To Call Out The Gimme Pig Or Not

by admin on March 12, 2013

I have a friend that is 15 years younger than me (she is a sophomore in college). We go to the same church and are in the same Bible study together. I have gone out of my way to help her financially a few times (giving her gas money to get to/from Bible study). She has also sought my advice on several occasions and has told me that she thinks of me as a “cool big sister”. When she came to my house for Bible study she told me that she thought I was a classy lady and that she wanted to be like me. This compliment really warmed my heart and I take pride in taking her “under my wing”.

She posted the following on a social media web site today:

Hey Friends & Family. My 21st Birthday is on Wednesday, and whoever would like to donate/give a gift of cash for the college student inbox me and I can give you my banking info! Thanks in advance lol. Whoever doesn’t have it… I understand and I still love you mucho! Have a great day.

I was mortified to read this. She has expressed in Bible study and individually to me that she wants to grow up to be an upstanding and quality woman. With these intentions being stated multiple times and seeing this post, I thought to myself that maybe she just didn’t KNOW how rude this type of post was. I decided to write her a kind email, gently letting her know that this type of thing is not very nice and does not bode well for her in becoming the lady she is striving to be.

I normally do not correct people with bad etiquette, but I thought this was a special case. I carefully crafted the following email to her:

Hey girl. I just wanted to drop you a line about something. You know I love you and I’m saying this in complete Christian love.

It is not viewed as polite or good manners to solicit money or gifts. I know it’s your birthday and you are excited, but those that love you and care about you will make your day special to the best of their ability. It is viewed as tacky for a person to request cash or gifts (particularly a generic message on a forum like this).

I’m just telling you this because you may not know that it’s viewed that way. I know you are young and may not know these types of things. When I got married I made some big etiquette blunders that I didn’t know were bad manners at the time and I am still embarrassed about it, years later. I’m just passing on some wisdom so that you can avoid embarrassment in the future.

I hope you will take this advice/wisdom with the love in which it was intended.

I know you strive to be an upstanding young lady, and I want you to be as well.
In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful birthday :)

Her response, which quite frankly shocked me:

Well thanks but I don’t care if you think it’s tacky seeing as how I’ve gotten 100 dollars since that post from people back home who weren’t aware of my birthday. Also seeing as how you and I haven’t spoken since Bible study so I don’t think it’s your duty to give your opinion. If its putting $ in my pocket and my family and FRIENDS don’t feel offended its all good.

Ps. I am in no way embarrassed and I don’t think I should be.

I simply responded with:

Thank you for your comments. Have a good day.

I know that at this point she cannot be “saved” from Etiquette Hell, so there was no point in getting into any further discussion about it. I let it be.

My question is, was I out of line in passing on this wisdom to her?   0308-13

Your young friend is part of the growing culture of people who believe in their God-given right to honor themselves shamelessly on their personal special occasions.  For them, friends and family are simply too stupid or ignorant of their special day and must therefore be reminded and guided as to how best to honor them with well wishes and especially cash.   Unfortunately her family has rewarded her tackiness and it will probably become an annual tradition.

As to whether you should have privately rebuked her for her tackiness, the question boils down to relationships.   There are people I may gently inform of their impending faux pas because the depth  of the relationship can support it.  Even then there is a hesitancy to offer advice when none has been requested.   People who care, and that is the important point, will seek you out to find out if something they want to do or have done is bad etiquette.   You cannot make people behave.  You can only control yourself.   You have discovered that your relationship with young friend does not support any kind of input into her manners and that she views her relationship to you as her “pulling” data or advice from you when she wants it but that you are not to “push” it in any way.

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Kali March 12, 2013 at 4:39 am

How very rude and hurtful of her, especially since you had given you reason to believe that she welcomed your advice. Only when it’s what she wants to hear, huh?

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Pen^3 March 12, 2013 at 5:03 am

My first thought, when reading the facebook post, was “ohhh tacky tacky tacky!”

It’s sad that the writer did not have the close relationship she had previously thought she had. And I think the moderator is exactly right: it’s all about knowing the relationship before you can really know whether or not to help someone. I always like to do it in person so that, if it looks like someone is not going to take it well or is otherwise responding in a less than ideal way, I can abort and try to salvage things before saying the whole spiel. That’s the only possible advice I can think of. But still, this story is sad. I hope the writer wasn’t too hurt.

