Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Dark Annie on January 29, 2013, 03:08:52 AM

Title: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Dark Annie on January 29, 2013, 03:08:52 AM
Hi guys,
I'm in a bit of a pickle and I was wondering if you could tell me how to respond tomorrow. Try not to judge me too hard.

I recently finished my undergraduate degree in social work (I'm now technically a graduand and will be a graduate in April! ;D) and I'm currently looking for work in my specific area of practice. Due to the less desirable economic situation, my choice of jobs is vastly more limited than what it would be if I'd graduated in 2011, so naturally I am doing every thing I can to improve my employment chances. As such, I will be attending a two (2) day Senior First Aid course this week, something which will be looked upon very favourably, especially in my specialty. I booked the course at the start of January.

Now I've written about my classmate Nikki a few times (she's not the one who's had the baby) and although we were quite good friends during our final year, since we've graduated, I've realised that she's more of an acquaintance than a friend and I've started to distance myself from her. The problem is that Nikki is extremely immature in her behaviour and even though she is only two (2) years younger than me (both mid twenties), she acts more like ten (10) years younger. The decision to drop her down to acquaintance occurred after she passed on, and failure to defend me against, a vicious comment that one of her friends made about me (accusing me of cheating on my boyfriend in a restaurant toilet) and also when I realised that due to my current stressful circumstances, having to provide her with near constant, un-reciprocated emotional and psychological support is not conducive to my health.

Dilemma: Nikki and I have arranged to catch up for drinks tomorrow in City and whilst in the course of organising it, I mentioned that I was doing the First Aid Course, which was also in City. Nikki's first response was "Why didn't you ask me?". Well, first off, I never even thought of it as course is over $200 and I'm not responsible for Nikki's learning. But even if I had thought of her, I wouldn't have asked her anyway, although the reasoning is not a very nice reflection of my character  :(  Even though Nikki claims that she wants to study [extremely hard and competitive postgraduate degree], she was a terrible student- lazy, unmotivated and always ready to take the easy way out.  She frequently started (and completed) assignments the night before, never studied, and whinged about how the teachers were always persecuting her. She also made a big deal of how I just got high marks. Never mind that I worked my bottom off every single day, which she knew as she would always bug me for my extra resources, notes and coursework that I sacrificed my social life for! Therefore, I wouldn't have asked to attend the course with me because I know exactly how it would have gone- once again I would have worked as hard as possible to get my certification whilst Nikki would goof up and then expect me to help her out. Also, as I mentioned before, social work jobs are limited. Nikki is my competition for jobs- why would I want to give her the edge over me, especially when I work so hard?

I know I'm bitter and it makes me sound like a horrible person but I also realise that it's my deal and not Nikki's and I don't want to hurt her. I also hope that once we have some distance between us, I can maybe even try to view her as a friend again.  So can someone please help me come up with some responses for tomorrow when she asks me why I didn't tell her about the course?

   
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: cicero on January 29, 2013, 03:23:21 AM
"oh, I didn't know you were interested. Bean Dip?"

don't talk about the course. don't talk about school/jobs with her if you don't want to share.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: kckgirl on January 29, 2013, 03:34:40 AM
Just because she asks doesn't mean you have to answer. If it comes up just tell her you didn't ask anybody and leave it at that. It is not a snub to anybody.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Raintree on January 29, 2013, 03:57:54 AM
"oh, I didn't know you were interested. Bean Dip?"

don't talk about the course. don't talk about school/jobs with her if you don't want to share.

This. And I have to wonder why you'd want to meet up with someone who sounds like an immature drama queen who causes nothing but stress in your life and gives nothing back, and has participated in rumours about your having scrabble in a restaurant toilet. Now that you don't have to see her at school, I'd decline getting together, personally.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Margo on January 29, 2013, 06:39:04 AM
If she asks, then I think replies along the lines Cicero and Kckgirl suggest are fine.
If she pushes it, I think that saying something like "Nikki, I told you, I didn't ask anyone - why would I? No one asked me, either. I was interested, so I researched the course, saved up the fees, and applied."

