The Luv Doc: Love Is Blind
When you make a presentation you should have some visual aids
Dear Luv Doc,
A few years ago, a good friend of mine hooked up with a really obnoxious guy. This isn't just my opinion. It's the opinion of everyone in our friend group. He has terrible manners, bad hygiene, he drinks too much, is regularly unemployed, and never has anything positive to say. The worst part is that he criticizes her regularly, and she never speaks up for herself. It is really hard to be around, and so my friends and I have been seeing her less and less. Really, our other friends barely see her at all. I am the only one who still sees her – usually at lunch so it's just me and her, but she is always asking me why our other friends never call and if they are avoiding her. It's a really uncomfortable situation to be in and it makes me not want to see her as well. The crazy thing is that I have told her – in so many words – that the reason no one wants to hang out with her is her boyfriend, but she refused to believe me and accused me of having a grudge against her boyfriend because he and I had a big argument at her birthday party because he criticized my gift. Yes, he is that bad. What do I do? Our other friends just prefer to avoid her.
Look, I don't know a lot about business, but I am pretty sure when you make a presentation you should have some visual aids – like some graphs or charts or maybe an artist's rendering. Ask yourself: What would Don Draper do? Yes, he would desert from the army, steal someone's identity, try to screw all his secretaries, chain smoke, regularly drink to excess, and throw an empty whiskey bottle out of his car window, but he would also give a pretty convincing presentation ... and then celebrate by getting wasted and ignoring his family.
OK, maybe we should ditch the presentation idea. As awesome as it would be to have a line graph depicting the steady decrease in time spent with her friends since she started seeing this guy, it still probably wouldn't seal the deal. "Love is blind," as the saying goes, so it's doubtful your friend is going to regain her vision by looking a chart – although an embarrassing PowerPoint presentation on her boyfriend's lack of hygiene, disrespectful behavior, and heavy drinking would probably be fun for you and your friends to put together. Sadly, you can't really bully most adults out of a relationship they've freely entered into.
The best you can do is very clearly and firmly state the truth as you see it – not "in so many words," but in as few words as possible. Tell her why you don't like hanging out with her when her boyfriend is around. Give as many concrete examples as you can. Tell her you care about her and remind her that you're the only one left in your friend group that she regularly sees.
You should know, however, that even though everything you say might be 100% right, you might still lose her as a friend. Who knows? This guy might have some truly amazing qualities you never get to see. He might have a really big ... uh ... heart. If not, she is going to figure it out eventually. Hopefully, you'll still be there for her when she does.