Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
Q: My partner and I have a problem with another couple that we frequently dine with. This other couple has more money than we do and they like to eat at fairly pricy restaurants. When we go out to eat, they seem to find the most expensive dinners on the menu, along with an appetizer, two to four drinks each and end up with a dessert. We are OK with going to the pricy restaurants since there are usually inexpensive selections. We never have more than two drinks, and skip the appetizer and dessert.
This hasn’t been a problem, except that last time they said that they wanted to start splitting the bill in half from now on because, as they put it, we all look like little old women dining out when we try to split the bill. We were a bit stunned, but agreed to do it.
We really don’t care if they want to spend this kind of money, but my partner and I can’t afford to share the bill for all four of us. The problem is we feel embarrassed to bring this issue up to them, because it makes us feel not as successful in life.
Do you have any ideas as to how we can change the bill-paying arrangement at the restaurant without looking like cheapskates or financial failures?
Living On A Budget
A: You are not being a cheapskate by living within your means, and you are not less of a person by not being able to afford what someone else can afford. (I find it a bit audacious of your friends to ask you to help pay for their expensive meals. Surely they have been aware of the discrepancy in your dinner bills.) My suggestion is: When you go out to eat next time tell the waiter, in advance, that you and your partner’s meals will be on one bill. That takes care of it right up front.
Where’s my congrats?
Q: I’m wondering if I am the only one with this problem. People don’t seem to be happy for me when I accomplish something, or get something, or just when good things happen to me. This is bad enough with other people, but I don’t even get it from my girlfriend.
I recently got a promotion at work. You’d think that my co-workers would come up and congratulate me, but they didn’t; only one person did. It was just like another day as far as most people were concerned, and no congratulation party like some others get. You probably are thinking that I must not be liked at work, but I don’t think that’s true. I think I get along pretty well with people.
Why do you think that people are acting this way? I wasn’t a braggart about it. I just let them know how happy I was to get this promotion. Do you think they are jealous of me and that’s why they say nothing?
A: From what little I have to work with here, I’ll just have to throw out an idea or two. I have to take your word for it that you are generally liked by others, not obnoxious about the good things that happen to you, and that this is not just a work phenomenon. In general, some people tend to be jealous about good things that happen to others, so they can’t bring themselves to be happy for them. But that doesn’t account for what you are describing as your experience, which leads me to wonder if you genuinely affirm and congratulate other people on their accomplishments and joys; if you don’t do this, you will probably not get it in return. The other thing you might want to do is ask your girlfriend or another good friend to see if they have any insight into it.
Go to Dear Jody Valley on Facebook to find out how giving praise is the key to getting it.