Dear Amy: “Sophie” is a very close friend. I love her very much. We have had several difficult conflicts over the years, but we have always recovered.
I vowed that I would never hire Sophie as my realtor because of how this would affect our friendship, but I did not discuss this with her.
I recently put my house up for sale and against my common sense asked Sophie to be my agent. After 10 days, I realized that working with her was a bad decision. She did give me some advice on how to get my house up and running, and she also sent me listings of places to rent.
We hadn’t signed a contract yet when I told her that I loved her very much and that she might even be the best realtor for me, but that stress would not be good for our friendship.
She told me that I was disloyal, cruel, that no one had done something so cruel to her in her entire career. She said that I was not being truthful.
I asked her how I could fix this and she told me that the only thing that would “fix” was that she would be my realtor.
I told her that it would be bad for me. She said, “Goodbye.”
I can only guess when, if and how to contact her?
I feel terrible about this and would appreciate your advice.
– I feel terrible
Dear Terrible! Realtors’ income is entirely dependent on their success in selling homes, often by selling property to people in their personal circle, which can then lead to attracting clients for future business.
So yes, “Sophie” assumes that her closest friends will use her as their agent.
However, her fickleness is a “win-win”: hiring her, rather than hiring her, will be very stressful for you.
Even though you had great misgivings, you asked Sophie to be your agent. Then, to get out, you had to “fire” her. Oh.
Her response was outrageous. This is not the behavior of a person who wants to win and keep his business.
You can apologize again and see if she cools down and answers yes, but no, you should NOT give in to her demand and use her as your agent.
You should also consider why you want to continue your friendship with her. She’s a bully.
Dear Amy, I’ve always been a quiet girl and a good listener. Because of this, people seem to be drawn to me like a blackboard if they have a problem or need advice or a shoulder to cry on.
I never mind this. I try to be helpful.
However, there are times in my life when I may have problems, and I would like to talk to someone, but these same people do not give me the time of day. I could say a couple of sentences, but it’s like they never heard me – they just keep talking about themselves.
Why are some people like this?
Dear Quiet: Some people are like that because … people are like that.
What you are describing is so common that you are actually a quiet and thoughtful listener – a real “blowout”, at least in my opinion.
And what you can offer to the world as a whole is a big dose of grace.
I’m going to assume that many of the people who use you as a sound board don’t actually listen very closely to the very advice and comfort they asked for. Whenever they need to listen carefully, they may be distracted by their phones, or busy thinking about their next holiday.
You can try to tell your friends about how their behavior makes you feel: “You often ask me to listen to you, and I am happy to do so, but sometimes I need someone to give the same time to me. I appreciate your point of view. Can you pay more attention to the times when I need to talk?
Dear Amy! It broke my heart when I read the letter from the “Survivor” who underwent major surgery and treatment during the pandemic.
My own experience with cancer treatment has left me with the guilt of a tortured survivor. I was so depressed.
Luckily, I was helped by a local cancer support group.
Thanks for suggesting this Surviving. It’s a long way to go.
– Now it is better
Dear Better, The outpouring of support for Survival has been wonderful. Thank you.
You can write to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.