Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Friend references

There are a lot of reasons why the information one may get from a friend might not be of the highest caliber. (Don't get offended out there; it is a fact that references received from friends are not always reliable)

I have heard of friends giving totally "off the wall" information just because they did not like the tone in which a question was asked, or they did not think the question was a worthy one and therefore they felt it slighted their friend. The problem is that although the question might be unworthy, the way it is answered does a lot of damage, which surely the friend did not intend.

So all you friends out there, answer all questions to the best of your ability even if you think it is unworthy or annoying. When you do not know an answer (and this goes for everyone) say so. "I do not know" is better than speculating and assuming.

Girls often get asked in a lot of ways and forms for their friend's size. We all agree that it is a question that should not be asked because size is not what we should be checking out, but that is not a good reason to either hang up the phone or be less than gracious to the person requesting the information. It is understood that even if the girl is a size 2 one still does not wish to answer such a question, in which case one can answer with a witticism, or that: “She is the right size” knowing that if one refuses to answer it will be construed as a negative answer.

Friends who have lost touch since high school should specify that they have not been in touch, or have not seen each other in a long time. The growing years between high school and marriage are very formative years. A person will change tremendously during that time, therefore the way one acted then and the way one acts now could be entirely different.

A friend might be called because the person inquiring knows that these two people are friends. It does not mean one is on the friends list as a reference. Therefore if one has not heard from a friend in a long time, one should say that in a nice way, while giving positive information and reminding the caller that it is a while since there was contact.

In short, whether you are a close friend or a fair-weather friend when asked for information answer as best and as politely as you can and do not get riled at the questions you hear.


Anonymous said...

Young people need to be coached in how to respond to questions. It is almost unfair to put young people on the spot like that, without a lot of guidance and even practice. A program/lecture maybe can be organized in Crown Heights for bochurim and also girls covering this.

Basmelech said...

You are right. Part of shidduchim lectures in Seminaries should deal with how to answer requests for information.

The problem in talking to bochurim is that any matter to do with shidduchim dating has to be discussed with them one on one and not in a group setting. Only certain topics can be discussed in a lecture. Even so, whatever can be discussed in group settings should be taught to the ones in shidduchim.