(and maybe, if she is pushy) "It never occurred to me to ask anyone else. If I'd have thought about it at all, I'd have assumed that anyone who was interested would have done what I did, and sorted it out for themselves"

Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: YummyMummy66 on January 29, 2013, 07:00:59 AM
I have to wonder why you are meeting someone for drinks that clearly you do not want a friendship with?

I cannot imagine what you would have to even talk about if you cannot talk about certain things with her for fear of what she might say, ask, be included on, etc.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: kckgirl on January 29, 2013, 07:38:42 AM
You are not responsible for her lack of action. Quit taking on that responsibility or thinking that you  should. You never owed her class notes or anything  else. I would cancel the meeting and let her go.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: cheyne on January 29, 2013, 07:44:12 AM
Being by yourself is preferable to being in this woman's company.  Cancel the drinks and be done with her. 
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: lowspark on January 29, 2013, 07:54:13 AM
I have to wonder why you are meeting someone for drinks that clearly you do not want a friendship with?

I cannot imagine what you would have to even talk about if you cannot talk about certain things with her for fear of what she might say, ask, be included on, etc.
This.

Being by yourself is preferable to being in this woman's company.  Cancel the drinks and be done with her. 

And this.

Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on January 29, 2013, 08:31:39 AM
Look at her blankly, and say, "It never even occurred to me."
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Twik on January 29, 2013, 08:44:06 AM
I know I'm bitter and it makes me sound like a horrible person but I also realise that it's my deal and not Nikki's and I don't want to hurt her. I also hope that once we have some distance between us, I can maybe even try to view her as a friend again.  So can someone please help me come up with some responses for tomorrow when she asks me why I didn't tell her about the course?

I don't think you're bitter. I think you are dealing with an unpleasant person, and there's no particular reason why you should "try to view her as a friend again".

One thing I may warn about - in social work, many people try to carry the pain of their clients, and burn out as a result. Don't feel that you are responsible for Nikki's study habits, etc. This sort of thinking can become hazardous in your profession.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Dr. F. on January 29, 2013, 08:49:24 AM
An unwillingness to be taken advantage of is not a character flaw.

Repeat this to yourself as needed.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Shoo on January 29, 2013, 08:56:45 AM
"Why would I?"  said with a really puzzled look.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: bopper on January 29, 2013, 09:08:46 AM

Dilemma: Nikki and I have arranged to catch up for drinks tomorrow in City and whilst in the course of organising it, I mentioned that I was doing the First Aid Course, which was also in City.
 

Here is your problem. 
1) you are meeting with her.  If you want her out of your life, be too busy to meet up.
2) you are telling her details of your life.  She will want to get involved, so stop.

What could you have said?  "Frankly Nikki, it never even occurred to because of the way you whined (whinged) in class about having to study I thought the last thing on your mind would be more school."
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: oceanus on January 29, 2013, 09:08:58 AM
I have to wonder why you are meeting someone for drinks that clearly you do not want a friendship with?

I cannot imagine what you would have to even talk about if you cannot talk about certain things with her for fear of what she might say, ask, be included on, etc.
This.

Being by yourself is preferable to being in this woman's company.  Cancel the drinks and be done with her. 

And this.

Amen to all this.  Or I guess I should say POD.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Winterlight on January 29, 2013, 09:10:17 AM
Just because she asks doesn't mean you have to answer. If it comes up just tell her you didn't ask anybody and leave it at that. It is not a snub to anybody.

This. And I think I'd avoid meeting up with her in future.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: bah12 on January 29, 2013, 09:30:22 AM
Why did you agree to meet her for drinks?  You don't like her and don't want to be friends with her.  You're graduating, so now is the perfect time to cut ties and move on. 

