I later found out that she reported the same to my boss and other colleagues. He didn’t tell me anything, and I’m incredibly embarrassed about it at work. How do I let everyone know I’m okay? Do I have an obligation to confront this colleague? I only recently found out about all of this, but he apparently reached out to my therapist last fall, and the reports at work are months old now.
To set it straight: I had a somewhat similar situation except I was a colleague. I had concerns about a colleague’s mental health. I took those concerns to exactly one person, their boss, and clearly stated that I was not an expert but that it was something that might be worth investigating. I left it there and never heard or asked about it again. Suppose your colleague is acting out of genuine concern. It is not completely unreasonable to talk to a person, but he should not go beyond it.
You don’t have to face him. In fact, I’d advise against that approach; It could easily go south. Assuming your boss is a decent person, I’d start there. Given that your boss hasn’t told you anything, it’s reasonable to assume that they discount suggestions. You can say something like, “I just learned that Jodi expressed concern about my health to you. I’m not sure what she said, but I want you to know that I’m fine. Boss, let’s take it from there; they can give you more context.” and can discuss how to handle it. I think it would be better to say that the incident has embarrassed you now that you know about it and (if true) you’ve lost trust in the co-worker. Your boss may be aware of other people’s grumbling. It may be appropriate to discuss boundaries and privacy with the non and boss.
I think it’s good to remember that there are always people who will judge others, but their opinions reflect more on themselves than yours. Be proud of the fact that you’re taking care of yourself and don’t let gossip get you down.
To set it straight: How did he know you were in therapy, who was your therapist? If you share a lot of your personal life with a coworker, she might feel invited to participate.
How did you find out that he was reporting to your boss and other colleagues? If it is heard, there is not much you can do. If your boss, co-worker, or therapist tells you outright, you need to deal with each person, and clear the air about the wobble. Set boundaries, express your feelings and stop giving them any personal information for use or abuse.
To set it straight: Your concern seems to be setting the record straight (“How do I let everyone know I’m okay?”) but it really should be that you have a colleague who has crossed some serious boundaries and a therapist who hasn’t told you that a random person is in your therapy. intervened.
At work, you should go to HR and tell them about your coworker’s invasion of privacy (talking to your therapist) and divisive actions (speculating about your health to your boss and co-workers). This colleague has created a hostile work environment and the company should take appropriate action.
You may consider changing therapists. If my therapist received such information, I would expect them to tell me immediately, and if they didn’t – or waited so long to do so – I would fire them.
To set it straight: How strange that your co-worker does not speak to you himself when he has concerns about your well-being. The good news is that if you’re really okay, your coworkers will probably see it. They probably don’t need to correct an impression that doesn’t exist. It’s quite possible that they perceived your colleague’s comments as off-base and dismissed them at that point — to the detriment of his reputation, not yours.
As for your colleague, you certainly don’t have an “obligation” to confront him. While it might have been a good idea to do this if you knew at the time, now that several months have passed you risk turning it into a nasty workplace dispute. Instead, I suggest you report this series of incidents to your HR department so that it is kept on record; Especially calls to your therapist (which your therapist can document in a letter). However, tell them not to take action unless they hear about such behavior. This will enable you to establish a pattern of workplace harassment, should it prove necessary. I hope it doesn’t.
Each week, we ask readers to answer a question submitted to Carolyn Hax via live chat or email. Read last week’s installment here. New questions are usually posted on Fridays, with a Monday deadline for submissions. Responses are anonymous unless you choose to identify yourself and have been edited for length and clarity.