The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a male university student in my 20s. I belong to an extracurricular track-and-field club at my university. It seems a younger female member of the club hates me.
She and I like the same singer, so I asked her to go with me to the singer’s concert. She declined, like I expected she would. I probably shouldn’t have gone further, but during a training session a while later I said to her, “I’ve saved up a lot of money, so I’ll buy something for you.”
Knowing I shouldn’t have said such a thing, I sent her an email, saying, “I told you I’d saved up a lot of money. I apologize for doing that.” She sent me a reply, saying, “I don’t mind. No problem.” I still regret having said such a thing.
There’s one more thing. At a more recent training session, we were supposed to do a long-distance run together at a set pace, but I ran faster than the designated time. After the session, she shot me a critical look. I’m ashamed to tell you this, but now I don’t dare to even speak to her.
I have the impression some other female members of the club also hate me. I’m in a very awkward situation now, and I’m aware I’m responsible for all of it. Can I patch up our uneasy relationship?
T, Saitama Prefecture
Dear Mr. T:
You can’t erase what you’ve already said to her. As you yourself know, you did something wrong — all you can do now is reflect on it and make efforts to not repeat similar mistakes.
You tend to speak and behave casually, which eventually hurts people. It’s because you only think of yourself. It’s none of their business how much money you saved up. Your penchant for using money to attract people is shameful. Such behavior is associated with your view of life, so you definitely need to correct it.
In a word, you behaved too frivolously. To improve yourself in the future, you first need to be careful of what you say. Before you say something to someone, you should pause for a moment and think hard about whether it would hurt that person’s feelings.
It won’t work to apologize after saying something inappropriate. Doing so will only result in you being held in contempt.
If you want to patch up your uneasy relationship with her, you should concentrate on your athletic training. People make up their minds to trust someone based on that person’s attitude, not their words.
So you should immediately start devoting yourself to your training. You should also more seriously devote yourself to your studies at university.
Tatsuro Dekune, writer