First, let me introduce the cast of characters. Of course, you've got me; the young, dashing, handsome and intrepid hero. Next, there's a friend of mine. Let's call her...uh...Leia. Leia and I have had our ups and downs over the years. We've been pretty close throughout; but recent differences in ideology have caused us to go our separate ways. Though we're not by any means enemies, I've concluded that the best way to handle our relationship is by distance and disassociation on just about every level.
Now, there's one final player in this story. We'll call her...uh...Skeeter. I know Skeeter through Leia. In fact, it's only because of Leia that I have any relationship with Skeeter. Though Skeeter and I aren't really that close, she's been coming to me lately; seeking my help on a few things. Now, it's never been in my nature to just turn people down outright. And it's been no exception with her. Even though I've been pretty busy lately, I wouldn't hesitate to stop and provide her with my assistance and expertise as needed. After all, I've always believed that one of the best ways to show thanks to God for His blessings is to bless someone else.
Now that the players have been introduced, let me get to the root of the problem: Skeeter and Leia are very close. And any association I have with Skeeter (in this case, providing her assistance and support) opens doors of association (albeit indirectly) with Leia that I'd rather keep closed.
Don't get me wrong: dealing with Skeeter doesn't place me in ackward spots where I have to be around Leia. But the reality is: my relationship with Skeeter was first formed through Leia. Now that my relationship with Leia is all but over, I want to employ disassociation with all things Leia; including Skeeter. How do I do so without hurting Skeeter's feelings or -- more importantly -- without suggesting that I'm trying to punish her for a riff between Leia and me; over which she had no control?
In a perfect world scenario, Skeeter would realize that her association with me sets the stage for a major conflict. But in her innocence (and perhaps, her being a little credulous) won't allow her to see that. I'm all for being direct to get rid of someone you consider incessant. But at the same time, I've got a little conscience growing in a jar somewhere too. What's a brotha to do?