Do you have issues with your no-longer-best girlfriend? Is your coworker driving you crazy? Megan Carpentier is here to give you the life advice that you don’t want to hear, told in the way you absolutely need to hear it.
How do you deal with someone who has a chronic scratching problem? No, not down there, but STILL.
Be thankful that it isn’t “down there”? Because, if she is a chronically itchy person, it’s probably down there, too, and she just knows better.
The chances are, actually, that she doesn’t realize that she’s scratching so much that you have noticed. I had a high school classmate who had chronically dry skin, an apparent aversion to moisturizer and a scratching habit, and she had no idea that the people around her could see and hear her scratching her arms almost constantly. Finally, someone talked to her best friend and told her the deal so she could tell the chronic scratcher.
So, assuming that she’s a chronic scratcher because she’s got dry skin rather than a drug addiction or a fetish that involves rolling around in poison ivy, the way into the conversation is the dry skin rather than the scratching per se. Ask her if she’s got it, tell her about some good moisturizers you know (I think my high school classmate got turned on to Eucerin) and make her minimally aware that her scratching is so constant other people are noticing without calling it annoying or distracting. Unless she’s really oblivious, you’ll probably all but solve the problem simply by addressing it.
I am not a prude, but I have a co-worker who is driving me insane. There’s a group of us in our early twenties that hang out together after work, so it’s not unheard of for us to discuss our personal lives — even sex — in the office, and normally it doesn’t bother me. But this one girl is just over the top! She slept with my ex, and then critiqued his performance in detail to our co-workers; in fact, she’s slept with several friends and acquaintances of mine, and now I know everything about them from their dick sizes to their staying power to their willingness to eat pussy and everything in between. If I complain officially, management will bring the hammer down on all of us for sexual harassment; if I don’t do something, I’m going to have trouble looking at most of these dudes in the eye. Help!
Well, first off, a little free work advice: you probably ought to rein in these conversations, period. It’s one thing to discuss your personal life around the water cooler and another to be getting into the nitty-gritty details of that life. One of the hallmarks of hostile work environments (i.e., a sexually harassing environment) is that the main group of people thinks it’s okay, and one person feels uncomfortable with it and with saying anything. If, as a normal participant in office-inappropriate conversations, you feel uncomfortable with one person taking things to a certain level, there might well be someone around who is more prudish than you and feels uncomfortable with the prior status quo. If you choose to stay with that company, participating in those conversations could either affect your ability to move up officially, or the people in charge of those decisions might think unofficially that the group of you who have these discussions are, let’s say, not mature enough to be advanced right now, or not a good choice for a supervisory role. No matter which way you slice it, there are no professional upsides to continuing to engage in these fun-but-inappropriate conversations at the office. That’s why people go out drinking after work.
But, to the problem with the ultimate oversharer, who doesn’t recognize the difference between what you think is appropriate sex talk at the office and inappropriate sex talk (which is, of course, why companies draw a bright line about these things). Even if everyone else likes to giggle about your friends’ penises, you’re getting squicked out and rightly so. The best thing to do is to take her aside, privately, and tell her that while you’ve got no problem with her sleeping with whomever, you feel really weird hearing sexual critiques of your friends at the office and feel like she’s putting you in a strange position of either having to defend their honor or warn them that sleeping with her means everyone at your office gets a run-down of their most intimate of intimates. Ask her to stop putting you in the position of being her friend or their friend by discussing their sexual failings at the office — then it’s not about the graphic nature of the sex talk but about the relationships you have with the people she’s talking about.
If you have a problem with a friend, relative, coworker, or other person in your life, email Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a problem with your boyfriend, you should probably just try talking to him.