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Pen^3 March 12, 2013 at 5:07 am

My first thought, when reading the facebook post, was “ohhh tacky tacky tacky!”

It’s sad that the writer did not have the close relationship she had previously thought she had. And I think the moderator is exactly right: it’s all about knowing the relationship before you can really know whether or not to help someone. I always like to do it in person so that, if it looks like someone is not going to take it well or is otherwise responding in a less than ideal way, I can abort and try to salvage things before saying the whole spiel. That’s the only possible advice I can think of.

But still, this story is sad. It’s sad that the young girl wasn’t actually committed to becoming a polite and graceful person, and gave up her goal in favour of the basal lure of money. It’s sad that the writer had to find out this way that the young girl either never had a very strong relationship with her from the beginning, or that she chose free gifts and money over the relationship when push came to shove. It’s sad that the writer lost a young friend. I hope the writer wasn’t too hurt.

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AnaLuisa March 12, 2013 at 5:23 am

I think your note to her was as graceful and tactful as it could be. I can vividly imagine you trying to find the best formulations not to hurt her yet to convey the message.

I absolutely think you did what a real friend would do, with the tact a real friend would use.

On the contrary, her reaction was very immature and rude. Especially the part that you have no right to comment because you haven’t met her since the Bible study lesson. Yuck.

I think it’s clear that her “friendship” for you is limited to situations when she can get something from you. I’d say, good riddance.

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josie March 12, 2013 at 5:49 am

Yeah, she was gutsy and impolite in her request for money. I do believe, however, she was incredibly stupid to put her bank account info out for all to see. That was just plain dumb.

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jen a. March 12, 2013 at 5:52 am

She might have responded negatively, but at least a seed was planted. At least someone told her she was being impolite. Honestly, I think a lot of people become gimme pigs because no one stops them and tells them that their behaviour is unacceptable. She might not change her behaviour, but maybe next time someone else will call her out on her behaviour and she’ll start to realize her mistake…. Good on you, OP. You did something that was probably a bit difficult, and handled her reaction really well!

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Anne March 12, 2013 at 5:58 am

I am just hoping that IF she matures from this juvenile state that she will always cringe when she remembers how she hit up “friends and family” for a bit of birthday cash. We almost all have indulged in cringe worthy behavior in our past and hopefully, realizing that we have strayed from our moral compass we will get back on and stay on track.
All you can do is hope, she doesn’t seem to like be taught directly.

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Serena March 12, 2013 at 6:38 am

My niece used to be like that: she wanted my advice as long as she was convinced that it reaffirmed how she already felt about herself. Constructive criticism resulted in temper tantrums and the silent treatment for weeks at a time–and this is a married woman, not a child. Finally I got smart and just stopped taking her phone calls and limited my comments to how adorable her children’s pictures are on Facebook.

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Crinklestein March 12, 2013 at 6:47 am

I wonder what “banking info” she’s giving out. It only takes one “not as good a friend at you thought they were” to give you a really bad day with that.

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The Elf March 12, 2013 at 6:50 am

As a sort-of mentor / substitute Big Sis, I don’t think it was out of line for you to comment. For any other friend, other than a very close one, it would be. I also thought your email was well put.

Her comment really boiled down to this “Cash counts more than manners”. Maybe it would be worth studying the virtue of poverty next?

I understand where she was coming from in that post. The Big 21 is worth celebrating, for sure, and for a college student cash would be more useful than anything else. But her request was over the line. It would be better to make a post about being excited about turning 21 and let word get out through word of mouth that cash would make a nice gift.

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clairedelune March 12, 2013 at 6:50 am

Who in the world are these people who are responding to this girl’s shakedown post by actually giving her money???

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Mabel March 12, 2013 at 6:51 am

Casting pearls before swine. Sorry the gimme pig was so rude to you. Time to move on and mentor someone who knows how to appreciate it.

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Libby March 12, 2013 at 6:51 am

To me, this isn’t an etiquette issue, this is an issue of a scam artist getting caught in her scam. She doesn’t want to be an upstanding and quality woman, she wants money and will use flattery, pretend friendship, and the Bible to get it.

You said you’ve given her money for gas to get to Bible class. I’m wondering how many other people give her money for various reasons? If I were you, I’d back off this relationship and and definitely not put any more $ in her pocket, for whatever reason.

