Problem Point: How Can I Make Things Right So That Everyone Wins?

Image by Sven Lachmann

Question: I asked a friend and her son to come on vacation with me. The problem is that one minute she wants to go and I had better not change it, and the next minute she can’t go and is scared to leave the boyfriend for a couple days. Or I want to leave one day and she wants to leave another. The way she talks to me sometimes and the way she just acts around me just makes me mad. Did I do the right thing inviting her?

A. Your friend sounds terribly insecure. If she cannot leave her boyfriend for a few days she will lose him soon by being too clingy and fearful. It sounds as though you have been very patient, but you also need to act in a certain way which won’t make people take advantage of you. Once you invite someone to accompany you, and you have changed the details for them once or twice, that’s enough. You cannot continue to change every minute, otherwise your friend will just keep changing because of her own fears and lack of respect for the consequences for you.

Some time ago, I had a similar situation. i wanted to go to Holland for a week and asked my best friend to accompany me and she agreed. However, she changed her mind at the last minute when I couldn’t really cancel the holiday plans. I took a deep breath, masked my fear of going alone, and found the courage to go ahead, regardless. i had the most awesome time in Ostend, finding my way around, meeting new acquaintances who were keen to show me places, and had some photos to remind me of a truly enjoyable trip.

The best thing to do is to arrange a date to suit you, invite your friend and stick to the date. If she cannot go, fine. You go off and enjoy yourself because you are bound to meet people like you. If you live in fear of going off on your own, your friend will always mess you about and you will never go on your holiday. Absence makes the heart grow fonder so your friend should go away with you and allow her boyfriend to actually miss her sometimes.

You can NEVER please everyone and make them happy because everyone has different needs. You can only please yourself, and those who like what you are doing will also be happy, too. Perhaps you have been trying to please her too much because you really want her friendship, and she is taking advantage of that, which can only lead to disappointment all round.

Stop changing your dates and start making your arrangements. Your friend will then see that you mean business and will either go with you or hang back. If she doesn’t go, it’s her loss. But don’t let her spoil it for you anymore.

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