Friends?

I met my friend when we were in graduate school, and we enjoyed hanging out together outside of classes. After receiving our degrees, we both left school to live in different states. That was 10 years ago.

We've kept in touch, but our phone conversations and twice-a-year visits became opportunities for my friend to talk endlessly about her problems. When I tried to fill her in on my own life, she obviously tuned out.

In the past few years I've not visited her at all and dread her occasional phone calls and visits to my house. She invites herself now because I no longer invite her. When she's at my home, she literally follows me from room to room, talking nonstop, until I make an excuse to get away from her. I tell her I need to take a nap, but I don't sleep. I sit in my room and read or enjoy the quiet.

Here's the worst part. She and her family, including two young children, are moving to our city. Her family has a small income, and they are buying a house in a grand neighborhood they can't afford. She asked if she and her husband and her children can stay at my home on their trips to our town to deal with house matters.

My husband and I have no children. Even though our home is tiny and perfectly sized for us, I let them stay. She told me her husband would start his new job before they finished purchasing this house. I felt obligated to offer him our guest room. If I hadn't offered, she would have asked anyway.

Now he's here, and it turns out he'll be staying on through the weekends. I am seething.

I would never, ever, under any circumstances impose on a friendship this way. I feel used, resentful, and don't care if I ever see her again. Should I end this friendship? I'm getting absolutely nothing from it but a knot in my stomach.

Lorraine

Lorraine, life hands us lessons all the time. When we don't learn the lesson, life gets more and more difficult until we do.

You were making and accepting calls from a woman you didn't even want to talk to. Now her husband is living in your house. Furthermore, she plans on moving in with her two small children. Where does this lead? Count on being a free, drop-in babysitter. Count on her asking you to pick up her kids after school. Count on imposition after imposition until you finally learn to say no.

Tamara often uses the example of oatmeal cookies. If you don't like oatmeal cookies, don't be "polite" and say you do. Otherwise you will always be offered oatmeal cookies, and friends will make you gifts of oatmeal cookies. That is why you cannot fake emotions out of a false sense of politeness.

Everything is being done to the advantage of your "friend." Nothing is to your advantage. This arrangement isn't working, and her husband needs to stay elsewhere. It is too much of an imposition. Call her tonight and tell her. Pick a day soon, like Friday, and tell her that will be his moving day. Let her know she and her family must make other arrangements when they move, whether their house is ready or not.

Don't waste time on long explanations or sugarcoat it. Make the call short and factual.

Wayne

Lorraine Triumphant!

You are so absolutely positively right. I am instant messaging my husband right now to discuss our visitor's last day. I think what I found most helpful is your pointing out that I'm accepting calls and visits from someone I don't want to talk to. It's so crystal clear. Thanks for giving me the kick in the butt that I need.

Lorraine

Lorraine, tonight we will lift our glasses and toast your victory.

Wayne & Tamara

Direct Answers - Column for the week of October 18, 2004

About The Author

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.

More Resources

Unable to open RSS Feed $XMLfilename with error HTTP ERROR: 404, exiting

More Coaching Information:

