My friend burned my house down. No really, she was house-sitting while my husband and I were on vacation and she actually ended up causing the house to burn down. It’s a long story of how and she tells it way more ridiculously than I ever could. But, now we’re dealing with insurance, trying to stay elsewhere, figuring out what our next steps are. It’s terrible! Not to mention that, in additional to all the administrative and financial difficulty, my husband and I lost precious belongings in the fire. I understand that the whole thing was an accident and I’m not even actively angry at my friend – luckily no one was hurt and she really didn’t do anything malicious. But, I am furious about one thing – she has offered us absolutely nothing after the fire. I don’t just mean money to compensate for her error. I mean she hasn’t even offered us to spend the night in her spare bedroom while we figure things out, hasn’t offered to help us sort through anything, hasn’t tried to ask us how she might help. Hell, she hasn’t even so much as offered to get me a cup of coffee. She is actually trying to change the subject and steer clear of the situation anytime she sees me. She’s pretending it didn’t even happen. Bear in mind, this is my best friend, since childhood. Given how understanding I’m being that my home just went up in flames at her hands, I’d assume she’d work a little harder after the fact. What do I do about her? About this?
Either she is a terrible person, or a complete airhead. Unfortunately, some people we consider “friends” are so self-absorbed that they don’t even take a minute out of their days to think about others. This could be the case here. Or, it could just be that she’s an awful human being/ friend who has thought about offering to help you but didn’t want to inconvenience herself. Either way it’s time for you to face yet another harsh reality: you can either push this person out of your life or keep her at a distance and accept her for who she is. Clearly, you’re going through enough emotional and financial stress right now. I’d wait until everything is settled with the insurance company to have this conversation with her. Once you have a moment to breath, ask to meet her somewhere (preferably not your new place of residence just in case she sets this one on fire too). Tell her that accidents happen and that you think you have been fair and understanding through this whole ordeal. Although you were hurt and shattered, you never blamed her for what she caused. But what you do blame her for, is not being a good friend in the aftermath. Explain to her how shocking and hurtful it is to you that she hasn’t offered to lift a finger for you since. See what she has to say. I promise you that either way you won’t get a “good enough” answer because her actions are despicable. However, based on her reaction, you’ll be able to decide how you want to proceed with your friendship.
By Elina Khusid
Insight Relationship Expert