Jump to content

Friend feels trapped, anxious, and wants to run away


Recommended Posts

Hello!

I hope this is the correct forum to place this question in. Please let me know if I should post this somewhere else!

I have a friend who's known to be a bit flakey. She's a truly wonderful person, but she's admitted herself that she has "commitment issues". She's currently in her final year of Law school and has been offered a job with a very good firm in our city. She still needs to finish some of her schooling, but she would start in February of 2023. She told me today she got the offer and I was over the moon happy for her. But then she said something along the lines of:

"I feel trapped and defeated, to be honest with you. Signing into a contract, even one that's 18 months gives me really bad anxiety and I don't understand exactly everything the contract entails. I feel like I'm pressured into signing it sooner rather than later too! It's not that I don't want to work for *lawfirm here*, they're great, but I just feel like I'm trapped into something and I actually just want to play music and travel the world!....I want to run away.."

We agreed to meet up for drinks tomorrow night to discuss things and just catch up. What can I say to her? Is there anything I can do for her? How can I let her know that I'm here for her and support her regardless of what she decides to do? 

Thank you for any input!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, temporarycontrol said:

It's not that I don't want to work for *lawfirm here*, they're great, but I just feel like I'm trapped into something and I actually just want to play music and travel the world!....I want to run away.."

You're a good friend, and she's lucky to have you.

I think the approach I'd take over drinks is to relax so that I'm modeling relaxation for friend. I'd invite her to relax with me to whatever degree that she can in just this time and this space.

Then I'd encourage her to explore the scenarios above with me just for fun. Like... "Okay, let's say there's no job offer and you get to relax and play music. Do you want to think about this and how it feels?"

Then just listen. See where she takes it--for as long as she wants. Then bring up the world travel part, and let her run with that.

Let her talk herself though pursuing these things, and let her go as bizarre or as practical as she wants. Trust that whether it happens during your visit, or it happens afterward, she will eventually talk or think herself to the point where she came up with the reason why she chose to go to school instead of pursuing this stuff straight out of high school.

She'll get there on her own, you won't need to lead her. And you'll be the one person in her life that didn't panic and immediately start trying to beat her back into conformity. I mean, she's not talking about anything harmful--she's talking about an alternate universe. So let her play with that, and remind yourself that even if she turns down the job, it's not a catastrophe.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, temporarycontrol said:

 I don't understand exactly everything the contract entails.  It's not that I don't want to work for *lawfirm here*, they're great.

We agreed to meet up for drinks tomorrow night to discuss things and just catch up. 

Are you interested in her? Because a future attorney who can't "understand contracts" seems a bit strange, no? Isn't contact law covered in law school?

That's like a medical student who "can't understand" illnesses. In other words this makes no sense.

Who's idea was it to get together for drinks? It's doubtful she needs professional advice. If she did she could ask her law professors.

Is this the same woman?:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think she's having cold feet.  I don't think this specific situation is about conformity or otherwise -that would be if she hadn't yet started exploring post-grad options.  She chose to pursue employment related to her course of study and that employment requires the 18 month commitment. 

Commiting to 18 months doesn't mean she's "conforming" just like choosing to travel instead isn't necessarily non-conformist -especially since her motivation is fear -she fears commitment so she wants to run -rather than the positive decision of "there are two paths, I will take the road less traveled because from a positive mindset I know it's best for me."  I committed to marriage and a family and relocating and being a SAHM for a couple of years not to conform -not at all -because it's what I'd desired for the 20 years before I was able to put my plan in place -what I desired not what others told me to desire to conform.

Of course she understands the contractual language she just also understands that it makes her feel trapped.  I like catfeeder's opinion on how to let her express what she is feeling.  Also ask her if she can defer/delay the offer and perhaps guide her to a place where she understands that it might be really really hard to get another offer like this especially with a gap in her resume for traveling/music after law school.  And if she has law school loans.

