“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”
One of the many explanations of this quote is: a person commits an act believing it is in fact a good deed, i.e 'his good intention'. The result however, or the action viewed from an external perspective may be in fact a bad one.
Well that is exactly what happened to me this week and right now, that road is bumpy.
I went to a friend (we have been friend for at least 8 years) early this week at work and expressed my concern for her stressed out behavior and just overall falling behind in work. This is not typical of her at all. She is that “perfect” friend that we all have. You know the one with the wonderful husband, great life, great hair and always put together. Never seems ruffled and organized and professional.
Well that conversation went over about as well as a fart in church (sorry for the expression, but it sums up the exact turn and expression that came across her face). She got so defensive and then turned on me.
All I was trying to do was help a friend out. Told her that if she needed help just to let me know & that I had her back on as many things as I could. I wasn’t trying to throw her under the bus to anyone I was just trying to help.
Well I got the cold shoulder for the rest of the day. Figured it would be better today after she had time to sleep on it.
Boy was I wrong. I came in to work this morning to an email advising me of all the things that she no longer needed my help on. So I sent her a message, apologizing that if I upset her it wasn’t my intention. I was just trying to be a friend and prevent things from completely blowing up on her at work. I was willing to help if she just asked. Also if she was mad at me I wanted to know so that I could stay out of her way and let her get over it.
Her Response: No. I am fine. Thanks.
Uh huh… after that response… I am going with she is upset. Not sure why. I mean I know we both are “A type” personality and think that we can do it all. But the fact is that no one can and at times we all need help. Guess it take some people longer in life to realize that (then again, some never do).
She did make me take a step back and reflect on my own life. I too, was like her. I was so focused on my career that nothing else matterd. I was afraid to not be able to get everything done and afraid to turn down an opportunity. I started to burn out, but wouldn’t give in. That all changed after my divorce and becoming a single mom. It was my daughter that put into perspective for me. She was only 2 years old and I working from home at night trying to make a deadline. She threw a stuffed animal at me while I was sitting on the computer and ask “mommy are you ever going to play with me?”
At that moment I realized that I was ALWAYS working at home at night and hardly ever really spending quality time with her. I didn’t think that at that age it would “bother her” and that there was “always time on the weekends” At that moment I realized the error of my ways and that I had to put things in perspective. She was more important and I was missing out on those little moments.
I needed perspective and I found it thanks to her. I was able to find that balance and continue to move up the corporate ladder, but I also had to accept that it wasn’t going to be as fast as I wanted because she is more important.
I am hoping that this doesn’t ruin a friendship, because I don’t think I did anything wrong. Just expressing concern for a friend which completely blew up in my face.