Q: The recession has hit my friend hard. I am fortunate that it hasn’t affected me as badly. What should I do to let her know I’m sorry for her without seeming to gloat?
A: You’re right to be sensitive to your friend’s needs at this time. In fact Emily Post always said, “Etiquette is a sensitive awareness to the needs of others.” Be sensitive when discussing your own life with her. Avoid conversations about money when possible. Continue to extend invitations, and try to find things you can do together that don’t involve money. Maybe invite her over to your house for dinner rather than going out to a restaurant. All she may need right now is a shoulder to lean on and someone who will listen to her.
For more on dealing with difficult conversations, check out Peggy Post’s “Excuse Me, But I Was Next…”.