Ask Amy: My friend is taking advantage of our offer to drive her

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Dear Amy: About five months ago, my friend “Stacy” fell on hard times. I offered to drive her to work so she could save for another car because her transmission was broken. Stacy was very good at returning favors, contributing money for gas, buying us groceries, etc.

Reciprocity is not my problem. But my husband and I seem to have become a permanent taxi service for her. Now that includes trips to the store and work-related errands.

I just found out that Stacy is going on vacation for a week to visit a friend. I immediately stated that she would need Uber to get to her friend’s house as my husband would not be driving in town.

I’m all about helping someone out for a temporary period of time, but now I feel like my whole life revolves around Stacy’s transportation needs. Now that she’s going on vacation, I figure she could have had a replacement car by now.

I don’t want to lose a friendship, but I want our lives back! What is the best way to end our taxi service? Appreciate any suggestions!

— Tired of driving in Ohio

Fatigue: You might start with a question: “How’s your search for a new car going?”

Regardless of “Stacy’s” response, you should say, “I’m warning you here. We were happy to help, but it’s been six months now and our transportation support will end at the end of the month.

You shouldn’t have to invent an excuse or reason for this, but it might help you keep a statement in your pocket: “We hope you can find a working vehicle.” If you find one that interests you, we would be happy to take you to a parking lot.

It seems that your town has people who use their cars for ride hailing purposes. It might work for Stacy until she can get another car.

Dear Amy: I have a friend, “Julia”, whom I have known for over 20 years. We live hundreds of kilometers from each other, so we keep in touch by email since Julia never answers the phone.

I like to keep in touch with my friends and I talk about my successes and my failures. We all age, and good and bad things happen. I try to listen to my friend Julia, through all her ups and downs, but Julia is mostly a negative, bitter person who criticizes everyone. I rarely hear him speak well of anyone.

I feel like she expects people to look after her, but doesn’t reciprocate. I think friendship is a two-way street. It’s not just one person. Over the years I noticed that Julia was not interested in hearing about anything good in my life. Nothing!

The bad things I tell her seem to make her happy and the good things are greeted with resounding silence. What kind of person isn’t happy for a friend who leads a happy life?

Is it just jealousy on his part? Is he even a friend? I wonder if Julia is really a friend, or if I’m just wasting my time. What do you think?

Frustrated: “Julia” demonstrates how schadenfreude fuels her relationships. Schadenfreude defines himself as rejoicing in the misfortunes of others.

You may be wasting your time trying to keep this relationship alive, but before you go, you could describe Julia’s behavior and the impact on you. She may not quite realize the loop she is turning.

The opposite of schadenfreude is “freudenfreude” (yes, that’s a trick!), which is enjoying the good things that happen to others. Expressing freudenfreude can actually improve your mood.

You could ask Julia to share a good thing from her recent life. Respond by deliberately expressing your pleasure. Tell him: “Yes, it feels good! »

Dear Amy: “Need a pet” was looking for advice on adopting a cat or dog. You should have advised that person to volunteer at the local shelter!

At the very least, In Need should favor before adopting.

Animal lover: “In Need of a Pet” depicts extreme social anxiety, so I don’t know if volunteering would be realistic, but I do agree that fostering before adopting is a great way to help animals and also gain experience.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by content agency Tribune.

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