Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or by dropping us a note at our tumblr.
One of my friends just moved in with his girlfriend. She’s basically a freeloader — she’s quitting her job to pursue painting full time now that she doesn’t have to pay rent — but my friend seems blind to the fact that she’s only into him for his money. Also, they’ve only been together for 8 months, so there’s no way this can end well. Our entire group of friends is thinking about planning an intervention. How can we convince him that this is wrong on so many levels?
You don’t convince him. You grab some popcorn, pull up a chair, and watch the train wreck happen.
This may sound cruel, but after you’ve given him your honest opinion of the situation (presuming you’re close enough with him to share your opinions without coming across as a busybody), there’s nothing more you can do. After the wreck has happened, help him pick up the pieces, and don’t say, “I told you so.” You’re allowed to think it, though.
After graduation, most of my college friends and I stayed in the same town. We hang out all the time, and I consider myself fortunate that I didn’t have to “start over” like so many people do after college.
Here’s the problem. Most of my friends got into pretty well paying gigs right after graduation, while I only found an administrative position. Whenever we hang out, they want to do expensive things like go out to dinner or buy lots of drinks at a bar or take weekend ski trips and stuff like that. Obviously, I can’t afford most of this stuff, but I also want to hang out with my friends. I’m too embarrassed to bring this up, and I’m racking up a considerable amount of credit card debt. I’m so anxious about money most of the time that I have trouble sleeping. What should I do?
You gotta tell your friends.
If you want, you can try to go the sneaky route, like trying to suggest that someone cook instead of going out to dinner, or by saying you’d rather snowshoe around the neighborhood than take another ski trip to Banff. But it’s easier to just sit your friends down, look ‘em in the eye, and say, “Gertrude, Bob, Hazel? I just can’t afford to do all this stuff anymore.”
Chances are, your friends aren’t giant dicks and love being around you, and they’ll happily agree to scale back the expensive outings so that you don’t lose sleep over money anymore.
I don’t think I need to tell you that racking up credit card debt, not to mention a slow-burning resentment of your friends, is no way to live your life. So be honest. It’s free.
“Amanda” – Foxes in Fiction (mp3)
“Glow” – Foxes in Fiction (mp3)