September 24, 2018

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Opinion

Generosity backfires, friends 'ungrateful'

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My heart is the size of an elephant’s. My upbringing made me so insecure I’m always giving things away to people — presents, money, dinners out where I throw down my credit card and pay the whole bill. My secret is when the end of the month comes, I’m eating cheese sandwiches. When people want to pay their share, I just can’t let them. Finally, I noticed fewer people wanted to eat or go to concerts with me and two of them told me it was because I wouldn’t let them pay. Why are they so ungrateful? I don’t get it.

— Generous Heart & Loving Friend, Elmwood

Dear Generous Heart: You were trying to buy favour, company and friends. You took the equality of the friendship away. When you pay the whole shot, people think they have to go with your wishes and agree and do what you want to do.

When people pay half, they have a say and they know it and enjoy it. You are not buying friends; you are actually pushing them away.

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Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My heart is the size of an elephant’s. My upbringing made me so insecure I’m always giving things away to people — presents, money, dinners out where I throw down my credit card and pay the whole bill. My secret is when the end of the month comes, I’m eating cheese sandwiches. When people want to pay their share, I just can’t let them. Finally, I noticed fewer people wanted to eat or go to concerts with me and two of them told me it was because I wouldn’t let them pay. Why are they so ungrateful? I don’t get it.

— Generous Heart & Loving Friend, Elmwood

Dear Generous Heart: You were trying to buy favour, company and friends. You took the equality of the friendship away. When you pay the whole shot, people think they have to go with your wishes and agree and do what you want to do.

When people pay half, they have a say and they know it and enjoy it. You are not buying friends; you are actually pushing them away.

If they are friends you really want back, talk to them about it. Ask if you made them feel uncomfortable by insisting on paying for everything. Tell them you learned what you had been doing was wrong, you have changed and would like to hang out again. Tell them from now on, unless it’s their birthday, bills will be split down the middle.

Some people will be eager to renew the friendship. Others might say no, or that they have to think about it — walk away from those exchanges with a friendly smile and don’t make another move. The undecided people might give you a call, but ambiguity usually means no. 

 

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I slapped my sister (not hard) on the back and she slapped me back. Then, I kicked her in the shins, and she kicked me back — like we always do. Then, I started to laugh, as usual with us, but she walked away crying and has barely spoken to me since.

We are a year apart. I’m 12, but finally bigger than she is. If we talk to our parents about this fight, they will ground both of us, but we can’t seem to talk about the fighting ourselves. It has happened a lot before. I usually start it and she finishes it, and we laugh. But now, I’m bigger and stronger because I’m a guy. Please help. 

— Miss My Sister, St. Vital

 

Dear Miss My Sister: You have reached the end of the childhood phase of your life as siblings. Boys and girls your age don’t fight physically anymore. Maybe she couldn’t enjoy fighting back this time because it suddenly really hurt, and also felt weird to her now. You are both growing up, so you have to interact differently.

Since you want to clear up what happened the last time you fought, drum up your courage and apologize. Tell her you know you are too old to fight and that next time you disagree you should talk. If you can’t say it out loud, write it in a note or letter, as it needs to be expressed very soon. If your sister continues to stay silent, appeal to your mother or father to help make peace with her. This shouldn’t go on a week longer.

Got a problem in your personal life? Email Miss Lonelyhearts at lovecoach@hotmail.com.

 

Miss Lonelyhearts

Miss Lonelyhearts
Advice Columnist

Each year, the Free Press publishes more than 1,000 letters to Miss Lonelyhearts and her responses to the life and relationship questions that come her way.

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