Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: I have a friend who is a genuinely thoughtful and generous person. However, after doing you a kindness, large or small, she lets the world know about it, saying something to the effect of, Well, yes, it was inconvenient; but thats just the kind, generous person that I am.
Recently she helped me move my mom to an assisted-living facility. I sent her a nice (snail mail) thank-you note and took her out to dinner, which she says wasnt necessary.
But she still tells everyone I couldnt have managed without her, which is stretching the truth.
Am I wrong to feel a bit irritated by this? I, too, try to do nice things for people, but unless its something really major, a mere thanks is sufficient.
Your irritation sounds justified, though you might be wrong about her being genuinely thoughtful and generous, given that her motive apparently is to promote herself. Sure, you can find a selfish motive in just about anything any of us does, even if its just, Because it feels good to be selfless, but to find hers, one neednt dig.
I also think youd be nuts to ask for her help again, unless youre quite sure her help brings more to you than her crowing takes away.
Re: Validating Your Friend: Tell the whole world before she does, and make a BIG deal out of it. Sing it to the mountaintops. Talk about how shes your personal hero. Then tell everyone that if they ever need help for anything, anything at all, they should go to your friend, because thats just the kind of person she is. (Am I mean to think there is some fun to be had here?)
Yes, terrible, mean and awful, and I wont be associated with the dissemination of your evil ideas. Not in the live chat, in the paper, online, through syndication, or by tweeting this column or linking to it on Facebook.
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