Friends saying unfriendly things
Published 10:33 am Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Dear Aunty Pam,
I have a little bit of a serious problem. I have a good friend and we are both in the same profession. Lately it has gotten back to me by a third party that my friend has said some derogatory things about my business. To be specific,my friend doesn’t think my ability is that great and that I don’t seem very organized.
I can’t tell you how much this hurts me. The third party was a potential client who met with my friend and mentioned she wanted to also get a bid from me. That’s when my friend said what she said and the client asked me about it. I had to defend myself, my business, and in the end, the client ended up going with someone else.
Should I just consider this as ‘business’ behavior and not personal? In a million years I never would have done the same thing to her. Now I’m completely rethinking our friendship and not really sure what to do. What would you do?
Well, what Aunty Pam would have done would have involved a dark room and a pair of pliers, but that’s just me. In all seriousness, what your former friend did was completely unacceptable and I do think it warrants a conversation—not that it might heal this betrayal of trust—but so that she is made aware of her behavior and how, in the end, you were both screwed over in losing this potential client. NO potential client wants to go with a business whose owner would be so catty and childish as to slam a competitor—that shrieks of insecurity–and no potential client is comfortable with another business owner who feels the need to defend herself and her business after being blindsided in such a way.
Only a heartfelt mea culpa and complete repentance from your former friend can heal this relationship— that is, if you find it worth having. Good luck.