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Laura March 12, 2013 at 6:58 am

I admire you for even trying. It would have been much easier to ignore the comment and go on with your life. Normally, unless one of my children had posted this, I would have rolled my eyes and not said a word. However, she has told you explicitly that she admires you and in following your example, is hoping to grow as a person. In my eyes, that means she is looking for gentle guidance where needed. I saw no problem with how you worded your message. You tried…it’s a shame it came down to this.

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postalslave March 12, 2013 at 7:03 am

Stuff like this makes me sad for the future.

Here comes the Registry generation…

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Lo March 12, 2013 at 7:05 am

I agree with your sentiment but I think I found your problem right here:

” I know you are young and may not know these types of things.”

I dare you to find someone who wouldn’t bristle at that. It’s patronizing. I completely agree with what you’re saying to her but though she appears to look up to you and crave your approval on certain issues, you cannot really offer her this advice because she hasn’t asked for it. She is of a generation that is more self-centered than the ones that came before it but she’s definitely old enough to know better. And so you must treat her as though she’s old enough to know better. Because she’s an adult you can’t correct her. Maybe an older family member could but you’re her friend and essentially a peer.

I was raised in the old-school mentality by old-fashioned parents. I believe people are deserved a certain measure of respect simply because they’re my elders. But I would still flinch at lectured by a friend, especially as it was “for my own good” because I am supposedly too young to know these things. We cannot correct our friends. We can only respond to them as we believe is right. For example, if she had asked you outright why you didn’t give her any money you could tell her that you don’t believe in doing things that way and you’d be happy to honor her birthday in another fashion. Then she might feel a twinge of doubt that this woman she looks up to doesn’t agree with her method.

By forcing the issue you have closed the door on her receptiveness to criticism.

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cleosia March 12, 2013 at 7:14 am

Or when she can gain financially. The OP did say she gave her money on several occasions.

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Abby March 12, 2013 at 7:17 am

Generally, as a rule, I don’t think it’s polite to correct the behavior of another adult who is not your offspring (if my daughter did this, I reserve the right, even if she’s 40 something, to express my dismay and embarrassment). However, given the background you stated, that she looks up to you as her etiquette role model, I don’t think it was out of line to send her a delicately worded email, and it seems your rebuke was quite gentle. I guarantee that, despite the money she’s made, a number of her friends and family are criticizing her behind her back. I suppose some people would accept that if they got 100 bucks for sacrificing their dignity.

I can’t even assure you that some day she will look back at this and be mortified, although I wish I could.

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Justin March 12, 2013 at 7:33 am

Based on her comments you viewed your relationship as mentor/mentee, and I think a private message is appropriate in that situation. Unfortunately despite what she had expressed earlier it seems she may not view the relationship in the same way.

I was very fortunate from my teens on to find people in my life who would act as mentors to me (I am now in my early thirties). In many cases the advice they gave was not what I wanted to here at the time, but following it and looking back in hindsight what they taught me has made me a better professional and a better man. They also helped me avoid what would have been serious mistakes made out of inexperience.

One of the most important messages was that I am only entitled to what I earn. If I do work I am entitled to an agreed upon paycheck. If I make an agreement with someone and uphold my end I am entitled to what they agreed to. I am not entitled to anything solely because I exist on this planet.

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Lychii March 12, 2013 at 7:34 am

I think it’s the implication that she should feel embarrassed about her actions that put her on the defensive this way. That’s the one and only thing in the letter that rubbed me the wrong way, even before seeing the response.

Overall, given the nature of OP’s relationship with the girl, I think the intervention was in place and quite gentle too. Too bad she got so defensive.

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michelle March 12, 2013 at 7:44 am

As tacky as this is, something tells me this is nothing to what she’ll be like when she gets married.

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Shoegal March 12, 2013 at 7:50 am

The young lady is indeed, extremely tacky. Her response shocked me – it clearly stated – I don’t care what anybody thinks – it is all about how much money I’m getting. Wow. That would pretty much end my association with her. I think you were trying to be a friend and to pass on some of your wisdom but she was getting money. To her – that was way more important than any etiquette advice.

I think this is a difficult situation. I would have thought that this girl would have been kinder and more receptive. I have been in a similiar predicament where I thought if I put a kind word of advice in it would help matters only to be told off. This was with a close family member too!! You can’t teach anyone else about what is right or wrong unless it is someone who would be open to it – a child perhaps. There are people out there who have written up their own set of rules and then closed the door – and they can’t be counseled. They already decided for themselves and that’s the end of it. I am constantly learning new things – it is amazing that some people already know it all.

