Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Choosing not to let friend usurp birthday plans

Carolyn Hax on

It becomes something wrong when you make a choice because you think you're supposed to, but don't actually believe in it, and then just go miserably through the motions, thereby serving no one.

Something to keep in mind: With few exceptions, the best time to say "no" or have a difficult conversation is as soon as possible after you realize it needs to be said. Waiting just gives you a whole new awkward thing to admit on top of the original one -- and it's often the stalling that comes between you, not the original awkward thing. It's the emotional equivalent of the cover up being worse than the crime.

And, ah, happy birthday!

Re: Birthday plans:

I agree that she has every right to spend the day as she wishes, but she should be mindful that the friend is very likely to see it as a snub if she passes up a rare opportunity in order to go out with the husband she sees every day.

-- Anonymous

The friend has principles to choose from, too. My fave: Don't look for reasons to take offense. And another one: Don't assume your viewpoint ("She sees Husband every day!") applies to everyone.

 

If I choose to stay home versus going out, that doesn't mean "I chose my dingy old living room over seeing you" -- it means I chose to stay home over going out.

Plus, Birthday Person is responsible for her feelings, not her friend's; the friend invited herself.

I could do this all day!

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Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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