February 29, 2024
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Welcome to Powerful Love. We’re answering your questions on courting, breakups, and every part in between. Our recommendation giver is Blair Braverman, dogsled racer and creator of Small Sport and Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Dice. Have a query of your personal? Write to us at [email protected].


My husband and I lately went out of city, and my pal got here by to deal with our chickens. Now we have raised them since they had been chicks they usually’re very pleasant. My pal is a passionate animal lover and going via some relationship difficulties, so she mentioned that the time with the chickens could be actually soothing for her. She didn’t have a lot hen expertise earlier than however I confirmed her what to do. She despatched photos each day we had been gone.

Once I bought again, one of many chickens was lacking, and it looks like my pal has no concept and didn’t discover. I haven’t discovered the hen anyplace, and I can solely guess that when my pal allow them to out of their run, she didn’t rely them once they got here again in, so the hen was left exterior and eaten by predators. 

My husband and I’ve been speaking about whether or not to inform my pal {that a} hen died on her watch. My husband says that she was irresponsible, and he or she ought to know that that has repercussions. I really feel torn about it. She’s a delicate particular person with sturdy feelings, so I fear that she would actually beat herself up concerning the hen’s loss of life. I’m unhappy however I’m not offended along with her, however I additionally really feel like I’d find yourself having to consolation her, which I’m not that desirous to do. Is there a degree to telling her?

There’s nobody proper or unsuitable resolution right here, as a result of nothing you say will deliver your hen again. You might inform your pal, or select to not; it is dependent upon what sort of relationship you have got, what your objectives are going ahead, and what you’re hoping to get from the dialog.

Your logic in making the choice would possibly go one thing like this.

Is your chicken-sitter an in depth pal? In that case, then:

  1. You might inform her, as a result of it’s vital to protect honesty within the relationship.
  2. You won’t inform her, as a result of you realize she’s struggling, and also you wish to shield her feelings firstly.

Are you simply informal associates? In that case, then:

  1. You might inform her, in order that if she made a mistake, she will study from it.
  2. You won’t inform her, as a result of your relationship doesn’t warrant the vitality that the dialog would require from you.

Your selection will rely on the nuances of her character, your character, and your explicit relationship. Ask your self, is your friendship constructed on being utterly simple with one another? Or is it about cushioning one another from hardship, and providing consolation and help? The place do your private values fall alongside that spectrum?

There’s a last cause to inform your pal concerning the lacking hen, and that’s that you simply don’t truly know what occurred, and there’s an opportunity that your pal may enable you to remedy the thriller. You’re guessing that your pal was sloppy—and it’s true that she didn’t discover your hen was lacking—however the hen won’t have disappeared due to negligence. Perhaps there’s a gap in your coop, or you have got an automated door that didn’t perform, or a weasel managed to sneak in. If that’s the case, it might be higher to determine it out as quickly as potential, in an effort to repair the issue and shield your different birds. You might attempt saying one thing like, “Hey, the chickens appear actually pleased and wholesome, however one among them is lacking. Do you have got any concept what might need occurred?” That means, you’re setting your self as much as be on the identical aspect as her—and also you’re each on the aspect of the chickens.

You additionally talked about worrying about having to consolation her, which means that it is perhaps a sample in your friendship. There’s one thing notably annoying (at finest) or hurtful (at worst) about telling somebody how they harmed you after which having to consolation them about it, however the resolution isn’t so simple as simply avoiding matters that may upset them. It’s at all times a greater technique to pre-empt a breakdown quite than attempt to change somebody’s temper as soon as they’re already upset, so should you do resolve to inform her, arrange the dialog as gently as potential. As an illustration: “I wish to speak with you about one thing, however I actually need you to know that I’m not offended, OK? I’m simply telling you so you realize.” (In case you are offended with somebody, that’s a unique state of affairs, and possibly you’re OK with them having to sit down with unfavorable feelings for some time. If you realize that you simply’ll really feel pressured to consolation them, attempt writing your emotions as a letter or e-mail, so you may each have area to course of.)

Your emotions round this case will settle out with time, so should you don’t suppose your different chickens are presently at risk, and also you wish to inform your pal however dread the emotional fallout, you may additionally simply put issues off for some time. Think about telling your pal in, say, two months’ time, when you may body the reveal casually, as should you’ve solely simply remembered. (“Hey, did I ever point out that…”) Does it appear to be that might make issues simpler? In that case, you have got my full blessing to have interaction in some intentional procrastination. And if you wish to keep away from delicate pet-sitting conditions like this sooner or later, rent knowledgeable.

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