Believe Co-worker Gave Me STD?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a misunderstanding:

I’ve been dating a guy at my factory for 5 months. Untrue rumors led me to believe he was cheating on me, upset I told someone I would have to go get checked out. She went and told everyone including my boyfriend that I’m telling everybody he gave me a social disease. He’s so angry he won’t even listen to me or believe me. The animosity and tension is unbearable, not to mention the dirty looks from everyone. Changing jobs or shifts is out of the question. The guy refuses to talk to me, he just glares at me. Any advice?

Signed, Unbearable

Dear Unbearable:

You now hurt, and your guy, or former guy, also has been hurt. Why? Because you talked too much. Has your disclosure of personal information taught you not to share such information in the future? If so, this unhappy experience may be worth the pain. Is there a way to salve your hurt? Probably not. You will simply have to suffer and gradually the pain will subside.

You say you believed an untrue rumor. How do you know it was untrue? Why did you worry? You imply it was because you had unprotected sex. Has that taught you anything about unprotected sex? Your thought that you need to check to learn if you caught STD is the right thought after unprotected sex unless you have a long enough relationship that trust has been earned.

If you learn not to believe what you hear until you know for a fact it is true, perhaps this pain has been worth it. These thoughts are not meant to rub salt into your sore. Rather they are meant to help you see even bad mistakes can be the best teachers. Unfortunately, your co-worker friend, who also had a loose tongue–repeating what you told her about wanting to get a check to learn if you had gotten a sexually transmitted disease–probably has not learned to control her tongue. She is not the one who hurts. However, have you told her how disappointed you are in her if she was the one to spread this information you shared with her in confidence? Have you asked her to apologize to your ex-guy and you? Probably it will do no good to make a major issue about water that has gone over the damn, and if this individual was your friend, you do not want to badger her about all this. She likely will deny it any way.

So whether you realize it or not, you are learning that even the unbearable is bearable. Life will go on. Now is it not time to realize that the damage has been done and if your ex-guy will not talk to you, that’s the way it is. If you are indeed someone who is of good character in spite of this mistake, his rejecting you permanently is his loss as well as he is your loss. Time will heal even though it may not feel like it now. So are you able to focus on self-improvement such as becoming the kind of person you respect–one who is cheerful in spite of pain, one who is kind and thoughtful, reliable and responsible in every way at your workplace and to family and friends? Can you find ways to make others’ work lighter and their day lighthearted by some kind words?

Might you become more focused on your job and find ways to approach your assignments in a serious, yet not overly serious way? Who are your internal and external customers? Have you ever thought about them feeling really good about what you do for them? If you were a baker, that would mean making a cake with their name on it. But since that most likely is not what you do, it means finding other ways to put a little frosting on what you do that goes to them.When I hurt, my attention is on myself. When I focus on others’ needs, my hurt is put to the back of my mind. Thinking ego is big of me. Thinking WEGO, our signature, makes more of thee and me. Do let us know if these thoughts make sense and how you are getting along as the days go by.

William Gorden