July 24, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am #598175
A “friend” who has been anything but, e-mailed me recently that she just separated from her husband and that she wants to speak (presumably for chizzuk), and to please not tell anyone. I distanced myself from her in recent years after she was horrifically nasty to me over a misunderstanding. I just learned in pirkei Avos that a person should be so careful not to befriend a bad “neighbor, to the point of even moving, if possible. I’m concerned about reaching out to her to comfort her (it opens a doorway to a friendship I don’t want). On the other hand, it would be callous of me to shut myself off from her. How to proceed?July 24, 2011 2:04 pm at 2:04 pm #789231bombmaniacParticipant
tell her that you arent up to it. youre entitled to not burden yourself with her problems. tell her you have enough of your own problems and that you dont need hers. diplomatically of course…
The art of diplomacy is being able to tell someone to go to Hell in a way that makes them look forward to the trip.July 24, 2011 2:19 pm at 2:19 pm #789232☕️coffee addictParticipant
I agree with bomb (you not her psychiatrist) but not as harsh (I’m surprised the mods let through the H word)July 24, 2011 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #789233am yisrael chaiParticipant
“after she was horrifically nasty to me over a misunderstanding.”
“a bad “neighbor”
Pirkei Avos did not mean that a single nasty comment warrants one to be categorized a “bad neighbor.” Check the meforshim there to see what it really means.
Now that you understand that she had been under the stress of a difficult marriage, perhaps you can be melamad zchus that she responded out of character (not a justification but an understanding). None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes.
I wonder if you brought up the incident so that she has a chance of doing tshuva & apologizing. Why not be up front and tell her that this has bothered you ever since it happened.
Honesty many times is the best policy.July 24, 2011 2:29 pm at 2:29 pm #789234YatzmichMember
I think you need to rise above the previous disagreement and help her out. She hasn’t called you until this point, but now it’s quite obvious that she NEEDS your help because she values your input.
She’s probably going through hell right now, and yes, it would be callous of you to shut yourself off from her in this time of need.
(Remember the whole thing with the Bais Hamikdash being destroyed because of sinas chinam and all?)July 24, 2011 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #789235
She has tried to reach out to me on many occasions to renew the friendship. Her nastiness was not an isolated incident, but a lengthy period of time where she snubbed me and ignored me in public. This was after years of putting myself out for her financially and physically, during the happiest times in her life to the most painful. My family made her vort (spending over a thousand dollars) and I shlepped a large wagon full of groceries on public transportation for over two hours to her house when she went through a trauma. In light of these and other such extensions of friendship, it was appalling that someone could so easily discard a friendship without asking what happened. She has a history of using people and then losing them as friends, and yet, I feel compelled to help, but am torn.July 24, 2011 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #789236WIYMember
Don’t allow yourself to be guilted into helping her. She obviously has serious issues and unless you are a trained psychologist you are in no position to help her, she will just bring you down into her misery.July 24, 2011 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #789237always hereParticipant
IMO, you have enough on your plate without adding her problems. you said that you dafka distanced yourself from her because she’s not a true ‘friend’ (aha! your quotes). get out of it gracefully, but succinctly.July 24, 2011 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #789238600 Kilo BearMember
MBD sang a song with the word “hell” in it – we mistakenly picked up the idea of that word being offensive from the notzrim.
I would politely tell her that you are not a rav or a psychologist, and that you wish her luck but you’re not able to help her in any way.July 24, 2011 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #789239brotherofursParticipant
i know a few poeple who i also feel like they “use me” when they need something that i could help them with but then when they don’t need me theyre not really my friends.. do i help them? yes. i feel that i need to help as many ppl as possible and this is another opportunity, and if theyre not going to be my friend then i guess Hashem said that it’s not good for me.
will she really start a friendship again? or will she just continue calling u occasionally when she needs u?-if the second one’s the case then u should help her (the most u can do is gain from this.)
if she wants to start a friendship maybe keep ur distance but let her know that ur here if she needs help.July 24, 2011 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #789240am yisrael chaiParticipant
“she snubbed me and ignored me in public”
This is typical of someone experiencing depression, not wanting to socialize &/or being absorbed in one’s own thoughts, oblivious to one’s surroundings.
