Dear Ms. Plume,A dear friend of mine is dating a new person and he, the friend, seems quite happy. She, on the other hand, has tried to worm her way into my confidence so she can get more personal information about him. I have no problem in skirting the questions she asks about his past relationships etc., but the issue is that in her quest to become my “new best friend,” she is telling me way too much about their intimate relationship. She finds the most inconvenient times and places to corner me with some new tidbit about what is going on between their sheets. This is information I definitely do not need or want! I’m also not sure what her real intention/motivation is here. What can I do that won’t rebound and damage my friendship?
Have you tried a direct approach? Tell the new girlfriend that this is none of your business, that you don’t want it to be your business; that if it was your business and she was breaking your confidence with someone else you would not think highly of her, or perhaps not think of her again at all.
Isn’t it interesting how some people approach relationships? I wager that if your friend knew what was going on he would be quite hurt by her actions. Now, not only are you in possession of information about your friend that you didn’t ask for; you also know something about her that you have to keep from your friend.
Dear L.A. Plume,
We went to a fund-raising gala where venues, as well as actual items, were auctioned. The venues included such things as a vacation at someone’s shore house, a dinner for twelve in a private home, and the like. A couple we know, but not very well, bid on and won the dinner for twelve. Afterwards, they called us and “invited” us to the dinner with the caveat that we all share in the price; in other words, they sold the event that they paid for to five other couples. They were quite insistent that they had purchased it for the group, even though no one else bid on it. In addition to the fact that they are taking the social credit for having supported the cause, they also got the tax credit for the donation. There is something that just seems terribly wrong with this scenario and I’m wondering if we should even participate. What do you think?
Dear Mrs. XYZ,
I agree that there is something wrong with the way that was handled, but perhaps this couple is in the habit of entertaining at someone else’s expense. Look at the bigger picture: Do you want to go to the dinner party? Would you, of your own accord, spent that amount of money for that evening? If so, then go and enjoy yourselves. Perhaps mention to the buyer that next time you’ll confer with her if you want to be included, or that it might be prudent to share with the group who gets the credit – both social and tax.
If you’re only thinking of going because you want to be included, or don’t want to offend, then just be busy.