Because You Are Polite

by Ginger Philbrick

My boyfriend and I broke up about a month ago. We had gone together for two years, but after one too many arguments, I told him we needed to break up. 

Yesterday, I learned that my best girlfriend suggested to my ex-boyfriend that he go out with another girl we know. It probably sounds crazy, but it made me angry and very hurt. Do you think she was fair, or mean, to do that when she should have known it would hurt me?

Troubled Teen, Lancaster

Although this has to do with affairs of the heart, it also involves manners. The keyword in a definition of good manners is kindness. And kindness is often born out of trying to put ourselves in another’s place.

It would seem that your friend—and best friend at that—was probably not thinking how you would feel about her match-making. Only you know the depth and character of your feelings for your ex. She might have thought that since you were the one who broke the relationship off, you wouldn’t mind. But no matter what her rationale was, it would have been kinder of her to ask you before she acted.

I hope that before you end another relationship, i.e. the one with your girlfriend, you will try to put yourself in her place. In order to do that, let her know how you feel about her actions and ask her what her thoughts were when she made the decision to make her suggestion.

If you can see her side of the situation, and are willing to forgive her for hurt that she probably didn’t even imagine she was inflicting, you will feel better and will have prevented another painful loss.

Ginger Philbrick is the owner of Because You Are Polite LLC. You are invited to email your manners questions to her and she will respond as time and space allow. You may contact her at