If there are terms in the contract she doesn't understand you can offer to review an email she might send to their HR department or review how she would express her questions -maybe she's concerned about penalties for not completing the 18 months (if any), or whether she can take all her vacation at once and do the traveling she likes, if she can defer, etc.  Also whateve the contract says if she doesnt' complete the 18 months she may not get a good reference from them. Where she works is it kind of a small world where that could follow her in a negative way?

Also I'd see if she plans to post on social media about her desires and plans -she wouldn't want her future employer to see or hear of her concerns about the contract or plans that are inconsistent with her signing on with them. But again this has to come from her -you listen, she takes the lead -sometimes you can guide a person though to certain topics which is all I am suggesting.

You are a great friend.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, temporarycontrol said:

Hello!

I hope this is the correct forum to place this question in. Please let me know if I should post this somewhere else!

I have a friend who's known to be a bit flakey. She's a truly wonderful person, but she's admitted herself that she has "commitment issues". She's currently in her final year of Law school and has been offered a job with a very good firm in our city. She still needs to finish some of her schooling, but she would start in February of 2023. She told me today she got the offer and I was over the moon happy for her. But then she said something along the lines of:

"I feel trapped and defeated, to be honest with you. Signing into a contract, even one that's 18 months gives me really bad anxiety and I don't understand exactly everything the contract entails. I feel like I'm pressured into signing it sooner rather than later too! It's not that I don't want to work for *lawfirm here*, they're great, but I just feel like I'm trapped into something and I actually just want to play music and travel the world!....I want to run away.."

We agreed to meet up for drinks tomorrow night to discuss things and just catch up. What can I say to her? Is there anything I can do for her? How can I let her know that I'm here for her and support her regardless of what she decides to do? 

Thank you for any input!

 

Don’t get involved in her decision and let her vent or talk out her anxiety. This sounds like general venting and chit chat to me. “I’m so happy but…” 

Does she show interest in you as a friend or are your chats always about her? Change the topic if you prefer talking about something else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Are you interested in her? Because a future attorney who can't "understand contracts" seems a bit strange, no? Isn't contact law covered in law school?

That's like a medical student who "can't understand" illnesses. In other words this makes no sense.

Who's idea was it to get together for drinks? It's doubtful she needs professional advice. If she did she could ask her law professors.

Is this the same woman?:

 

Thanks for responding and remembering my last post!

I kind of agree with you about a future attorney who can't understand contracts being weird. I initially joked with her about the same thing, but she seemed to get defensive about it so I just left it and said we could take about this later. 

COMPLETELY different woman haha! No interest at all, this is an old friend from Uni, who is currently very happily married to a mutual friend. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, temporarycontrol said:

Thanks for responding and remembering my last post!

I kind of agree with you about a future attorney who can't understand contracts being weird. I initially joked with her about the same thing, but she seemed to get defensive about it so I just left it and said we could take about this later. 

COMPLETELY different woman haha! No interest at all, this is an old friend from Uni, who is currently very happily married to a mutual friend. 

I don't -do you expect a medical student-resident specializing in dermatology to know how to read an EKG of a cardiac patient? Did your friend specialize in or do internships in employment contracts? My sense is her defensiveness is because she knows it's a big deal to get a job offer like this and she's ready to throw it all away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, temporarycontrol said:

this is an old friend from Uni, who is currently very happily married to a mutual friend

Do you know how her spouse feels about her desire to run away? Or at the very least, not to take this specific opportunity? 

I wonder if there's more to it than being ansty about an 18-month work contract. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Batya33 said:

I don't -do you expect a medical student-resident specializing in dermatology to know how to read an EKG of a cardiac patient? Did your friend specialize in or do internships in employment contracts? My sense is her defensiveness is because she knows it's a big deal to get a job offer like this and she's ready to throw it all away.

I'm not 100% certain what her internships have been in. Truthfully we never really talk a lot about her schooling other than "hey how's school going? Good? Almost done!". My genuine feeling is that she's mentioned in the past she has "long-term commitment issues" and she see's this as she's trapping herself in one job that she's never wanted to really do and doesn't want to go ahead with it. But that would be.....catastrophic for her and her family. The amount of debt she has is painfully high and she needs to pay it back asap. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

Do you know how her spouse feels about her desire to run away? Or at the very least, not to take this specific opportunity? 

