DEAR HARRIETTE: I get along well with a woman who has hurt a lot of my friends in the past.
Although it happened decades ago, my friends made a common enemy out of her and haven’t let it go since. I believe that it’s time for them to move on.
I have kept my friendship with this woman a secret to spare my friends’ feelings, but the longer I hide it, the worse it will be when they find out.
How do I tell my other friends that I am now friendly with the woman they all despise?
DEAR NEW FRIEND: Have you talked to your new friend about her past? Why not start there?
Tell her that you care about her and you find yourself in a bind because of her history with your other close friends. Ask her to tell you her version of what happened between them years ago. Find out what she recalls and how she thinks about the situation today.
Harriette Cole: I was blindsided when they ended my job
Harriette Cole: It was chilling when she reminded me what I said 20 years ago
Harriette Cole: I’ve started dating, but apparently I’m doing it wrong
Harriette Cole: These know-it-all youngsters make me fear for my job
Harriette Cole: Should I tell my boss about my problem with co-worker?
Be prepared to hear that she doesn’t recall the details. Sometimes people hold grudges about real incidents that occurred in the past, but the perpetrators are oblivious. That doesn’t mean the events didn’t occur, only that the memories are more significant for some than for others.
Get a sense from her of who she thinks she was back then and how she believes she has changed.
Next, talk to your friends. Admit that you have become friendly with this woman. Note that, as an adult, she has characteristics that you like. Point out how she behaves now and what you like about her. Apologize for not telling them sooner and point out that you didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
You do not need to try to get everyone to become friends as adults. This woman may end up being your friend only, and that’s fine, but it will be good for the secrecy to end.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I grew up poor. I knew even as a child that I would never want to raise my children in a poor household.
I’m now an adult with three children of my own, and I’m beyond thankful that I’m able to give my kids everything that I …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News
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