Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q & A: "finding it hard to make friends"

Name: Dan
Question: I am a first year student in college and finding it hard to make friends. I am a very out going person in group but when the group leaves and I am left alone with one other person, I don't know what to talk about. Especially with this girl who I really like. She has a boyfriend in another country yet he told her that she can see other people. I don't know if she would date other guys especially me. I think we became go friends even though we had only known each other for less than a month. I want to say something but I can't seem to speak when we are alone. Can you help me?

Hi Dan,

The easiest way to have a conversation with someone when you find it hard to talk is to have them do all the talking. Ask her a few questions about her past, her life, certain things that may have happened to her that was funny, etc. Then let her do all the talking and feed off of that. Not only will this help break the ice (where she will most likely ask you similar questions), but once she starts talking and sharing with you, this will help establish that all-so-important bond of trust between the two of you. Hopefully before you know it, you two will be gushing with conversation and not even realizing how great a time you're having together. I hope this helps, and best of luck to you. Don't be a stranger, and please spread the word about the site...Happy Holidays!

Name: Paulina
Question: My best friend, Karen, whom I had known for 7 years, and I moved into a 2 bedroom apartment together in 1997. Karen and I were very close and we developed a wonderful friendship. In Dec 1998, a tragedy happened to my friend Megan. Her mother was in a serious car accident in Dec 1998. It was a miracle that she lived. She had extensive injuries to her legs and hips and the doctors did not think she would walk again. I tried to support Megan as much as I could by being there for her and going to the hospital with her almost every day for about 3 months. Megan's roommate said she was moving out and Megan couldn't afford a place on her own. I talked to my roommate Karen and asked if she would consider letting Megan stay with us. Karen had developed a friendship with Megan over this time and Karen agreed to let her move in. Everything was going well so we decided that we'd look for a 3 bedroom house. I found a house in March 1999 and we were scheduled to move in May 1st. I had been in a relationship with a man for a few months. On April 29th, I found out I was pregnant. I told Karen the minute I found out. She was very excited for me. The problem was that we were to move out of the apartment that day. The apartment had already been rented out to someone so we couldn't back out from moving into the house. I told Megan the next morning about the pregnancy. She seemed happy for me and said that if it would help one of her friends was looking for a place and that she might be interested in moving into the house. Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I talked the pregnancy over and he wanted me to move in with him that we could be together to raise our child. I told him that before I do anything I wanted to talk to the rental company about our obligation to the house because I wanted to be fair to my roommates and not leave them without a 3rd party to pay the rent. I went to the rental company and explained the situation. They said that if we paid 2 months rent, we would not have to sign a lease and we were free to move out after the 2 months if we desired. I went back to the house to tell my roommates the news. I was willing to pay my share of the rent for the 2 months that we were obligated to. After that time, my roommates could find a place on their own, get another roommate, or find a 2 bedroom apartment, but at least they would not be without a third party during those 2 months. During those 2 months I was going to stay with my boyfriend. I thought this would also be a bonus for them as they would have a big house all to themselves.
I walked into the house and neither Karen or Megan would talk to me. I asked them what was wrong. Megan blow up at me screaming that she was going to rip my f***en face apart. She said that I was leaving them high and dry and that all I did was think about myself. I thought that under the circumstances I was being fair by taking responsibility for our obligation. They didn't have to stay in the house after the 2 months was over and I was paying my portion of the 2 months rent, but not even living there. Megan told me to get out or she was going to kick me out. I felt very afraid that she was going to become violent so I grabbed a few items of clothing and left sobbing. By the time I got to my boyfriends place, I was experiencing heavy bleeding. The next morning I went to the doctor and he thought that I had miscarried. I was scheduled for an emergency ultrasound to confirm the news. The doctor said that the symptoms I was experiencing was related to trauma and he questioned what was going on in my life. I told him about the incident the night before and he said that that would do it. Luckily, the ultrasound confirmed that the baby was all right. My boyfriend said that he didn't want me anywhere near Megan. I felt totally stressed and felt like that whole incident was a nightmare.
Then Megan started emailing me at work saying again that I had left them high and dry and how could I do that to them. I said that I wasn't leaving them high and dry but paying what we had to and then the choice was up to them. She said she thought they were better friends than that and expected better treatment. I called Karen to talk to her and she would not say much. I found it hard that she turned away from me when Megan flipped on me. I felt that she thought that it was ok for Megan to do what she did.
Megan then emailed me again at work saying that Karen didn't want to hear from me and that she's saying some pretty bad things about me. Then she said, "You better think about that bastard that you're bringing into this world. You and your boyfriend are never going to make. You're going to end up a fat ugly women just like you were a fat ugly child. Then I will laugh. It's about time you met someone like me who will not be bullied by someone like you. So go away, I don't even want to waste my time thinking about you."
I left my desk in tears as I read what she wrote in her email. My co workers read the emails that we had exchanged and said that she was being immature and that I should end the friendship. I didn't contact her and then about 2 weeks later there was a message on my telephone asking me to call her. I called and she said she was in trouble. She said she was the same as me - pregnant. She said she wanted my advice. At that point, I didn't feel that any advice would have been good advice because it would have been my fault for whatever outcome she decided. I suggested that she see a qualified professional such as a counselor at the hospital to help her. She apologized for the way she had acted and I accepted. I thought that things could get back to normal. I found out later that she had opted for an abortion. I called to see how things were going with her & Karen. During the conversation, I mentioned that I had to go to the doctor for a TB test because someone that my boyfriend worked with had been exposed to it and although he didn't have it there was a chance that it could have been passed onto me. I was 8 months pregnant at the time. Megan said that I would have to have an abortion. I felt like telling her that just because she had one did not mean that everyone had to have one -- but I kept my mouth shut.
Then 2 days before I was to be induced she asked if I had taken any prenatal courses. I said no but that I had done a lot of reading with my boyfriend and we had downloaded lots of info. She said "you're going to panic and you're not going to know what to do. You should have taken a course cause you're not going to be prepared. I ended up having an 8 lb baby boy and within 2 weeks I was the same weight I was before I got pregnant. I am now 12 pounds less than what I was before I got pregnant. I have control of my life and things are going very well with my baby and fiance. But what do I do about this situation to straighten it out? What do I say to Megan? To Karen? Is the effort worth it or are these friendships just not meant to continue?? Please help!!!

