When I first met my husband, he was actually dating someone else. A woman who worked in the same building as us. They only dated for about a week or two. I started a month after he did, so by the time I got to the job, he was ending his relationship with her. (No homewreckers here, babe.) But when we started dating, the girl who he used to date began to pursue him with a thirst that I’ve never seen in any woman before. One night, our work schedules called for us to be in the same room with his ex.
Saying I was uncomfortable was an understatement, especially when she kept on texting him right in front of me, or if I were to leave the room and come back she always made sure to make her way on over to him, and then give me a smug smile while walking away. While I was in the bathroom, one of my coworkers came in, said that she noticed that I wasn’t my happy, bubbly self, and wanted to know what was bothering me. The coworker was new and wasn’t familiar with my “Dawson’s Creek” type drama, so I filled her in. Feeling good that I was able to vent and feeling like I’d made a new friend, I wasn’t caught off guard when she started asking for more information about my relationship.
To not create tension in the workplace, my boyfriend at the time and I would spend as little time as possible with each other at the job. So I understood why my “friend” would ask questions, because we weren’t around each other, but still claiming each other. I felt like my “friend” knew the truth.
So, pick me up off the floor once I noticed her flirting with him. Inviting him to go clubbing with her and then showing off her dancing moves while–I guess she was trying to be seductive–walking up to him. All this right in front of me. I began to have a few more head tilt moments when he revealed to me that the coworker propositioned him for sex (or at least oral pleasure) multiple times. It became apparent that the girl thought that I was in denial about my relationship with my future husband; and if he would leave one girl at the job, then surely he’d leave another. Also, all of the information she pried out of me about the nice things he did, she wanted the same things as well. Oh, okay.
When I began my retrospection, I thought back to moments when I felt betrayed and realized that it was because I was too trusting. Now, I could dig into my past and explain to you why I have a tendency to be too trusting (if you really want to know, just read more here, all answers will be revealed) but instead, I’m going to give you tips on not to be so trusting. However, I’m not trying to make you paranoid and think that everyone’s out to get you, but before you let the person sitting next to you on the bus know you’re entire life story, remember these tips:
Thirst is suspicious
In most normal relationships, there’s an unsaid understanding that you’ll gradually learn about the other person. However, if you’re not in a job interview and someone is pressing for a lot of very specific personal information, their motives might not be in the right place. Consider that a red flag.
Try a counselor
As passive aggressive as that sounds, I promise you, it’s not. People who tend to over share their lives are people who need an outlet to vent, and have someone to talk to and in respect, to listen to them. A counselor or therapist is a great way to get your thoughts out to a neutral party who won’t use your secrets against you later when you make them mad.
Is there an obvious motive?
I’m a people person and I tend to make friends very easily. However, there have been times in my life that I noticed that people didn’t initially fancy me, but then did a drastic change when I was attached to something appealing. Whether it was a good looking best male friend, a good looking family member that they didn’t know I was related to, or a friendship I had with someone they hoped to work for. Now, there’s nothing wrong with networking, but don’t confuse that person’s networking with instant friendship. Keep it in perspective.
So what happened to me and “coworker”? She stopped acting foolish, and we’re cool. But will I ever trust her again? Not really. But I will always thank her for the important lesson she taught me that sometimes it’s smart to keep your guard up. Thanks, “Friend”!!
Kendra Koger would trust that you learn you lesson too, and follow her on twitter @kkoger.
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