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Bad Advice: Stop Trying To Be Friends with People

This week's Bad Advice tackles charity friendships.

by
Hannah Sternberg

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July 10, 2013 - 7:00 am
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The first thing you can do is be kind to her at work, where you already encounter each other every day. Ask her how her day is going, and maybe invite her to join you for lunch if she tends to eat alone. If she does start struggling at her job, see if there are any little things you can do to help her out — maybe offer to help her catch up on filing or boring administrative stuff everyone has to do, or if her job involves writing offer to help her by proofreading. Or, just walk up and ask if there’s anything you can do, if she’s looking really rough and overwhelmed one day.

From there, pay attention to her cues. Is she grateful and polite, but not forthcoming? If you give her an opportunity to open up (it’s as simple as asking, “Is everything okay?”) and she doesn’t, drop it. If you invite her to spend her lunch break with you and she doesn’t, drop it. If she refuses your help at work, drop it. Just the kindness you’ve shown her might have already started to lift her spirits even if she doesn’t accept your help. You’ve checked off the box “Tried to Help Obviously Sad Person,” and done a genuinely good deed. It’s okay to stop there. If she either doesn’t want or need your support, don’t press it on her.

The thing is, maybe she does have a great support network. I know plenty of single people who live far away from their families who still have plenty of people rooting for them, and checking in on them, locally. Maybe she just prefers to keep her work and personal life very separate. Some people find comfort in that — especially if she has a chronic illness, maybe work is the place she can come and not be asked about it all the time. Or maybe she is all alone but she just prefers it that way. Maybe she’s all alone and doesn’t prefer it that way but just doesn’t want to be your friend for one reason or another. Whichever it is, just let her be.

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I befriended a whiny, needy woman at church because everyone avoided her,and I didn't know why. Classic charity friendship, here,and I didn't even feel the need to have her for a friend, I just was uncomfortable with her being excluded socially. I soon found out why that was why others WERE excluding her. Once I got to know her, she proved to be even MORE whiny and needy than she first appeared, and what is infinitely worse, considering I was her ONLY friend, she had an affair with my husband (her new boss), which ended our 24 year marriage.
So,I will NEVER EVER befriend ANY other woman out of sheer pity. If they are hurting,too darn bad. In fact, ever since then, I have held other women at a deliberate arms' length,especially since my current husband is about a hundred times the man that my ex husband was.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is good advice. Don't be friend to a stick in the mud. Perhaps they need to be pounded in the mud with a hammer figure of speech before they emerge as trustworthy.
This is what I find in marrying my 5th wife ,the Harlot of Babylon and keep her away from my other 4 wives and now the mighty angels have chained her to the bed. It could be worse for her or me. But this is about me not her. Imagine the great misery of King Solomon stuck with 300 wives marriage to save his Kingdom from the blood thirsty pagan tribes looking to cut off more heads?
So my life is cake walk compared to his misery and now let me turn my attention to the harlot of Babylon who is now my 5th wife. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen her lips dripping with honey but with this great stain of people pleasing , man pleasing on her lips with months inspection being chained to the bed by the mighty angels make her lips drip with honey only for me
Then she allowed to rub elbows for my 4 holy wives to help her see what I expect from her and never ever go through the misery of poor King Solomon
more latter
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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