I notified my landlady about a possible move and asked her not to tell anyone. You can guess what happened next… Now all my friends hate me for not telling them! You’ve done nothing wrong, says our elder. They’ll understand.

Dear EWC

I received some exciting news about getting a job in an exotic place and started making plans for the move. I was worried that something would fall through so I didn’t tell any friends or even my adult children about it. I wanted to be sure before I told them. However, I did have to tell my landlady to notify her about the move. My landlady happened to be a former co-worker. I swore her to secrecy. Well, she told about 50 people. She told my former co-workers and unfortunately, she reached outside the work circle to some of my closest friends. My close friends were hurt that I didn’t tell them. My close friends contacted other close friends and then everyone was buzzing about this news that they heard secondhand. There was some fake-pretending-they-didn’t know going on. It became such a disaster. I confronted my landlady and I was very upset. She apologized, saying she thought I must have told my close friends. I could tell that she went into details about my news, where and when and what organization. Not just the basics. Now everyone is afraid of me and hardly talking. It’s so awkward. One friend said I should “get over it” and that really hurt too. I know I should get over it, but that’s easy to say. I’m leaving in a few days and sorry to leave in this discomfort. What should I do?

Good-Listener replies

First things first. Congrats on the new gig! OK, I know that’s not the issue at hand, but you do deserve good wishes.

To the topic at hand. Sometimes things just happen. The fact is, you tried to take precautions (as I would have done), but you had to call your landlord. There are likely rules regarding a certain amount of time to give notice, maybe you have a lease you have to negotiate out of. Whatever — the issue is this was someone who had to be told. The fact that she couldn’t keep her mouth shut speaks little for her, but it’s done.

I would contact your friends and say exactly what you’ve said here. You kept things quiet because you weren’t sure, and you didn’t want to “jinx” the job. You had to tell your landlord first and were preparing to contact friends in person, phone, text, etc. but she ignored your wishes.

You did nothing wrong, so you can’t do anything but apologize and explain yourself. They will understand — people are so involved in the craziness of the world and their lives, and if they’re a little hurt, they will get over it. I know and they know you didn’t intend to hurt anyone. Get ready for your new life, call whom you can — and look forward to some wonderful new possibilities. Good luck!

Letter #: 439403
Category: Friendship

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