A friend puts God in every conversation


Dear Carolyn: I have a friend / neighbor who I see five days a week because we exercise together. One thing that annoys me is that she always manages to slip a comment about God into every conversation. This is usually a brief commentary, not an entire conversation about religion, so it’s hard for me to know how to respond.

For example, if I say, “What a beautiful day! she might say, “Right? Thank you my God for the beautiful weather. At first it was easy for me to ignore these comments, but the more time I spend with her, the more I feel like she is deliberately trying to spread the gospel, but in a sly way. If she was conjuring up a full-fledged conversation about religion, I could easily say that the topic is very personal to me and I don’t want to discuss it. But since these are just small comments here and there, I don’t know how to let her know that it bothers me without sounding mean.

I know she has the right to express her religious beliefs however she wants and when she wants to, but I’m really tired of God’s comments. No advice?

– A.

Some suggestions, which you can adopt or reject as you see fit, because it is the conviction that is at the base of all the advice in this column: by using only what is ours, we can all find our own means. to get out of it. Hmm.

Since you don’t “know how to answer,” don’t answer. Her Thankful God is probably not about you anyway. And according to your description, it doesn’t commit you to faith, it just expresses its own.

Don’t assume subterfuge or manipulation just because you don’t understand something. Why not fill in the blanks with the less critical option? We could probably all bear to do more. Q: Why does she slip God into every conversation? A: Because she is pious and she speaks as she thinks.

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Disconnect your aversion pulse from your fixation pulse. You are tired of his comments from God. Fair enough – you are entitled to your preferences. But she has just as much the right to speak about God; she doesn’t tell you what you think, she says what she thinks, so what allows you to change her? The way not to look mean is to refrain from correcting others, unless it is about you, or a matter of certainty and consequence.

Seek the good. People are not on the menu. Any trait that you don’t like is subtly (or not so) interconnected with other elements of a person’s nature – perhaps the ones you love. So a friend in a bad mood is also funny; an impulsive friend is also creative; an intense friend is also courageous; your openly religious friend is also [blank].

If you don’t enjoy that friend / neighbor or those workouts enough anymore, change your schedule. It can be awkward with a neighbor, of course, but it’s your time and you decide how you use it.

If you still enjoy your friend / neighbor or those workouts enough? So here’s a shortcut: stop. Seriously, stop this whole line of thinking, that you can sort of turn it into something even better. Accept his company as you would any gift – as is, with thanks.

Dear Carolyn: My daughter wants a small, intimate wedding. One of the reasons is that her dad and I are going to give her X dollars and she can keep what she doesn’t spend. I like her sensitivity, but she doesn’t want to invite my brother, my sister-in-law, my sister and my brother-in-law. She is not close to them and I respect that.

However, they are my family and this is the only request I make regarding her marriage. Her dad says it’s her wedding and we should follow her wishes.

I would be so embarrassed to have to tell them that they are not invited and that I cannot think of a gentle way to break the news to them.

– Sister of unwanted family members

You gently tell them that you would love to have them there, but you honor your daughter’s preference for a small, intimate wedding.

You can throw a separate party for your family afterwards, assuming your daughter’s play and siblings would enjoy it.

If it helps, it’s not so much the rules of etiquette as it is the law of unintended consequences. You made a reasonable financial deal with your daughter, but you didn’t anticipate her cost cutting would cost you those guests.

You still have options, however. Not the one you envisioned, as it’s not fair to add guests to what would now be at your daughter’s expense, under the terms of your agreement – but you can ask her to add guests at your expense and to pay their fees per person.

As long as you’re willing to take “no” for an answer, of course. If your daughter’s priority is keeping him small rather than keeping him cheap, then I’m with her dad, period.

Email Carolyn at [email protected], follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax, or chat with her online at noon EST every Friday at www.washingtonpost.com .

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