I'm attracted to a new co-worker, it's making me act all stupid, and there's no escape. What techniques or strategies can I use to turn myself back into a sensible adult when I'm around her?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My job isn't run of the mill. A whole bunch of us live and work in what amounts to a community, and as such, there's little escape from each other. We all live in little more than dorm rooms, we all eat together, and more often than not, play together. It's hard to get some time away from the compound, except on the weekends.
It took some getting used to this way of life at the start, and although it's not what I would call ideal, I think for the sake of a year's contract, it's manageable for me. Well, I thought it was, until this new coworker turns up here. Let's call her Charlotte.
Here, a little context is necessary. In the past few years I haven't been altogether sensible or rational in the relationships I've chosen to pursue. For example, possibly the most important thing I would look for in a wife is that she is someone with whom I can have a properly intelligent conversation, for hours on end. Previous girlfriends haven't even come close to being able to do this. Additionally, even though it is super important to me, I've dated girls without the same faith as mine. By my own standards, I've not been all that grown up about dating.
Charlotte's arrival here has put me rather out of sorts. She shares the same faith and she most definitely could talk me under the table. I know that there are many things we have in common, and that our backgrounds and values are similar. What I am trying to figure out is, how do I stop myself from turning into stupid incarnate around her?
When a bunch of us are playing board games together, instead of trying to enjoy the company and the game, I get ultra-competitive and try to beat Charlotte, and everyone else, at all costs. Of course, it does not help that Charlotte is also ultra-competitive, too, but competition does not bring out the best side in me. In the past, I've played a lot of board games though, and never had problems with being competitive. With her around, if I don't win, I get snarky and sulky.
It's the same thing with discussions. Charlotte and I tend to argue over things of common interest, and again, I somehow turn into my moody teenage self if I'm not the victor. It doesn't matter if the argument eventually dissolves into absurdity: winning does.
I would like to think that avoiding Charlotte for the sake of not turning into a 13 year old was a viable option. However, the trouble with community living means that at some point within the next 8 hours we are going to cross paths. I will want to hang out with mutual friends too, as part of a larger group too, and she's going to be around. So it seems the best solution is to figure out how to not act so stupidly around this woman.
To be clear, while I am attracted to Charlotte, I'm not in a position right now to be able to judge whether or not she wants a relationship. My question is not about her, so please bear this in mind when answering.
1. When around Charlotte, and perhaps trying to impress her too much, what are some good techniques I can use for keeping calm, not trying too hard, and remaining sensible? Not drinking alcohol is a given - I'm thinking things like breathing techniques or something for my head to busy itself with.
FWIW, I'm male and 30, and the place is not my home country.
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