Exploiting someone’s kindness, especially when they’re exceptionally kind, is one of the most unethical things to do!

A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for not helping my friend throw her son a birthday party?”. What’s your take on the matter? 


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For context, the Original Poster (OP) (26F) is the youngest first-year resident in her training specialty (Obstetrics and Gynecology). 

“Other residents that I’ve come to know as friends are all older and either married or in serious relationships,” says OP. 


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OP is not in any serious relationship or married. So, whenever the other residents feel they need to be somewhere for family or an emergency for their kids, they change their shifts with OP.

“I usually happily accept that because I don’t have anything going on in my life other than my work or some fun, and I love it,” says OP. 


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Now, a friend of OP (30F), let’s call her Jasmine, is going to celebrate her son’s birthday. She told OP she wanted to change her shift with OP so that she could have more free time to plan it. 

“Usually, I’d be okay with this, but the week before, I met a girl I liked and planned to go on a date with her that day. I don’t want to be the jerk who reschedules at the last minute”, says OP. 


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She (OP) informed Jasmine precisely that she was going on a date. Jasmine was very disappointed and said she couldn’t believe that OP thought her son’s birthday was less important than a date with a girl OP had only met last week.

“She said it is already clear how this relationship will end up given my history (I don’t usually do long-term relationships),” says OP. 


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OP was a bit shocked by her comment, and OP told her gossip wouldn’t get her anywhere and she’d better find another solution since OP wouldn’t be helping her.


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“My other friends said I was rude to her because she was just stressed and was planning for her extended family to celebrate with her. I still think that’s not my problem. Am I a jerk?” asks OP. 


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“Not the jerk. Your friend had a whole year to plan this birthday. Her lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on your part. Go have your date and have fun.”


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“Not the jerk. Just because you have been gracious in switching shifts in the past does not mean you are required to switch shifts anytime someone asks. 

You have a life that is not meant to be lived around other people’s schedules. Prioritize yourself and your plans! Jasmine’s response shows great emotional immaturity.”


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“Not the jerk. Tell your ‘friends’ that you were stressed out because you suddenly realized you were being gossiped about and taken advantage of.”


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“Not the jerk. It is high time you started to set some boundaries. Stop giving reasons. Say, ‘No, that does not work for me’. Jasmine was rude to you and massively exploiting you.”


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“Not the jerk. Exactly as you said, Jasmine’s situation is not your problem. It’s great that you have been willing to help the other residents so often, but none of them are entitled to that. 

You are more than entitled to prioritize your needs/desires, not only ‘despite’ your history of willingness to cover shifts but also ‘because’ of that track record of helpfulness.”


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“Not the jerk. You don’t owe anybody anything. The way she responded shows that she feels entitled. They should be grateful you’re kind and flexible enough to take their shifts. 

They should understand that just because you’re single doesn’t mean you don’t have your own life to live. Not the jerk at all, mate.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.

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