Friday, July 8, 2011

Rituals, Weakness & Strength

So, my co-worker who is going through some major issues at home has asked me to go out with her for a drink tonight. She also mentioned that she'd like to start making this a "ritual". Ugh, it's stressing me out.

I know she doesn't have anyone else in her life besides me, her husband and her therapist. Because of this, I feel kinda obligated to say "yes." However, there are a handful of reasons why I want to say "no."

-I only get a certain amount each week for my "Mad Money" and I don't necessarily want to spend it going out with her.

-I am trying really hard to not drink/eat the wrong things. I'm on Atkins and extra carbs don't really fit the lifestyle.

-I have gotten too close to her for my own good, mainly because I felt bad for the situation she's in. My position at work doesn't really allow me to be close friends with employees. It's expected that I'll keep that them at a distance.

-Last, but not least, I don't like to be locked into frequent events. In my previous life (when I was married before and lived on the East Coast), I found that I over-committed myself and was stressed with promising so much to so many people. Since moving to CA, it's just been my hubby and I. We both really like it that way. We just kinda keep to ourselves and do our own thing. The idea of having a weekly commitment is stressing me out.

As I re-read this, I know I should just tell her "no" but I just told her "yes." This is one area I need to grow in. However, it's so hard for me because I know she doesn't have anyone else to turn to. I just can't be "her person." Do you know what I mean? I have a person. I can't commit myself to making her happy.

I'll go tonight because I said I would, but somehow I need to get the point across that I'm up for an occasional night out but it can't be a planned weekly event. Any advice is welcomed :)


  1. Eeekkk!! I know how you feel, I once had a stage 5 clinger friend. I resorted to flaking out on events until she just stopped asking to go out.

    Can you explain how drinks hurt your diet? Maybe you two can go to a fitness class or something that involves lots of other people she can meet?

  2. Well as they always say, honesty is the best. But honesty is hard sometimes, especially when you don't want to hurt the person. Can you gently let her know that you would be willing to go out every so many weeks or so but that it would be hard for you to commit to making it a ritual.
    Let her know that you have financial goals (specifics aren't her business) and that weekly drinks don't fit in your budget. Also mention your specific eating plan. You don't have to tell her everything at the same time but over the course of the evening you could probably mention it all. Then when she asks if you want to do it next week remind her of your other commitments (budget, diet, husband) and tell her that you would like to get together again but how about in a "few" weeks. Of course, it's easier said then done... :)
    I have it so that now most of the people I get together with know I have a budget and I can just say sorry I can't fit it in the budget right now.

  3. I have often told people from work that I just cant do it every week because I have other commitments but that I would be happy to do it once in awhile. We are not encouraged to be friends outside of work either.

    But most of all your own sense of being means more.


  4. Little Lamb has both the nail and the hammer. You are not being hurtful if the reasons for you declining have nothing to do with her.

    You are not her physiotherapist. You have no obligation to her. BUT you do work with her so what I would suggest getting other coworkers with you and going to non-food related ONCE in a while.

    EG. Going to an art gallery, a free concert or movie. Stuff like that.

  5. Great advice from the others...perhaps you could suggest a co-worker that may enjoy her company as well? Good luck!! :)

  6. I think you should focus on the work aspect, as I think this is what she can understand the best (being in the same workplace). I would tell her that the occasional drink out is fine, but for work reasons, you cannot commit to going out on a regular basis.

    And perhaps when you're out for drinks, you can talk about your diet and how you're trying to cut back on your spending. This way she'll hear it, but not in the way that says "you're not important enough to go out with". Good luck!

  7. Is there anyway you could make a standing monthly date? Maybe every second Tuesday (or whatever works with your schedule... I just threw that out there), you guys make sure to meet. And some of those times invite her over for drinks at your place. That would definitely be cheaper than drinks out, and you can decide what drinks which would help with the diet.

  8. you could always tell her that you aren't able to --- maybe tell her that you could commit to once a month but every week is just way too much on your plate?

  9. I wouldn't get too worked up over it.

    She said she wanted to make it a ritual but people say they're gonna go to the gym every day and that rarely happens ; ) If she asks you again, just tell her the truth. You either a) can't afford it or b) don't have time or c) are watching your weight. Even suggest an exercise class, or a walk, rather than drinking.

  10. Thanks for all the suggestions. I did end up going and mentioned that I didn't think I could do it each week. She seemed okay with that. I also mentioned watching what I'm eating and she was respectful of that :)