Anyway, you aren't responsible for her.  You don't have to tell her why you didn't ask her, so if she asks, just say that you didn't ask/tell anyone and then change the subject.

Also, I think it's a bit harsh to blame her for not passing on gossip about you.  Someone said something mean.  It would have been nice of her to defend you (and a friend would have done so), but if she had asked me whether or not she should tell you what another person said about you, I'd have said "stay out of it."   That being said, you have every right to not want to be friends with her and it doesn't sound like she's someone that you respect.  I'd say just cancel your plans and be done with her.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 29, 2013, 09:57:16 AM
"oh, I didn't know you were interested. Bean Dip?"

don't talk about the course. don't talk about school/jobs with her if you don't want to share.

Beaut!

And if she goes on and on about it, just get more vague (and vaguely bewildered), and say the same phrase over and over.


But yeah, I'm with the people who say, "Move on, already!"

You're entering a tough field, with clients who will need lots of support. You need friends who lift you up.

I've lately been really looking at my [few] friendships and realizing that when I have plans to see them, i'm excited about it. I'm looking forward to it. I want to hear what they're up to, and there's some story or two that I am eager to tell them.

And there is NO topic of conversation that makes me anxious. Anything I bring up to talk about, they'll have something to say about it that I will be GLAD to hear. Even if it's just, "That sounds like it was fun," or "that sucks," or "I'd like to take a class like that!"

And they tell me interesting things about their own life as well. If they're complaining about work, it's because right now it's extra tough, or they've turned it into a funny story. I'm happy to hear about their life; I look forward to it.

I'm not saying they aren't occasionally annoying. But I *like* them enough that the annoying stuff is just not important enough to even remember.

People like that are out there. Erase people like Nikki from your schedule and your brain, and you'll have time and energy to find them.

If anybody needed friends that add to their mental energy, it is someone working in the "social work" field!!
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Phoebe on January 29, 2013, 12:24:54 PM
Bah12, Nikki *did* pass the comment on.  Frankly, I'd have cut her cold then and there.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Miss March on January 29, 2013, 12:36:16 PM
You can always fib and say that you were on a waiting list to be enrolled for this course, and didn't think you'd be squeezed in, let alone anyone else.

But yeah, I'd be phasing this person out.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: bah12 on January 29, 2013, 01:18:25 PM
Bah12, Nikki *did* pass the comment on.  Frankly, I'd have cut her cold then and there.

Yes, I misread the statement in the OP.
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: gellchom on January 29, 2013, 01:31:25 PM
Whether or not you want to stay friends with NIkki or even just get together once with her is your call.  We don't know if there's enough good there to be worth it.

So I'm just going to answer your question of what to say if she brings up this new course.  Similar to what most others have suggested: "Oh, gosh, it didn't even occur to me to tell anyone.  I just saw it and signed up."  And then move on.  Resist the temptation to ask "Why would I?" which will just prolong the conversation -- exactly what you are trying to avoid.

Don't tell her why you wouldn't have wanted to be in the course with her or bring up her study habits.  Every word would be true, but it would be a gratuitous slap at her.  She didn't ask you for a critique of her value as a student and classmate, she just asked why you didn't mention this class to her.  And the answer is simply that you didn't think of it. 

Congratulations!
Title: Re: Why Didn't You Ask Me?
Post by: Calypso on January 29, 2013, 03:04:25 PM
The honest truth "I didn't think of it" is both polite and your best possible option if you want to distance yourself from Nikki. Without making a big deal of it, you're telling her that she isn't important enough to you for you to spend mental energy on.

And, although you didn't ask for this advice, POD the posters who are urging you to learn to emotionally protect yourself. There are way too  many "don't think I'm a horrible person" and other self-critical statements in your post. Your 20s are naturally a time of higher emotions than you'll probably have letter, but please find a way to get tougher or your (awesome) chosen profession will burn you to a cinder!

Congratulations on your degree, BTW. Have fun in the First Aid class!