Was this a sin on my part?


#1

I have a question about a situation with a co-worker. I work with a man who is married.

Most of the the other employees are female. He is a very friendly guy, he jokes around and gives hugs (not inappropriate) and sometimes maybe even flirtatious. He is like that with everyone, not just me. I know it's fine to tease and joke around, but when does it cross the line to being a sin for him or me if I allow him to act that way. I am not a touchy feely kind of person, but some people are. I don't think he has impure motives but what if he does? For example, he recently stood to my side and was kind of leaning on me. (our shoulders and hips were touching) He probably did this for less than a minute. After a few seconds I felt like I should move away, but I didn't, I waited for him to move because I didn't want to appear rude. Was that wrong on my part?


#2

This has happened to myself as we'll.... Some women that I have worked with had done exactly what you describe.... Only once did I feel uncomfortable and explained to the lady that she was going a bit to far... Walking her fingers up my chest. On a couple occasions... ......Mostly it's by people that are a bit touchy feely....not everyone is like that,,, but some are... It's up to you to tell them that they go a bit to far...but if they persist you will report them,but explain you still think there nice but don't go to far,,,,


#3

When you feel uncomfortable, as you did, then it's inappropriate. Go ahead and move away -- there's nothing wrong with that, it's not rude. There's no need to threaten to report him, unless you've told him to stop and he doesn't.


#4

[quote="Kayla123, post:1, topic:334284"]
I have a question about a situation with a co-worker. I work with a man who is married.

Most of the the other employees are female. He is a very friendly guy, he jokes around and gives hugs (not inappropriate) and sometimes maybe even flirtatious. He is like that with everyone, not just me. I know it's fine to tease and joke around, but when does it cross the line to being a sin for him or me if I allow him to act that way. I am not a touchy feely kind of person, but some people are. I don't think he has impure motives but what if he does? For example, he recently stood to my side and was kind of leaning on me. (our shoulders and hips were touching) He probably did this for less than a minute. After a few seconds I felt like I should move away, but I didn't, I waited for him to move because I didn't want to appear rude. Was that wrong on my part?

[/quote]

Dearest Kayla,

Were you sinning - no.

Is he sinning - we do not know - neither do you know. As you mentioned, he may have impure thoughts.

You do need to watch carefully and when he crosses your boundaries - you need to pay attention to how you feel and know he has crossed your boundaries.

When he (or anyone) crosses your boundaries, do not worry about being rude, step away from him.

God has given you inborn boundaries that you can notice are being crossed. That gut feeling or intuition or spiritual guidance that you notice is important to pay attention to and remove yourself from the situation.

In this case, it may mean, stepping further apart. If you notice that he still approaches pass your personal space - then tell him, "Excuse me, you are in my personal space."

If that does not keep him from your personal space - you need to be even more direct.

Maybe he has not learned personal space boundaries. That does not give him a right to pass your personal space boundaries. Maybe he is rude. Maybe he has impure intentions.

It makes you uncomfortable enough to reach out to others for advise, so you know it is pass boundaries for co-workers to be that close so as to be touching body to body (shoulders and hips).

It does not matter that it was less than a minute of body to body contact.... it is not appropriate and it crossed your personal space boundary.

Flirtation by a married man to women is not appropriate, either. Again, you feel it as crossing boundaries - as shown by you mentioning it. That says - your gut feeling, your intuition , your guidance by your guardian angel - something has drawn your attention to the out of place flirtation. Married men should not flirt with women.

You should remove yourself from his flirtation. Replying in a stern manner that it is not funny or not reacting to his flirtation may help. If not, be more direct.... "I do not appreciate that statement."

May God give you peace recognizing that your boundaries in any area - including personal space and flirtation - should be respected by others and you have the right to remove yourself when boundaries are crossed.


#5

[quote="agnes_therese, post:3, topic:334284"]
When you feel uncomfortable, as you did, then it's inappropriate. Go ahead and move away -- there's nothing wrong with that, it's not rude. There's no need to threaten to report him, unless you've told him to stop and he doesn't.

[/quote]

Yes.
Direct communication is the key to solving so many issues. If you feel he is invading your space (sounds like it to me) tell him politely to back up a little, with direct eye contact. Don't be afraid to be direct.


#6

Pay attention to your uncomfortable feelings and act on them appropriately - move away or say something. It's not being rude, it's avoiding the near occasion of sin. If you ignore these feelings they may go away - your conscience may be dulled and you may not be as aware of the near occasion of sin as you are now - this is a dangerous thing. Keep a sharp awareness of your boundaries and protect them. Your soul and his may hang in the balance.


#7

There is nothing rude in moving away once you had enough. However it is crass to play along and once you had enough blow your lid at him.

Honestly, if it were me, I would just come out and say 'next time there is a company picnic and I meet your wife, you realize I will be telling her about this' and honestly, if he said 'That's OK' I would say 'Well why wait until the company picnic, let's you me and your wife get together this weekend'.

And ..... as bad as this would sound, I would be the type of woman to meet his wife and sit on his lap and say 'I love working with your husband'

If she laughs it off, I would think it is OK

Angie


#8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.