Pushy friend won’t take ‘No’ for an an­swer

The Saline Courier - - OPINION -

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who is ex­tremely pushy with her re­quests. She is a woman of priv­i­lege, and she is ac­cus­tomed to get­ting her way im­me­di­ately. She asked me to make an in­tro­duc­tion, and I don’t think it’s a great idea. She pushed so hard that I re­luc­tantly agreed.

I have been try­ing to fig­ure out how to ap­proach the sit­u­a­tion to cre­ate the chance for a good out­come. She called me the next day to find out if I had reached out to the woman yet. I’m afraid that if she is pushy like this with my other friend, it will not end up go­ing well for ei­ther of us. How can I pre­serve both re­la­tion­ships when this one friend just won’t let up? -- In the Mid­dle

DEAR IN THE MID­DLE: If you truly don’t think you should make this con­nec­tion, don’t do it. Stand up to your friend, and tell her why you don’t think it’s the right fit. In the best-case sce­nario, you can rec­om­mend some­one else who might be bet­ter suited to your friend.

Think long and hard for an­other per­son who would be able to wel­come your friend’s pushy man­ner bet­ter. If no­body comes to mind, you can just say no to her.

Or if you think the project she is rep­re­sent­ing is a good one but her de­meanor is the prob­lem, you could reach out to the per­son she re­quested and tell her that you know some­one who has a great idea; you aren’t sure if it’s a fit, but you think it could be worth it for her to con­sider. Es­tab­lish­ing a caveat could pro­tect you.

But be­ware, even luke­warm rec­om­men­da­tions can seem much stronger to the per­son re­ceiv­ing them -- es­pe­cially if you are highly re­garded. So you must pro­tect your rep­u­ta­tion as you nav­i­gate this tricky sit­u­a­tion.

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DEAR HARRIETTE: I am go­ing to a three-day con­fer­ence where I am a prin­ci­pal con­fer­ence speaker. I am ex­cited about this op­por­tu­nity and want to do my best.

I was re­cently called and in­vited to speak at an­other event dur­ing the con­fer­ence, but it con­flicts with yet an­other meet­ing that I am sched­uled to par­tic­i­pate in. This is tough be­cause I am in­ter­ested in join­ing the lead­er­ship of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. I don’t think it’s wise to re­scind my in­volve­ment in one meet­ing be­cause an­other seems more high pro­file. How should I han­dle this? -- Climb­ing

DEAR CLIMB­ING: Thank the peo­ple who most re­cently in­vited you to be a part of their meet­ing. Let them know that while you will be at the con­fer­ence, you have al­ready con­firmed your par­tic­i­pa­tion in an event at the same time as theirs. Ask if there might be an­other time dur­ing the con­fer­ence when you can meet their prin­ci­pal con­stituency.

Meet­ings can oc­cur over drinks, at meals or dur­ing cock­tail re­cep­tions. You don’t have to close the door to get­ting to know those other peo­ple. Sug­gest other ideas and make it clear that you would like to be with them, but your pre­vi­ous com­mit­ment pro­hibits meet­ing at that spe­cific time.

•••

Harriette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAMLEAPE­RS, an ini­tia­tive to help peo­ple ac­cess and ac­ti­vate their dreams. You can send ques­tions to askhar­ri­[email protected]­ri­et­tecole.com or c/o An­drews Mcmeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

HARRIETTE COLE

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