NZ Woman's Weekly

When your friend has the birthday blues

Dear Wendyl,
A close friend of mine had a really rough time last year and I could tell she wasn’t looking forward to her birthday. So I offered to have a small gathering for her and told her to invite whoever she wanted. She agreed but when the day came she rang up and said she was too tired. I had catered for 20 and had all this food in my fridge and had gone to a lot of trouble. I didn’t have much choice but to accept her cancellation but it really annoyed me that I had tried to do something nice and she was so rude. Now I’m finding it hard to be very nice to her.

Disappointed, Invercargill

Dear Disappointed,
I’m with your friend on this. If she had a rough time it could be that she just didn’t feel like forcing herself to be social and wanted a quiet time. As a close friend, you need to understand that. However, it was really lovely of you to try to help her so I can understand your disappointment. Give her a break on this one and maybe next time you want to be a good friend, find something that she might really need, like cooking a meal and taking it around or offering to do her shopping. Sometimes people who are healing or recovering from trauma don’t feel like parties; they just feel like being looked after. I’m sure she feels terrible cancelling but obviously she just wasn’t up to it so don’t add to her woes by making her feel worse.

Send your questions to or write to Agony Aunt, NZWW, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

Issue 1541

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In this week's issue of New Zealand Woman's Weekly magazine: Simon Barnett reveals his seven magic rules for raising girls.

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