some of the meetings and reach out to team members when training needs to be done. We have a few male team members. One is 24 and he just crossed a firm boundary I have had since DDay, oversharing. I have read and reread this convo with him and do not see anywhere I asked for the kind of info he gave. He said he was stressed and needed to do a jump off for some hours, I said enjoy time with family and notify our TL. Then he says he is just so tired because: my wife and I have been rocky lately. I'm scared for 2014.
My response: just communicate and you'll be fine.
Him: I try its hard because she has Aspergers.
Me: marriage is hard. Talk to her and you'll be fine.
Him: I will.

Then nothing from me. I was sitting there like WTH!? Dude do you think your wife would be okay with you telling a virtual stranger these things. I tried to disengae as quickly as possible but would love some opinions here. Another communication, we were in a team meeting room and my boss asked him for his song choice as it was a wind down meeting. He didn't answer, I typed his name in chat with a question mark. No response we moved on to someone else's song. In that song I recognized the chorus to another song called juicy. I typed in chat juicy with a question mamark asking if anyone else recognized it. He comes back:

Him: why are you calling me juicy.
Me: I'm not I'm asking if the hook from that song is from juicy.
Him: never heard of it
Me: from notorious big juicy
Him: his name is big juicy!?
Me: no his name is notorious big and the song is called juicy.

End convo

Later that day is when the first convo I relayed happened. I don't feel I acted untowards. I didn't flirt, I didn't invite personal convo so wth? I communicate with everyone the same way except the 3 women I mentioned earlier as we are becoming friends. I don't know why he felt it was okay to cross any boundaries. Maybe I'm overthinking, I'm so hyper vigilant all the time.

[This message edited by Unagie at 6:21 PM, December 15th (Sunday)]

Brandon808 posted 12/15/2013 21:26 PM

I don't know why he felt it was okay to cross any boundaries.
Because he probably didn't think of it as "crossing boundaries". They don't think about boundaries in those terms.

I have to be honest that in my younger days I would listen to female coworkers discuss their relationship/marital problems. Nothing happened beyond listening but that was still too much. Today, with more knowledge and experience under my belt, I would not allow that to happen.

Unagie, you kept your boundaries and did not take the bait on his blatant attempts to be inappropriate. I've seen a lot of growth in you since you joined SI. Another thread talked about affirmation vs. validation. Affirmation, in many people's opinions, is affirming something you already know. I hope you take this as an affirmation.

harrypotter posted 12/15/2013 21:27 PM


I get what you mean about being hyper vigilant. I feel like I am that way also right now. I tell myself that normal interactions with people are fine. I also think that listening to someone and deciding to help is fine and should be done imagine if nobody helped each other? I say that but of course keep your boundaries and no secrets about who, what and how you are helping right. I think in your case you didn't step pass any of your boundaries and didn't ask for the over share, but that doesn't mean everyone is going to share the same boundaries as you. I your case I think that's all that really happened. Remember you can always tell them your not comfortable discussing a topic with someone when they do press on your boundaries. You can't control other people but you can inform them when they infringe on what you are comfortable with.

Unagie posted 12/15/2013 23:42 PM

Thank you I appreciate the feedback. The hyper vigilance is exhausting but necessary. I know I can't control the boundaries of others but damnit its infuriating to see what I never acknowledged before.

Althea posted 12/16/2013 07:47 AM

I had something similar happen with my BIL(!) a few months ago. Clearly crossed some major boundaries, I held firmly to my newly found good ones. It was so stressful! One thing I will say is that I immediately read into it as a major threat; and I'm not sure that is necessary. Some people don't have good boundaries. If yours are good, and you keep them, there isn't a threat and no need to go into full on panic mode. I think - I hope - it gets easier as time goes on and good boundaries become more automatic.

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