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March 25, 2018

Carin was frustrated and angry.  But she didn’t know what to do about it.  Her friend Joan was again asking for favors that Carin felt were over the edge of their friendship.  She didn’t want to hurt her feelings, or incur her sharp tongue.  Joan had a hot temper and Carin didn’t want to confront her or say something that could be upsetting.  But the more she thought about it, the more she realized she was putting Joan’s feelings above her own.  Joan wanted to borrow $300.00 AGAIN and Carin didn’t want to loan it to her.

She also wanted Carin to babysit for her and felt it was her obligation as a friend because she had a date on Saturday night, and Carin didn’t.  In the past, Carin had granted such favors and Joan had never paid her back when promised, and always stayed out longer hours than stated when she babysat for her.  Carin decided to tell Joan the truth and risk the friendship.  She called and told her that she didn’t like to loan money, and therefore would stop.  She also stated that Joan’s expectations of a friendship were too high, and that she could no longer accommodate her babysitting needs.  Joan never called her again and Carin felt relief as she experienced the demise of a toxic relationship.

Cheryl listened quietly as her co-worker Laura lamented about her boyfriend and his scandalous treatment of her.  She spoke candidly of his flagrant disrespect for her feelings, and all the women she had to compete with for his attention.  As Cheryl listened, she couldn’t help but reflect on the relationship that she’d had with the same guy some years before.  For unbeknownst to Laura, Cheryl had dated him for over a year, and he had started out the same way with her.  However, when she checked him on his behavior, and explained in blunt language that he’d have to move on, if he didn’t know how to treat a woman, he became a model companion.

Ironically, he would often compliment her on being “tough and smart.”  Eventually, she ended the relationship, because she ‘wasn’t being fulfilled, while he begged her to marry him, and give him another chance to be what she was looking for.  Cheryl considered telling her co-worker how to handle him, in a generic sense, but she knew that high self-esteem wasn’t something you could acquire overnight.  You either had it or you didn’t.  She decided to keep silent and hope that her co-worker would discover the benefits of self-respect on her own..

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