You’re out to dinner with some pals and one of them mentions the party of another friend, Alison, is throwing to celebrate her recent art show. “I didn’t know about any party,” you say, feeling hurt. Your friend assures you she probably just forgot. But Alison didn’t return your phone call this week. She does that when she’s busy, but… You:
- a) Call her to ask her if you’re invited.
- b) Just go to the party. Why ask for trouble by assuming the worst?
- C) Knew it. Alison doesn’t think you’re cool enough for her arty friends.
Smart Choice: a
True, Alison might just expect you to hear about her party through the grapevine. But if you feel bad, address it. “Any time we have uncomfortable feelings in a relationship, it needs to be addressed,” says Joy Vanderbeck, Ph.D., a therapist in Arlington, Texas. “Call your friend and ask why you didn’t hear from her. She might say, ‘Oh, I thought you didn’t like parties where we all dressed up like clowns,’ and you might say, ‘Yes, but I still wanted to be invited.’” This way, you won’t be repressing your worries. “When you do that, you start to feel like you’re being controlled by your friend,” Dr. Vanderbeck says. “But you’re really being controlled by your inability to stand up for yourself.”
What we learned: For every avoided confrontation, there’ll be two down the road.