THE WAY OF HARRIETTO: My friend and her boyfriend got into a really bad fight when we all dated that day.
Some of the things he said to her were really shocking. He called her demeaning names and raised his voice to her. It was so bad that I ended up having a fight with her boyfriend too.
He apologized to my friend and me, but I definitely can’t look at him the same anymore. I don’t think you should ever speak to a woman the way he spoke to her. I can only imagine how bad their arguments must be in private.
How to express your fears to a friend without crossing the boundaries?
For the sake of your safety
For the sake of her safety: Tread lightly. People rarely listen to criticism of their partners, even if it seems obvious.
Since the quarrel took place in your presence, you can approach the situation from your perspective. Tell your friend that you are still concerned about the argument you witnessed the day before. Describe how you felt. Tell her how upset you were during and after it and how worried you are for her safety. Admit that you’ve never experienced anything this unstable before, and it shook you.
Ask her how she’s doing and what their relationship status is. Ask how often they argue.
See if she tells about how she felt during the argument and how she feels now. See if she intends to stay with him. While you cannot control its actions, you can set your own limits. If you feel unsafe with him, tell her you don’t want to be in his company anymore.
Explain why. Then don’t give up. Make her understand that he is not welcome in your home and that you will not put yourself in a position near him. It might wake her up.
THE WAY OF HARRIETTO: I recently went to an event led by a young woman I know. It was beautiful to see so many young professionals doing their thing, but it was also shocking. I’ve been a little isolated in my own world and feel like life is passing me by.
I am at least 30 years older than most of the other women at this event. I looked around in admiration to see a whole new generation of promising professionals which made me both happy and sad. I was happy to see the potential in them and scared to realize how old I was and how detached I was from the pulse of things.
I’m not trying to be young and fashionable, but I want to stay in the flow of energy and creativity that I witnessed this evening. How can I do this?
EXTRAORDINARY ROADS: I am sure you are grateful that your young friend invited you to her event. Incidentally, this is proof that younger people can see and respect you.
Hope you got involved with some of the people you met. Yes you start. Invite one or more of them for coffee or drinks. Find out more about who they are and what their interests are. Start an intergenerational dialogue in which everyone’s insights and opinions are valued.
Contact your friend and tell her how much you enjoyed your evening. Let her know you would like to participate in more events with her dynamic colleagues. Show yourself by going to events, joining cultural groups and being with others. Make an effort and the door will continue to open.
Harriette Cole is a lifestyle stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. Questions can be sent email@example.com or to Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
#friend #awful #quarrel