Q: I have a co-worker who offers me fruit every day. I don’t care for it and say “no, thank you,” but every day she asks. Also, she loves a particular TV show. Every week, she asks if I saw it, and I tell her that I don’t watch it. She usually says, “You need to get into it because it is so good,” and then starts talking about the characters by name. How can I make it clear that I don’t watch the show and I don’t want her fruit?
I’m sorry, but are you saying that my pomegranates and “Louie” pleas don’t do anything for you?
It sounds like your co-worker likes to have her shtick – people tend to get into ruts in an office environment, after all. And she might either be anxious about her ability to come up with other conversation or actually unable to. Depending on how jocular your relationship is with her, you could try the bolder, “If I buy you lunch/bring you a big bag of said unappealing fruit, will you never bring up that TV show again?” If you don’t quite have that kind of rapport, you’ve just got to keep redirecting and politely cutting conversations short.
Bad news friend
Q: I’m a guy, and my high school best friend was female. I became even better friends with her now-ex-husband – I’m the best man at his upcoming wedding. He recently told me that his ex-wife claimed that I tried to sleep with her. This is 100 percent false. I’m currently engaged also, so these allegations are frightening. I talked to my fiancee to keep her in the loop and she knows I’d never do it, but we’re both so angry at her. The girl still texts me! I haven’t said anything to her yet because she and my friend have a child together and he is fearful of her reaction because she controls his visitation. Do I confront her?
Confront her? Seriously? What are you, a pyromaniac?
Here are the important facts: Your (hopefully former) best friend is a troubled, manipulative woman; her ex-husband knows this and does not believe her lies, and your fiancee doesn’t believe them, either. Don’t give this woman a reason to spread more lies about you. You’re lucky they seem to have ended with what she told her ex. You have the power to cut off contact with her, so use it. Don’t give her control over you.
Andrea Bonior is a clinical psychologist and the author of “The Friendship Fix.” www.drandreabonior.com.
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