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AMC March 12, 2013 at 7:52 am

OP, I don’t think you were in the wrong. She had given you reason to believe that your advice and guidance were welcomed. And I don’t think you could have worded your email any kinder or more gracefully than you did. Now she has shown you her true colors. She doesn’t actually want to be a classy lady as she once claimed; she’s having too much fun being an entitled brat.

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Barb March 12, 2013 at 7:52 am

“As long as I get MONEY who cares…..” Nice attitude.

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mpk March 12, 2013 at 7:52 am

Since she typed friends in all caps – unfortunately, I doubt if she considers you one anymore. I have a feeling that someday she will look back and be embarrassed by her gimme attitude. Or maybe not. Like admin said, with so many people giving her money, she views it as acceptable and will probably make it an annual thing. Wonder how she’s going to feel when people start sending her the same type of requests.
I’d be curious to know if she keeps going to the same bible study class as you.
I have a friend who’s daughter was getting married a couple of years ago, and she was doing some things that would have put her in etiquette hell. i pointed out one thing to her and told her if she wasn’t sure what was acceptable, to come to this site and ask. (you know, those tacky poems asking for specific items).
Anyway, if you do see her again and she says anything, i think you should respond that since she’s told you that she thinks of you as a “cool big sister”, that you just did what any sister would do.

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Mae March 12, 2013 at 7:59 am

It seems to me that the young lady welcomed your advice and showered you with compliments and flattery when she needed (and you provided) money. When you tried to clue her in that begging for money via social media was tacky, she decided to show her true colors, via her reply.
“Also seeing as how you and I haven’t spoken since Bible study so I don’t think it’s your duty to give your opinion. If its putting $ in my pocket and my family and FRIENDS don’t feel offended its all good.
Ps. I am in no way embarrassed and I don’t think I should be.”
THAT’S the kind of woman she IS and will continue to be.

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Angela March 12, 2013 at 8:15 am

Her response makes me think that she was indeed embarrassed and became defensive rather than admitting that she had committed a faux pas when you “called her out”. I work at a college and am around people this age constantly. They often have a lot of trouble graciously admitting that they did something that they shouldn’t have done, particularly when there are no clearly stipulated consequences for the wrongdoing.
Given your described relationship to her, I would not say you were out of line. I would not be surprised if you got an apology sometime down the road, but probably not anytime soon.

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KarenK March 12, 2013 at 8:25 am

If this were any other young person that the OP knew, she would have been very rude in pointing out the girl’s faux pas, but given the relationship, and the repeated insistence that she admires the OP and wants to be like her, I see nothing wrong with the OP’s message. How does she expect to become classy like the OP? By accident?

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Mrs. Lovett March 12, 2013 at 8:25 am

@OP: I think that given she’s indicated that she views you as a mentor, it was not out of line to give advice, and I believe that you gave your advice very tactfully. Of course, any time you give unsolicited or even solicited advice that does not line up with what the advised wants to hear, you take a risk of hurting feelings or damaging relationships. Unfortunately that’s just the way it is. It sounds like that young lady has some growing up to do, and I hope she figures it out. She might not realize how tacky it is until she is the one being asked for money, and perhaps not even then.

I hope you will continue to act as an example to this young woman of what good manners and grace are all about. Hopefully one day she will figure out that nothing is owed to her on her birthday and that you have been a generous and helpful friend.

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Lady March 12, 2013 at 8:26 am

This was some of the better advice I’ve seen on the front page lately. As a person who would welcome this kind of feedback (given my long history of etiquette blunders), it genuinely wouldn’t occur to me not to offer it to someone else. Lesson learned, zip the lip and mind myself.

The only thing I would add in defense of the young lady, being broke can do strange things to one’s logic. The combination of desperation and naivity can ‘justify’ some really eggregeous choices that the young lady may or may not look back on with regret.

Thank you for sharing this story!

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Marie March 12, 2013 at 8:34 am

OP: I think that you wanted to do good, and with the best of intentions, but I understand the girls response as well.

Your email mentions that the girl is: impolite, tacky, too young to understand etiquette, having bad manners, having embarrassing behavior and not being an upstanding lady. You don’t say it in an attacking way, but it is all there. I therefore think your email was a bit too much.
If you would have dropped a small line saying “Hey girl, About your birthday: I’m not really comfortable with you asking for money on Facebook. I hope you can understand this.” – followed by you congratulating her on her birthday etc. , this would probably have met a better response.

