Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Relationships: What they’ll do with you, they’ll do to you

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

couple-having-conversationI had a female student come to me and ask me for relationship advice. The student had a male friend who was in a relationship with someone else. The problem was that she had developed a romantic interest in her male friend. “So, Professor, what do you think I should do?” she inquired.

Upon speaking with her a little more, I got the impression that she cared about her friend and valued the friendship. My advice to her was just to refrain from letting him know how she felt and appreciate the friendship that they had as it was. She then told me that she had a feeling that he felt the same way about her and this is the point where I saw a teachable moment.

Have you ever heard of the saying “what they’ll do with you, they’ll do to you”?
What I asked the student was what I would ask anyone in this predicament; “If he leaves his current relationship to be with you, how secure are you going to be about him having other female friends?” Here’s another question: “If anything inappropriate were to happen while he is still in the relationship, would you be able to trust him if you eventually ended up in the relationship with him?” And “Should you trust him?”
The reason why I was asking these questions, of course, was so that the student would be able to see that if she told her friend how she felt, any action that he took, even if it initially gave her what she wanted had the potential to cause problems down the line. If she eventually ended up in a relationship with her friend because he had left his girlfriend, I predicted that she would have a difficult time trusting him not to leave her for someone else and this would not be unreasonable considering that she knew he had done it before. Basically what I was saying to her was that if her friend left his girlfriend to start a relationship with her, I believed he was capable of doing the same to her. Another scenario was that if her friend became romantically involved with her, while he was in a relationship with someone else, even if the other relationship eventually ended, again I believed that he was capable of doing the same thing to her, hence the saying “what they’ll do with you, they’ll do to you!”

At the end of our conversation, the student assured me that she would leave the friendship as it was and I hope that is what she did.

This principle though is not only applicable to the scenario that I just described. Gossiping, lying and treating others badly are just a few of the examples of how this principle can be applied. Anyone who says negative things to you about someone you both know, for example, will more than likely say negative things about you to other people in your absence. The list is endless, but the lesson is the same in each scenario. We all learned it in the first grade: If you don’t want something done to you, don’t do it to others.

Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter

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