Is it normal to show people letters of recommendation?

Post date: 2021-10-19 17:04:13
Views: 17
I wrote a reference letter for a grant application for a plate of beans someone I think highly of, am not in a position of power over, and hope to be friends with. I'd like to offer to share it with her if she wants to see it, but I genuinely don't know if that's okay!

I have no reason for wanting to share the letter except that I think she's great and I said so and I like to share that sort of thing with people. We were coworkers for a fairly short time, and while I was technically her supervisor our work was more collaborative—I have not offered to let former interns see the grad school reference letters I wrote for them, but this one feels more like praising a colleague. We don't work together anymore but we're friendly and I'm hoping we can be friends once we have a chance to hang out socially.

She wrote to say thank you now that her application is complete, and it feels very natural to say "my pleasure, and also if you want to see it I'm happy to share." But I thought about it, and the only person who's ever offered to let me see a reference letter was a college professor who elided a LOT of boundaries with me in a way that was very harmful. So now I'm second-guessing myself! Is it actually a fucked up thing to suggest, or some kind of weird power play? Would I be implicitly asking for gratitude? Would it put her in an awkward position?

Basically, I can't tell whether this is a creepy offer with ethical problems, or a normal offer that in my specific life has only been made by creepy people with ethical problems. Help me not be a weirdo to a person I just want to say nice things to/about and then maybe go get coffee!
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