Boss Playing Tricks?
Q: My boss at work has been kissing my hands for over a year. He gives me compliments and has repeated so many times that he likes me that I'm becoming emotionally dependent on him. He is a womanizer but I have no clue why he has chosen me. His actions have made me think about him almost every minute of my life. I suspect he has been playing some psychological tricks on me to get me to like him and has asked me several times about my thoughts on marriage. I have noticed he would feel sad whenever I was not in a good mood. Is there a trick or way for me to find out about his real feelings towards me? Is there a psychological test I can have him go through without his knowing about it? - Terry, 34
Dr. Susan: You need to grow a little backbone, ma'am, and stand up for yourself. If someone is known as a womanizer, why would you want to get involved with him? If a man continually kisses the hands of a woman who works for him, he may be guilty of sexual harassment. And in your case, I'd say he is certainly guilty, as you can't work very well if you can't get him and his "tricks" out of your mind. Not that they're very sophisticated tricks! He's wearing you down with compliments, kisses, and a mention of marriage (not that he sounds like marriage material). I'd guess he just wants to sleep with you, and that he enjoys making conquests (especially inappropriately, like with an employee). Bottom line: Don't fall for his sleazy behavior. Show and tell him his actions are making you uncomfortable. You don't have to antagonize him, but if he doesn't start acting more professionally, tell someone higher up what's going on. Forget sneaky tests; this isn't a game show, it's your life.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.