The other day, my boss approached me in private and had a very surprising talk with me - a talk about how important it is for me and my co-worker to go to him for help, to work together where we can, but explicitly to not 'order' the other co-worker to do something.
The talk basically implied heavily that I had offended my co-worker by ordering her to do something, that she complained to him, and that I should take into consideration how offensive that might be.
Which was shocking to me, because I'm extremely non-confrontational, very unassertive, and basically the last person I'd ever suspect of trying to be assertive or overreaching in authority.
Yet, clearly, I offended someone by overstepping my bounds.
Of course I can't ask him to clarify what I did due to confidentiality (for all I know, it was something I did to him, not her, but I can't confirm or deny that), but I don't want to be that sort of person.
But, I could see myself accidentally making the same mistake, since I'm not very good at reading social cues, and might be leaving out a 'nicety' without even realizing it.
I also can't exactly ask what it was I said/did wrong, because by law my boss is not allowed to report what my co-worker says under confidentiality, and I'm not supposed to even know that my co-worker complained about anything under the same, so even asking her about it could get my boss into trouble.
How can I keep myself from overreaching my authority with co-workers?