The Hamilton Spectator
I can’t stop staring at my co-worker
Q One of my work colleagues has a white bump on her eyelid. It looks like a pimple but isn’t in the location of a pimple. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t stop staring!
I feel terrible and try to look elsewhere, but it’s on her eye. I always look people in the eye when I speak to them, and it feels rude to do otherwise. I’m very uncomfortable and avoid her at all costs. But we work together, and she’s a very nice person.
A This is going to cause a ruckus, but I’d just be up front with her. I’d rather be honest and direct than be awkward and uncomfortable. I learned that when I was a teenager.
I was at a concert in a large stadium and the guy next to me kept talking to me. I think he liked my friend. He had a huge, fresh-looking scar down his cheek. I kept staring at it.
Finally I said, “I don’t mean to be rude, but I can’t help but notice your scar. What happened?”
He was so relieved I had asked and not continued to stare, he told me the whole story (which I forget), and continued on to tell me that I was the only person he had yet to meet who was brave enough to come right out and ask. And he appreciated that.
Lesson learned, for me, anyway. Feedback Regarding the married woman debating whether or not to tell her husband about a past same-sex relationship (Jan. 18):
Reader “Why? Why would you suggest she tell her husband? I doubt he’ll help her get past that.
“It’s like suggesting to someone they tell their spouse about every past relationship they ever had before they met. Why? There is no need.
“It’s irrelevant, and it could bring up uncomfortable feelings that could cause problems in the relationship that did not need to happen.
“This woman needs to be OK with that relationship and, as you mentioned, sexuality is fluid, and she had a wonderful relationship, and it could have been with a man or a woman, and now, she’s with this man and married and happy.
“End of story. Move on, and be OK with the memories of a beautiful same-sex relationship.
“This is her issue, and if she’s having problems with these memories, then she needs to take it to a therapist, not to her husband.
“Who knows what his position might be on homosexuality, or bisexuality. This is her past, and it needs to be left in the past, as it’s not doing anything to affect their present situation.
“I brought something like this into a relationship once, and it actually did cause a lot of consternation with the man I was with. He kept wondering if perhaps I might want to have that lifestyle once again.”
Lisi You clearly explain why your reaction is such, based on your own experience.
That’s very normal.
And, no, I don’t believe people need to share their entire past relationship history with their spouse if they don’t want to do so.
This woman stated her marriage was solid and she was definitely heterosexual. Many people have good enough marriages that they can talk to their spouses about the past.
I suggested she share with him so he could help her. Hopefully, he was cool with it.