I wonder if there's more to it than being ansty about an 18-month work contract. 

I hope he knows. The last time I saw Matt (her husband) was a couple months ago when we met up at a birthday party. He does know we're meeting up for dinner/drinks (I semi-jokingly asked him for restaurant ideas and in a sense made sure he was okay with us going out), but I don't know how much he knows about her current feelings. Their relationship, at least on the surface, seems good and I can't imagine she's hiding her feelings from him but I'm not 100% certain. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, temporarycontrol said:

I'm not 100% certain what her internships have been in. Truthfully we never really talk a lot about her schooling other than "hey how's school going? Good? Almost done!". My genuine feeling is that she's mentioned in the past she has "long-term commitment issues" and she see's this as she's trapping herself in one job that she's never wanted to really do and doesn't want to go ahead with it. But that would be.....catastrophic for her and her family. The amount of debt she has is painfully high and she needs to pay it back asap. 

Also make sure she does not start asking you for $ or ask you to contribute to a gofundme kind of thing.  If she doesn't want the job it would be a terrible idea -including for her resume -to take it if she's not willing to put 100% into it.  She has commitment issues - sounds like she is married and has a family

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, temporarycontrol said:

I actually just want to play music and travel the world!....I want to run away.."

The above stood out to me when you mentioned she is married. 

She might be just having a fight-or-flight response, but I would be curious if her husband knows how anxious she feels about all of this and wanting to escape. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

Don’t get involved in her decision and let her vent or talk out her anxiety. This sounds like general venting and chit chat to me. “I’m so happy but…” 

Does she show interest in you as a friend or are your chats always about her? Change the topic if you prefer talking about something else.

Ya I definitely want to stay away from "tell me what to do!". Normally she jokes about being high strung and flakey, but this is the first time she's had a serious chat about wanting to run away and feeling trapped. 

 

No interest either way, she's happily married and I'm not interested in anything but friendship with her. We went one one date.....6 years ago? I think we both realized we aren't the right fit for one another haha. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Also make sure she does not start asking you for $ or ask you to contribute to a gofundme kind of thing.  If she doesn't want the job it would be a terrible idea -including for her resume -to take it if she's not willing to put 100% into it.  She has commitment issues - sounds like she is married and has a family

Can't imagine she would ask for $. I would immediately shut that down. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, temporarycontrol said:

Can't imagine she would ask for $. I would immediately shut that down. 

Imagine it.  I've had that situation in the most unlikely of circumstances and if she doesn't take the job and wants to travel plus pay off loans and/or start some new like yoga business do not be surprised if she starts some gofundme or asks you to "invest" in her business idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Imagine it.  I've had that situation in the most unlikely of circumstances and if she doesn't take the job and wants to travel plus pay off loans and/or start some new like yoga business do not be surprised if she starts some gofundme or asks you to "invest" in her business idea.

Wow - that would be crazy! I'd have no problem standing up and walking out haha. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, temporarycontrol said:

Wow - that would be crazy! I'd have no problem standing up and walking out haha. 

Oh ok good -also since she is married I'd stay away from her situation because what you offer affects her husband's life too and he might not appreciate if it seems like you're supporting her having a significant financial impact on the family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/10/2022 at 9:30 AM, temporarycontrol said:

I'm not 100% certain what her internships have been in. Truthfully we never really talk a lot about her schooling other than "hey how's school going? Good? Almost done!". My genuine feeling is that she's mentioned in the past she has "long-term commitment issues" and she see's this as she's trapping herself in one job that she's never wanted to really do and doesn't want to go ahead with it. But that would be.....catastrophic for her and her family. The amount of debt she has is painfully high and she needs to pay it back asap. 

She can start by reading the contract. 

I’d let her talk but distance yourself or involve yourself less in her decisions. I’m sure she realizes she has bills to pay. She’s just venting and fantasizing outloud. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Signs she is not faithful
Signs she is not faithful

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...