Have you discussed this behavior with her so that she could explain/apologize/do tshuva?
See how she responds to your concerns & you’ll have your answer right there as to how you should deal with this situation.July 24, 2011 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #789241YatzmichMember
She needs your help now and that’s what counts. She may have hurt you in the past but you put so much into her that you probably feel some level of kinship to her, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking this question.
Ignore the detractors and help someone just for the sake of helping them, not for any other reason. You’ll feel liberated that you overcame your personal grudges just for the sake of helping another human being.July 24, 2011 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #789242minyan galMember
I think that I would email her back and tell her that you feel very badly for her current problems, but that you don’t feel that you are the right person to guide her through this process. Explain that you have a very full plate at the present time and that you know she needs someone with more time to devote to her. Be cordial and ask her to keep you updated occasionally. Wish her well tell her you hope that it won’t be too long before her life is back on track. I don’t think that you have to burden yourself with such a heavy load as she currently has – particularly when you know that if G-d forbid, you needed something, your caring would not be reciprocated.July 25, 2011 2:19 am at 2:19 am #789243aries2756Participant
momma, if you are not friends you are not friends and it is not fair of her to turn to you right now. Is there a reason why you can’t say “I am very surprised that you called, we haven’t been friends in quite a while. I am truly saddened by your news and wish you hatzlocha but honestly I have moved on with my life.”July 25, 2011 3:36 am at 3:36 am #789244brotherofursParticipant
why? :'( i really think u should help her. she’s turning to u and u might be able to help her c her world differently! don’t hold a grudge 🙁 just help and then if u want , keep ur distance, but if she needs help again always help..
idk that’s my opinion..July 25, 2011 3:37 am at 3:37 am #789245
As I’m not a confrontational person, I never came out right and said I don’t want to be friends with her. I simply stopped calling, writing, etc. She has written by e-mail many times attempting to renew the friendship. I am wary, knowing how rough she can become if upset with you. She doesn’t seem to get the message, but befriending her is opening up myself to all sorts of hurts. I decided to make myself available to her, to help her, but only with this crisis. I think she knows me well enough to know the difference between my caring, and my wanting to pursue a friendship.July 25, 2011 4:24 am at 4:24 am #789246WIYMember
Forgive my bluntness but your emotions are clouding your judgment. If you can’t handle being friends with her there’s no way you can handle being there for her in a crisis which requires a greater intimacy than regular friendship requires. I don’t think this is a good move. Please talk this over with someone older and more removed from the situation and see what they think. This can be very messy for you.July 25, 2011 4:25 am at 4:25 am #789247kapustaParticipant
I’m gonna keep quiet on this one but I don’t know of anyone who would shlep a cart of groceries on a train/bus/etc. She obviously chooses friends well.
Hatzlacha!July 25, 2011 5:10 am at 5:10 am #789248yossiefMember
It is sometimes very difficult to deal with other people’s problems, so only get involved if you think that you can handle it. If your involvement helps her, but as a result you will need outside help, then I don’t believe that you should get involved.
One more thing. If she gets “Horrifically Nasty” again, like she did in the past, I would definitely tell her that she is out of line, and if she does it again, you will cut off all contact. (The only reason I would give her one more chance, is because you did not object the last time, so she may not be aware that she hurt you.)July 25, 2011 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #789249adorableParticipant
why cant you tell her that you dont mind listening to her and trying to give her as much chizzuk as you can but you have a lot going on on your end and you think that for her sake she should speak to someone who can be more available for her emotionally and not so busy with their own things. this way you make her think that the issues is with you and not that you dont wanna talk to her but you dont have to renew the friendshipJuly 25, 2011 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #789250aries2756Participant
Momma, Just because you might be a great friend for her to have right now, that doesn’t mean that the opposite is true. In all types of relationships there are times that one has to review where things stands and see if the friendship works in both directions. That is why friends drift apart and new friendships begin.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.