I think this would have worked better because instead of telling her she was tacky, it would have forced her to think about it, and coming to the conclusion it wasn’t such a good idea by herself. This way you would have acted in a parental/big sister role where you allowed her to grow and mature from the inside by self reflection.
Instead, you emphasized to her that she is too young to understand the lack of propriety in this matter. I do not know how old this girl is, but telling any teenager that she is “too young” for something, is in general not a good idea and it will almost certainly be followed by an angry response.

This – however, in no way absolves the girl. Firstly, I find it really tacky myself to ask for money on Facebook, and secondly, her email was very unkind and confirmed that she is indeed too young to understand. What would have been better for her to do was to let people who were inquiring to her wishes know that she was trying to save money for goal X, and if they did insist on giving a present, a contribution to that goal would be highly appreciated. It is not odd to ask for money when you’re a poor student, but you have to be careful on how and who you ask for it.

OP, I know your intentions were well, and I appreciate you trying to help the girl, but you have to keep in mind this young lady is a teenager, and she will be set off if she feels personally attacked by someone that questions her capabilities – even if that person is in fact, right.

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Roslyn March 12, 2013 at 9:15 am

I agree with Mae, I think this girl was giving you a full on “you are so wonderful, I want to be like you” to butter you up for money. Saying that she can’t get to Bible Study and needs money? And you are at Bible Study? Well of course you want to mentor her and you help her out. She’s playing on your wanting to help sympathies. She’s a con-girl in training.

Her feelings are simple, if being rude and tacky puts real money in my pocket, then I’ll be rude and tacky. No skin off my back. Gotta love this generation!

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Yarnspinner March 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

Stories like this make me ever warier of friendly young people who hang on your every word, come to you with what seem to be relatively “simple” requests for advice and deliberately seek out your company. A lot of my coworkers are in the same age bracket as this gimmee pig and they think nothing of this kind of flat out begging. I’ve seen it encouraged by some schools/church groups where the child who is graduating (sometimes from the sixth grade!) comes round to everyone he or she knows asking them to subscribe to the PROGRAM for the graduation: “For ten dollars you can get a line in the back saying you wish me luck!” I used to do this for the sake of my friendship with the child’s parent (who also saw nothing wrong with this). But now I avoid it. You put all this niceness into our relationship so you could get names for your program and a little cash on the top of it?

Reminds me of a tale from twenty plus years ago. A coworker’s young cousin was starting out as a Mary Kaye sales rep. We all liked young cousin, she came to the library frequently and always took time to stop and say hello to everyone she knew and ask after family. So when she went into the Mary Kaye biz, we all wanted to help give her some good sales.

And then we waited for our products. And waited. And waited.

Coworker called her cousin once a week. Then twice a week and it was always “Oh, they have a back up of sales” or “they’re really delaying the shipment.”

And finally we learned that Cousin had taken all the checks written to her and all the cash some folks had given her….and used it all to pay off her landlord and whatever was left over they used to finance their move across the country. Which was probably a good thing, considering how we felt about her by then.

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Bill March 12, 2013 at 9:49 am

Oops hit post too soon. I agree with Marie that very few people would respond well to be told they are too young to understand something or that they should feel embarrassed. It immediately puts one on the defensive. Regardless of whether she looks up to you, it is presumptuous to assume the role of instructor when she hasn’t asked your advice. I’m not defending her behavior, but the OP’s approach was rather thoughtless.

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Surianne March 12, 2013 at 9:54 am

Yikes, I would have seriously bristled too at the OP’s email. It’s incredibly patronizing. Maybe a very short heads up wouldn’t have been rude, but the “I know better because I’m older” attitude in the email was just far too much.

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Jewel March 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

This young woman (I wouldn’t call her a “lady”) reminds me a lot of my niece. She’s headstrong, quick to lash out to the extreme, manipulative, and slow to recognize her mistakes. As a result, she’s alienated most of her family on both sides of the family tree. I understand that she’s finally starting to recognize that her behaviors are self-destructive and is getting therapy. So far, the family is hearing explanations/insights into her behavior, but not apologies, so she still has significant progress to make to get past the “know thyself” phase and move on to the “make amends” phase.

