Mixing business and friendship. Don’t go there.

That seems to be the experience of one MM reader who is seeking some Group Therapy for the following friend/work dilemma.

Karen* writes….

“My husband and I have been on the expat trail for many years. Like all members of expat communities we have created a close expat network. There was one couple in particular with whom we became very friendly (let’s call them Tom and Anne). Our children played soccer together and we shared many dinners and weekends together. Anne and I got together for coffee during the week and we became very involved in each other’s lives and interests.

Then, knowing that Tom was interested in professional photography, I asked whether he would do the photographs for a work event I was organising. He readily agreed and drew up a quote which we both agreed upon. To cut a long story short – the outcome was less than ideal – the photos were not great, he wanted more money and he became rather antagonistic in his emails/phone calls. Yet another example of what can go wrong when you mix business with friendship. Wish that I had listened to my husband…..

In less than a week, we went from close friends to virtual strangers. Tom and Anne gave us a wide berth at soccer matches and didn’t make eye contact even when we were within speaking distance. I felt truly awful as I really like Anne and valued my friendship with her. I thought of calling her on many occasions but always backed down.

It’s now been almost a year since we last spoke – and out of the blue, Anne has joined the gym where I work out and I am now seeing her almost every day. Apart from exchanging hellos, not much else has been said. To be honest, she’s still the best friend I’ve made since moving here.

I would really appreciate some advice and experience from the Mamamia community – should I try and initiate a coffee and chat, or should I leave this well alone? “


NOTE: If you have a life situation that could benefit from some collective wisdom, email with the subject GROUP THERAPY here. You can be anonymous, naturally.


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