I find that it’s particularly hard for me to help someone when they want my help but I disagree on what’s helpful? Especially when I’m seen as an expert.
Instance: Friend for years messages me,
By any chance would you care to see if you could fix my stereo?
You mentioned you may be able to look at it.
Either that or I have to get a new one in which case, the one I want is about $900
Generally, I’m happy to help this friend with stuff and have, many many times. Frequently. We support/are good for each other.
But receiving this request was very frustrating. I had tried to help a long time ago but hadn’t had success and we dropped it. Since then we got together and did other things several times. There’s another (working) stereo system and it not a big house. A few months ago it came up again and I provided my recollection of the situation. I said I recall we tested the speakers and couldn’t get one to work with the same signal and cable that worked with the other speaker, but you insist they work and don’t want to look at that. You didn’t want to try my idea which was to try plugging in different speakers. I think (but didn’t say) they’re emotionally attached to the speakers and hence insisted they still work. We moved on. And that was it until I got that message the other day.
I can’t. You don’t accept my advice or troubleshooting strategy. I said I recall we tested the speakers and couldn’t get one to work with the same signal and cable that worked with the other speaker, but you insist they work and don’t want to look at that.
This is a short excerpt from a many times longer rant reply:
I had someone else look at it and the wire was loose from the plug!
I bought new wire and new plugs.
Don’t worry, I’m never gonna ask you for anything. Too close for comfort. I’ve decided I’m better off being a loner! I could care less about anyone anymore. Time for change, life moves on.
Lately you act like I’m just a nuisance.
It seems it landed as very insulting when I stated there was a disagreement that was keeping me from being helpful.
I don’t feel my ‘no’ was that bad. I'm not clear on who set it on fire, but it seems clear the bridge has burned down.
- Avoid the further frustration from trying to help when I can't/feel it's beyond my frustration tolerance.
- Avoid triggering an end to the friendship.
- Help, if I can while being consistent with 1&2.