In this situation, you were taken in by flattery and now you’ve seen this girl’s true personality. It seems she doesn’t really want to be a “classy lady” like you since the behaviors one has to exhibit to be considered “classy” are contrary to her desire to shake down her friends and relatives for money. Since she wasn’t interested in your well-intentioned advice, my suggestion is that you now teach her about the concept of the “cold shoulder”.

My guess is that she’ll come to you all falsely contrite when she realizes that the gravy train of gas money and your hospitality has come to an end. Don’t let her guilt you. She can always study the Bible at home, for free.

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Tricia (the OP) March 12, 2013 at 10:04 am

Thanks everyone for your comments. I really appreciate everything everyone has said.

One of my favorite phrases is:

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

That phrase definitely applies in this situation. I always give people the benefit of the doubt and see them as honorable and trustworthy, until I am shown otherwise. I have given this young woman the benefit of the doubt by giving her rides to and from Bible study, giving her gas money for the week on a few occasions and also just talking with her about her relationships, dreams and goals. I feel like I have invested quite a bit in this girl and I will admit that her response stung. However, I also clearly see her attitude and her way of thinking (I believe one of the posters said it best – “As long as I get MONEY, who cares?”). She has shown me who she is, and I believe her.

If she needs me as a friend to listen, I will be there. I am now aware of her “means to an end” selfish mentality and will refrain from offering financial help in the future.

I wonder how those that quickly jumped on her “gimme wagon” would feel if they were to see her response. I would imagine they would feel used or scammed.

As far as whether or not I should have given her advice, I appreciate all of you for your feedback. Like I said, I typically don’t go around correcting etiquette, but in this case – given the relationship – I felt like it was ok. One good way to test the strength of your relationship with someone (or someone’s character for that matter) is to see what they say in response to some feedback! If one of my mentors had told me something like this in the past or present, I would have been MORTIFIED and would have corrected it immediately. Her response shows me where her heart really is at this point and I will choose to mentor another young lady that will hopefully have a heart with better intentions.

Thanks again, everyone.

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Bint March 12, 2013 at 10:06 am

I’m sorry your kindness and genuine care for this girl got such an undeserved return, and sorry for her if she genuinely believes this. Please don’t give her any more money. I think she sounds like a user from all of this. She is also mistaken…

“my family and FRIENDS don’t feel offended”

She can keep telling herself that but I doubt it’s true. Many people at any age don’t like direct requests for money any more than anyone else; they often feel pressured and used, and it damages their relationship with the demander, if they bother to keep it up at all. But the other poster is right. Sadly she does not seem to consider you a friend any longer. From your post, it is her loss far more than it is yours, and I wish you well in the future.

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Anonymous March 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

If I were the older friend in that situation, I’d probably just ignore the “gimme” post, give her a gift that isn’t money, but that’s still nice (for example, a framed photo of the two of us doing something fun together), after MAYBE saying something in a nice way, like the OP did. I wouldn’t push it past the first time if she didn’t want to hear it, but I’d use the gift I chose to give (photo, scrapbook, mix CD, cookies in a jar, inexpensive outing), as a sort of “litmus test” for how to proceed with the friendship. If she appreciated it, I’d proceed as normal, but if she didn’t, I’d back away. I’ve seen a lot of my former friends do things that are stupid, rude, and sometimes even dangerous, but when I spoke up, they’d get prickly and defensive like the OP’s young “friend” did. That’s why a lot of those friends are “former” to me.

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Wendy B. March 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

In the future, if she ever says anything about wanting to be “just like you” you might politely tell her that you attempted to give her guidance and she blew you off, so you feel that she doesn’t really want you as a role model…and keep your distance.

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Ashley March 12, 2013 at 10:39 am

I think part of the problem here is that even though an attempt was made to be polite while explaining her faux pas to her, it still comes across a bit “You’re young and dumb and you should be embarrassed because of how rude you are”, which sent her on the defensive. Now, please don’t get me wrong here, I think this girl is really out of line begging for money on Facebook (she’d be out of line begging for it anywhere), but between how the email was worded, and the misjudged depth of the relationship, it seems like this was doomed to fail…

Other users have offered suggestions that would work better, but I’m still frightened that this problem is only going to get worse with future generations.

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James March 12, 2013 at 10:44 am

I had the same reaction as clairedelune; who gives a 21st birthday present to someone whom they know so poorly that i had to find out their birthday on facebook? Why do people feel obligated to reward bad behaviour like this?

