I have an old co-worker with whom I worked 15 years ago. She and I are pretty different personalities. I found her to be pushy and arrogant (and I believe this was the perception of most everyone we worked with.) BUT she really liked me and wanted to be bff’s. It was very awkward for me but we moved to separate cities so it was easy to cut ties. Now she is moving back to my city and coming in like gangbusters, “needing” all my professional contacts and making it very apparent that I am indeed an integral part of her plan to move back. This person is one of the only people in my life I have cut ties with. But I obviously feel obligated to reconnect because she won’t give up or take a hint. We are in the same industry so of course would like to be cordial (and that’s just a good way to behave) but I foresee a situation where she will want to stay with me and become part of my life and that can’t happen. I barely have time to connect with the friends I adore. What would Tiffani do?
Since you already know she is not someone you want to become an integral part of your life, don’t let her. Since she isn’t taking the hint you need to switch your approach. It sounds like this woman is a bully and forces herself upon everyone, especially you.
If it were me, I would change the way your relationship works. Sounds like she hounds you, you try to politely help her while keeping her a at distance but she is relentless. Stop waiting for her to impose herself upon you. Take charge and don’t let her guilt you into anything. Call her up today and say :
“Hey when you are moving out here? I am very busy and would love to help you find a place but I need some advance notice. Also I am willing to help you with professional contacts but I am not available for much more at this point in my life. I am so busy with work and my family, and I know you are going through a big transition right now, and I wish I could be more helpful, but my plate is full. I really don’t have much time for anything and I am really working on not spreading myself too thin. I hope you understand?”
This will probably be really hard to say to someone who bulldozes over people BUT just stick to your story. Don’t give her any specifics, don’t make excuses, just tell her the flat truth, YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR HER! Don’t feel guilty, because you have done nothing wrong. You didn’t invite her to move back, she decided this on her own. Because I know you from our past, I know you are always nice to people. You are smart, talented, hard working and I assume a great mother. Don’t let this old friend force herself upon you.
Whenever you speak to her your mantra should be:
“I’m really sorry, I wish I could but:
I can’t do that!
I can’t go there!
I’m busy that day!
That won’t work for me!”
etc, etc, etc.
I have a feeling if you continue on this path, she will eventually find someone else to bully.
That’s what I would do! Hope this helps.
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