"Why didn't you *tell* me?"

So, here’s a conversation:

  • Rachel: I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping for the past several months because I’ve been worried about school.
  • Sarah: Why didn’t you *tell* me? I could have helped!

And another:

  • Dan: It’s going to be really weird going home for Christmas this year now that my sister isn’t talking to us.
  • Dave: Why didn’t you *tell* me that your sister did that? I could have helped you! My brother did that too!

If you react that way, it shifts the focus away from your friend who needs help, and onto your self image as a helpful person.

Do not do this. They’re coming to you now. Be there for them now. Don’t be angry on behalf of an imaginary situation you feel cheated of.

Someone else’s personal problem is not about you.

They’re telling you now. Don’t make it about you. Offer support. Not like they owed it to you to want your support all along.