Monday, April 02, 2007

dear hip tranquil chick . . .

Q: I have a really good friend that has been at the crossroads of her life because she is turning 30 this year and just finished graduate school. She was very tired of her career but never did anything to take steps to change this. She recently connected with a man that went to the same high school but she did not know well at the time. They have talked everyday via phone or email and totally hit off, they say they are soul mates and he just proposed. She is planning to move across the country to be with him without a job and have him support her financially until she finds one. I want to share my thoughts with her that I feel she should be a little more independent and not rush into marriage. I would like to share these thoughts without ruining our friendship. But if it really is none of my business then I will just swallow up my thoughts and wait for the wedding invites. What’s my role as a friend in this situation?

A: Dear concerned friend, it is hard to determine how best to handle a situation such as this when you feel strongly that a beloved is making a bad choice. It sounds to me (from your second sentence) that you're frustrated that your pal did not work to get herself out of an unfulfilling career and is seeking the passion she longed for in a man she's known a short time - who just happens to live on the other side of the country.

It's always hard to watch a dear friend make a choice that we don't agree with, but sometimes we have to let others explore what they feel is best for themselves. This doesn't mean you can't share your concerns in a gingerly fashion, but your friendship is top priority. Sometimes voicing concerns such as these will push a friend away because they are feeling judged and no one like to feel judged.

She's going through a lot of inner turmoil as switching jobs and moving across the country are high stressors, not to mention becoming involved in a new relationship. This is where she needs you most. Our friends and family will never make all the right choices or the choices that we would make (shocking, i know!) but we must remember that everyone is doing the best they can and it is important for us to be there to honor them along the way (within reason and with boundaries - which is a whole separate post!). Good luck!

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

An additional piece of advice from experience: When I was getting ready to marry my husband, my best friend was incredibly unsupportive- one night when we were out having drinks she actually said to me "I just can't see you too lasting. I just can't."

It turns out, she had been harboring some bad feelings left over from the divorce she had recently finalized- her divorce happened at the same time my relationship began and I know that I wasn't the friend to her that I should have been during that time.

So- if you truly feel that your friend is making a bad decision, you need to let her know, but first, check your motives to be sure they are pure. Second, let her know that above everything, no matter what she does, you love and care about her and support her. That's what she really needs.

Anonymous said...

An additional piece of advice from experience: When I was getting ready to marry my husband, my best friend was incredibly unsupportive- one night when we were out having drinks she actually said to me "I just can't see you too lasting. I just can't."

It turns out, she had been harboring some bad feelings left over from the divorce she had recently finalized- her divorce happened at the same time my relationship began and I know that I wasn't the friend to her that I should have been during that time.

So- if you truly feel that your friend is making a bad decision, you need to let her know, but first, check your motives to be sure they are pure. Second, let her know that above everything, no matter what she does, you love and care about her and support her. That's what she really needs.

Anonymous said...

Random comment: I love you podcast/blog and often find that I want to go back and reread something you posted ages ago, but there is no way to search the website, so unless I remember the month it was posted it is a bit difficult for me to find it. Is there anyway you could create a search for the site, or file posts under topics for easy reference?

Kenya said...

another option is to consider that there may possibly be no "wrong" choices, just different options. as in, if she chooses to go off an marry someone you're unsure about, would you abandon your friendship? how much difference does this one choice truly make in the overall scheme of things?

and, even the choices we perceive as "best" have unexpected consequences.

so, as Kimberly said, it's often best to gingerly voice concerns and then get with loving and supporting your pal. what ever happens, where ever she is, your friendship and support are always what she'll value most!