None of us really like to deliver bad news. Whether it’s something as simple as “the pizza won’t be here for ANOTHER 20 minutes,” something potentially embarrassing “Quick, turn around! Your skirt is stuck in your undies!” or something you don’t want to admit “um, who owns the green Chevy I just backed into?” almost all of us would rather have a bad mani-pedi than make our girlfriend unhappy or uncomfortable.
Guest blogger MARINA SBROCHI recognizes that there are times when we should keep our opinions to ourselves and times when we are friendship-obligated to tell our friends what we think. Trying to find the balance is often difficult. Before beginning any difficult conversation, think about the pros and cons of speaking up and keeping quiet. Whatever you decide, make sure you are there for your friends—even if you don’t always agree with their choices.
It’s a tough scenario being the bearer of bad news. Your girlfriend finally meets a guy she likes. She really likes him. One problem. As her friend, you don’t. It’s a rough place to be in. How do you tell her?
First, you have to sit back and think about why you don’t like her guy. Be honest about it. Maybe you feel slighted because you have gotten so used to having her be available 24/7 for fun and you have always been able to count on her as your Saturday night wing woman. Now that she has this new guy and she is suddenly busy it makes you feel left out. If this is the case, well, perhaps you are being a bit selfish.
Let’s take the other end of the spectrum. She finds her new guy and you want her to be happy. But this guy isn’t quite what he seems to be. You can see through his slick words and shady dealings. You know he isn’t quite as into her as she is into him. Perhaps he treats her like an object and not the wonderful person that she really is. Your urge is to tell him off and forbid them to see each other! However, you can’t quite do that. She’s a grown woman.
You have to tread lightly here. You don’t want to risk offending your friend and treating her like a child. At the same time, you hate to see her make a mistake with a guy that clearly does not have her best interests in mind. What to do?
Operation Tactful Suggestion
- Schedule a lunch with your friend.
- Ask her to tell you what she likes most about her boyfriend.
- Have her tell you what she doesn’t like about him.
- Ask her if she sees herself with him in the next six months.
Now listen to all of her answers. Keep your projections of her boyfriend out of it. If she addresses some of the same concerns you have, you have an opportunity to open the conversation right there. Reassure her that you will stand by her. Tell her how much you want her to be happy. Ask her if she wants this type of behavior in a relationship for herself. Perhaps in just talking with you – she might see it on her own, with your help.
Remember, if he really is a heel, a great girlfriend will always be waiting for her friend to return.
MARINA SBROCHI grew up in Dublin, Ohio and attended the Ohio State University. She is the IPPY Award winning author of Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life. She is also a dating coach in Dallas, Texas. You can find more on her @ www.stoplookingforahusband.com
What are your tips for gracefully having a difficult conversation with a girlfriend?
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