Related Articles

Hows Your Self-Talk?
You know, what are you saying to yourself? There's always something going on in there. Do you make positive statements about yourself to yourself or are you beating yourself up with your own words?"Know thyself" is a statement that comes to mind.
The Incredible Human Psyche
The intriguing Human psyche - more complex than the metamorphosing cocoon, and more phenomenal than the human brain could ever imagine.Deep within the realm of your subconscious is the centrifuge, or cerebral core of all Human possibilities.
How to Make $100,000 Dollars as a Personal Trainer - Part C for Client!
My name is Greg Ryan. For the last twenty years I have counseled thousands of personal trainers, fitness directors and gym owners on how be successful in the health and fitness industry.
Do You Ever Give Up Coaching Employees?
In principle, we don't want to give up coaching employees. We want to believe that we can eventually make a difference.
Living In The Now
I hope you are sitting down as you read this! You cannot begin to work on this kind of subject without addressing the subject of time itself - and when was the last time you did that?There are three basic areas or modules of time that are most commonly referred to:1)The Past2)The Present3)The FutureWhat I would like to do is have you work out where the "present" is though. In the time it has taken you to read just those last few words, that space in time that we might refer to as the present has gone.
A Call To Do Better
I'm calling you out. Issuing a Challenge.
Ten Ways to Make New Years Resolutions That You Can Actually Keep!
Are you one of the millions of people who make big New Year's Resolutions each year, only to watch those resolutions fall by the wayside mere days or weeks later? Would you like to be able to set New Year's Resolutions that you can actually keep? It might be easier than you think!Choose your resolutions carefully. These should be things that you really want and are ready to work on, not just things that you think you should work on.
A Christmas Wish
My sister is a woman now beginning her thirties. She has had few friends and her boyfriends have never been good for her.
The Fastest Way to Ruin Yourself
I don't know many people who would admit to wanting to ruin themselves, but there are a lot of people who are doing everything they can to accomplish that very goal. They certainly don't see it that way, but if you look at the way they live, you can see it happening.
What Does It Take To Have It All In Life?
Many people have asked me why I wrote my book, 'The Street Kid's Guide to Having it All', and I realized that some people simply do not believe that it is possible to 'have it all'. Well, I am here as an ambassador to dispel that rumor once and for all.
The Executive Coaching Contract
Having found a coach you feel comfortable and excited about working with, the next step is to discuss and sign the coaching contract or agreement. This is vital to ensure that both coach and client are clear from the outset about what is expected.
4 Quick, Easy Ways to Say No to People Who Take You for Granted
No matter how wonderful you are sometimes other people will try to take advantage of your good nature. They will push you, get you to do more than your fair share and keep asking you to do even more.
Corporate Coaching - Why Coach? C(5)+ED
Is it possible to make a strong "business case for corporate coaching?" Why is coaching vital to organizations? Why should leaders invest time developing their coaching skills? These are tough, important questions that organizations should consider before implementing coaching.The need for corporate coaching certainly depends on the situation.
Take a Chance, Win a Prize
I think that we're all probably familiar with the fairground rant 'take a chance, win a prize'. Whenever I hear this call to action, I immediately break out into a cold sweat.
7 Effective Ways To Boost Your Self Esteem
1. Get a life purpose statement.
Secrets of Creating Interpersonal Power
If you work with people, as a company owner, manager and team leader or on the customer interface, your impact on others is your most important asset! Someone creating 'Interpersonal Power', as I see it, has the ability to inspire, motivate and facilitate outstanding action in another.In 1996 I won the Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, in Whitewater Slalom.
A Sure-Fire, 10-Step Formula To Get Started As A Coach Or Consultant
"My guess is first I'll need some zippy flyers and a tri-fold brochure" said an email from Matt last week. Sadly, he is not the only one thinking that the first step to building a professional business is printing fliers and brochures.
COACHING: When it's Beyond Oprah and Dr. Phil
How many more servings of the daytime self-help salad will it take to sooth your appetite? To actually get your life to where you want it to be? To actually start seeing changes for yourself rather than just on the tear-filled faces of Oprah's latest guests?How about the alternatives? If you stick with TV then you will likely wind up in frightening dead ends with the likes of Jerry, Ricky and Montel. So, you read a few more Chicken Soup books, listen to another Anthony Robbins seminar and double up on the appointments with your shrink.
Business Career Executive Coaching Article -Motivator, Discipline and Desire
"There is a certain combination of desire and discipline in the way I work. Discipline by itself simply is not enough in the creative process.
Transform Your Office Into A Powerhouse Of Success
Did you know that the area that you call your 'office' is a direct reflection of you? If your environment is clean and uncluttered it projects that the person who works there is calm and has everything under control. Consequently if it looks like the local rubbish tip then the impression others get is that this person is disorganised, and a complete mess.