I have one business trip that I take each year. BossMan and I go to a convention where a lot of our clients also go so that we can feed them and get more work. I’ve gone for at least five years. For the past three years, the final night of the trip has been reserved for BossMan and I to have drinks and fancy cheese to cap off the whirlwind of meetings and greetings. It’s meant to be a wind down from the crazy schedule but each year, it turns into a pit of oversharing.
Every year, I feel like I drink too much (free, stress-relieving booze materializing at my fingertips without further effort on my part!), eat too much and say too much. It only occurs to me after the second drink or so that I’m deeply uncomfortable discussing my daddy issues/post-partum depression/personal worries with my boss. But I just keep talking.
The problem is that even when I am sober around him – which I am 99% of the time – I still feel this need to overshare with him. He has that quality about him that triggers in me the intense need for approval (hello, daddy issue no. 1!) coupled with a very good ability to listen and offer sage wisdom which equals my need to tell him just about anything that comes out of my mouth or show him whatever shiny new toy I have. I am like my 3 year old showing random old ladies in the grocery store his new shoes that light up when he walks. No boundaries whatsoever.
Except that I am not 3 years old (nor do my shoes light up – I’m not a stripper). I am a 37 year old adult and he is my boss, not my dad or my psychiatrist. Our relationship, while laced with friendship, is one of employer and subordinate. We are not equals, either in age, experience or views. This is probably why I feel rather skeevy talking with him in depth about sensitive issues. I know he wouldn’t use the information against me, but it makes me feel vulnerable nonetheless. Next year, I’ll remind myself of this before I order the second glass of wine.