Dear Carolyn: I have a friend who is a genuinely thoughtful and generous person. However, after doing you a kindness, large or small, she lets the world know about it, saying something to the effect of, “Well, yes, it was inconvenient; but that’s just the kind, generous person that I am.”
Recently she helped me move my mom to an assisted-living facility. I sent her a nice (snail mail) thank-you note and took her out to dinner, which she says wasn’t necessary. But she still tells everyone I couldn’t have managed without her, which is stretching the truth.
Am I wrong to feel a bit irritated by this?
Your irritation sounds justified, though you might be wrong about her being “genuinely thoughtful and generous,” given that her motive apparently is to promote herself. Sure, you can find a selfish motive in just about anything any of us does, even if it’s just, “Because it feels good to be selfless,” but to find hers, one needn’t dig.
I also think you’d be nuts to ask for her help again, unless you’re quite sure her help brings more to you than her crowing takes away.
Re: Validating Your Friend: Tell the whole world before she does, and make a BIG deal out of it. Sing it to the mountaintops. Talk about how she’s your personal hero. Then tell everyone that if they ever need help for anything, they should go to your friend, because that’s just the kind of person she is. (Am I mean to think there is some fun to be had here?)
Yes, terrible, mean and awful, and I won’t be associated with the dissemination of your evil ideas. Not in the live chat, in the paper, online, through syndication, or by tweeting this column or linking to it on Facebook.