Dear Sasha,

“Help! I’m in love with my boss.

I am one of two analysts in my team and I cannot say, “no” to my manager who I’m also in love with. He completely relies on me so I’m the one who is stuck constantly working late. But, in all of this, because the other analyst is more outgoing, they get the credit for my reports because they always volunteer to present it. My manager is married and has a child but the way he smiles when he asks me to rush a report makes me swoon. I don’t know but I don’t think it’s healthy to keep going like this. What shall I do?”

Dear Friend

From what I gather you are intuitively aware of what’s proper and improper.

You also know that there is some work you need to do in terms of learning what your boundaries are and how to enforce those boundaries with your boss, colleagues as well as in general with pretty much everyone. The fact that you are not able to make a decision to stand up for yourself whether it is with your colleagues about taking credit for your work or saying no to your boss (which I understand is difficult for you) is a clear sign that some boundary work is required.

When we do not have strong and clear boundaries, it stems from a place where we feel like we will be rejected and eventually abandoned if we do not comply or if we do not ‘people please’. This in turn leads to us feeling guilty and/or ashamed of this behaviour. It eventually becomes a vicious cycle that forces us to not be able to assert ourselves.

Assertiveness and boundary lines are not just about saying NO to others, but it is about saying YES to ourselves. It’s about keeping our emotional wellbeing as number 1 priority.

But in the meantime, take these interactions with your boss in a healthy manner, learn from the  encounters that make you go weak in the knees.

You are probably a romantic who finds some of his characteristics charming and appealing. Make a mental note of these qualities and attributes, it will help frame your expectations when you start seriously dating someone.

Good luck to you, hope you fall in love with a charming man who isn’t already taken.

Much love