Hi Paulina,

It's totally up to you. First off, Megan has some issues that she needs to take care of. Sounds like some serious professional counseling is her only hope. You've done what you could, you were there for her when her Mother was hurt, and you offered up a rooming option for her. She's obviously bitter about what happened to her Mother, but she hasn't seemed to have worked through it yet. She seems so cynical that she can't see the good points of others. I'd leave her be...She'll contact you only when she needs you. As for Karen, I'm a little more surprised with her. You've been best friends for 7 years, and she really should've stood up for you during the first confrontation with Megan. Seems like she has no backbone at all because Megan was talking for her so soon. Forget about Megan and live your life with your new family. If Karen chooses to be a part of your life, then excellent...You'll have to have a heart-to-heart with her and figure out how she'll fit in your life once you accept her for who she is. She really seems to have shown her true colors by siding with a new friend so quickly and forgetting the past 7 years with you. Perhaps you should really see if you did anything to hurt her because it seems a little strange for her not to be there for you. Anyway, enjoy your life, congrats on your child and engagement, and best of luck to you. Don't be a stranger, and please spread the word about the site.
Happy Holidays!

Name: Ricky
Question: Hello, I am a 24 yr. old white male trying to get back together with my ex who is a 25 yr. old black woman. She always tells me that she has ruined my life and then she will say she is sorry about what happened but then she will tell me that she will notify the authorities if I try to contact her. Basically on one hand she tells me I'm in her thoughts and prayers and on the other she says she will call the police on me. What am I supposed to believe?

Hi Ricky,

Sounds like she's giving you a kind yet definite brush off. She's putting the blame on herself to make you feel better, but it definitely laying down the "law" by not leaving any opportunity for recovery. Cut your losses, chalk it up to experience, and move on with your life. You have no hope there, and she's wanting you to now feel angry/hurt towards her while forgetting about her. Make her wishes come true...Go on and grow without her. I hope this helps, and best of luck to you...Please spread the word about the site...Happy Holidays!

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