As for the girl herself, her own words “I don’t care if you think it’s tacky seeing as how I’ve gotten 100 dollars” say it all. Some people are selfish and only care about what other people can do for them.

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Merrilee March 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

OP, you really should be thanking this young lady. She showed you her true colors – and if anyone ever shows you their true colors, believe them. You thought you had a closer mentoring relationship with this young lady. Clearly, it’s all about the $$. You now know where you stand and are now free from worrying about this young lady’s financial concerns or aspirations to become classy. Apparently, you are not a FRIEND if you don’t send money. So, don’t. Lesson learned.

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Allie March 12, 2013 at 10:47 am

I agree with Admin. Unsolicited advice is generally a no-no except to those with whom we have a very close relationship. You thought you had such a relationship with this young woman and you were mistaken. Thus, you can be forgiven for offering the advice, especially since you couched it in so many disclaimers explaining that it was offered with love, etc. Her behaviour, both in her original solicitation and in her response to your e-mail is, unf0rtunately, unforgiveable. You are right – nothing can save her from e-hell. Perhaps she became confused at bible study and thinks her birth was the second coming, an event worthy of global celebration : )

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Annie March 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

Several people have mentioned how tacky “this generation” is. Every generation had tacky people who try to con other people. They are just more obvious now, because they are doing it on Facebook for the world to see.

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gramma dishes March 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

Marie ~~ If she’s a sophomore in college, she’s almost certainly at least 18 and that’s consider being an “adult” for everything except buying liquor. Yes, technically she may still be a teen (maybe 19), but she’s old enough to know better than to do something like this. I can’t help but wonder though, if her friends do the same thing and that’s where she’s gotten the idea that it’s okay.

OP~~ You did the best you could. But clearly this girl doesn’t really think of you as a friend or mentor. She played you.

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Harley Granny March 12, 2013 at 10:59 am

I’m going to be the desenter.

I don’t feel the OP should have sent that e-mail. No matter how nicely and lovingly it was written.

Unsolicited advice and/or criticism is never welcome or proper to give.

NOW, if youngblood would have come up to the OP afterwards and asked if she saw the post she then could have stated something along the lines of “yes, I saw it. It’s not something I would do.”
And then the door would be open for further dialog.

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Hanna March 12, 2013 at 11:18 am

I think “big sister” was completely in the wrong here. Yes, soliciting money via Facebook is getting extremely common place. I saw a young girl just yesterday asking people for money on Facebook so she could stay in the school of ministry she was attending. I’m sorry girl, but if God wants you to continue in ministry that way, He’ll find a way to make it happen for you without you having to solicit money from people via Facebook.

However, I think it was very tacky for big sis to send little sis a message telling her that it’s bad etiquette to solicit money for one’s self. While I completely agree with big sis, I do not think it was a “wise” thing for her to do, at all. It really wasn’t in her “Christian duty,” because nothing little sis did was inherently sinful. Just because little sis has said she wants to be a young woman of quality, does not give big sis the right to point out every tacky or foolish thing the young girl does. And because the girl does seem to have foolish, immature traits, big sis should acknowledge that these traits do not vanish overnight.

The most effective thing big sis can do for little sis is setting an example. Making sure big sis’ life is a one of quality, commitment to Christ, compassion. There is definitely a time and place for reproach, but pointing out (what I would consider) “character flaws” in someone is not going to help them grow in maturity, or in the Lord. Perhaps it could do just the opposite. Big sis should be lifting up, encouraging, giving advice when it’s been asked for.

I’d throw big sis in E-hell for this one.

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Rod March 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

On the OP – good for you. It is a friend’s duty to call on friends missteps. The issue here is that “friend” is a matter of gradation. I have many acquaintances, several coworkers, and a handful of friends in my life that I would trust in stating these difficult things. Since the birthday woman considered the OP as “mentor and older sister” I would consider her in this category.

With regard to the “gimme” generation and old-time values: give me a break . You guys are all two thousand years late, there’s always been rude people, entitled people, crude individuals as well as well-mannered. I guess in ancient Babylon all people were polite, humble, and beacons of civility and manners:

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.” (attributed to Socrates).

I think Plato, Socrates’ pupil, then went on stating that the next generation rioted in the streets full of unbridled desires or somesuch. It is a wonder that we are no closer to swine according to this logic that the old times were so much better and polite.

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Michelle M. March 12, 2013 at 11:42 am

As the waiter in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ said, “I weep for the future”

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