Thursday, April 26, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: ‘Rough patch’ doesn’t excuse rudeness

‘Rough patch’ does not excuse rudeness

Q: My friend is going through a rough patch. Some of her friends have tossed her aside. She’s having problems at work and then trying to juggle things with a new guy. She turns to me and I’m happy to try to help or just be there to listen.

But she often demurs on plans and always prefaces things with how no one else was available or how someone bailed. I want to be there for her, but how do I explain to her that minimizing my friendship like that hurts?

Second Choice

A: Certainly you can be sensitive and not, say, belabor a topic that is obviously uncomfortable for her to talk about — but when you start suppressing who you are and what you feel because she’s anxious, you’re crossing the boundary into making her problems your own. So stop.

So, be there for her by being you for her. Explain that when she repeatedly blows you off, you feel slighted and demoralized. Her actions have consequences, and unless she is clinically depressed and/or the "rough patch" is life-and-death serious, it doesn’t give her license to treat you like crap.

And even when it is life-and-death or major-depression serious, the license is limited to, "She is in no position to think clearly," and whatever that fact can reasonably excuse.

Honesty with one’s self begets contentment

Q: Based on all the questions you see, is there any one nugget of advice you would give to everyone to be happier and to find their own inner solutions to problems?

In General

A: Be honest with yourself about who you are — the good and bad in balance. You’ll make better decisions, for one, about everything. And you’ll be more mindful of having one set of standards by which you judge both yourself and others, which in turn will make you more open-minded, less judgmental and all around on better terms with your surroundings.

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