Ms. Meniscus advises a woman on how to win over a friend who may be too focused on helping her clean.
Dear Ms. Meniscus,
My best friend since high school came over and cleaned my house the last time I had a flare. She is great at it and we had the chance to talk while she was working and I was doing what I could, like folding clothes and other easy stuff.
I’m feeling much better now, but she hasn’t stopped cleaning. I love her but I think she’s got some version of a compulsive disorder. I’m not saying my house doesn’t need cleaning, but I’m not enjoying her company anymore. She comes over and starts vacuuming and we don’t get a chance to enjoy each other. Last time she was here I joked that we could build computer chips in my living room – it’s that clean. She barely heard me because she had her ear buds in and was polishing the end tables.
What can I do to get this relationship back on track?
Computer chips? Sounds like you have a tech background!
It appears that your friendship may suffer from a case of monotony. She comes to help you clean, but you have different tasks that may not even require you to be in the same room together.
You can see if there are any common tasks that you can perform together that require interaction, like washing and drying dishes or changing the sheets on the bed. This will give you some more face-to-face time. Do some of the cleaning beforehand, finish a bit earlier and have some coffee or tea before she goes back home.
However, I think the best way to get you two back on track is to invite her to do something completely different. Go to dinner and a show. Go for a long walk in a park or around the neighborhood.
You have been friends for a very long time. You surely have some things in common that might have been forgotten. Try to remember what you have in common again and reengage her on that!
Maybe she likes computers, too!
No matter what you decide to do, make sure you take time to tell her how much you appreciate her help.
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