DAME’s Friendkeeper helps a woman understand a nice-IRL pal who goes full brag on the Internet, and tells another how best to request some one-on-one hang time with an invite-happy cohort.
A middle-school classmate and I have kept in touch all these years, and I’ve always been glad that we’re still friends. But lately, her Facebook and Instagram feeds have been getting on my nerves. They’re almost always about stuff she buys, and it’s starting to bug. A lot. I get that our online personas don’t always match our offline ones, but why does she have to post all her purchases (sometimes calling out how expensive they are) all the time? I know I can unhide her FB feed and unfollow her on Instagram, but how do I focus on how she is in person (funny, nice) and not let her online persona shape my perceptions of her?
Ashamed for Being so Judgey
The good news: You’re not talking about me. Ha, ha! I kid because I’m broke and because I’m broke I hate when other people have stuff that I want, ESPECIALLY if I deem them unworthy. Some of the reasons people are unworthy: They are younger, thinner, have better hair than me; they haven’t earned the money for the stuff (trust fund or sugar daddy); and the list goes on. Anyway, I kid…a little. Truthfully, who likes a braggart? Now I’m thinking of the person I follow with the amazing beach house. I have not a beach house and I really like the beach…a lot. And this weekend is supposed to be beautiful. What was the question? Oh, right, your show-offy friend. Okay. Here’s what I think. There are a few possible reasons why a person would constantly post photos of their new car, Birkin bag, iPhone 7v. One, because they are not feeling so great about what they have that they can’t show—if you’re happy and secure you don’t usually sit around snapping selfies of your new diamond studs. Or second possibility, they are rich among rich people and are clueless that everyone else doesn’t have these things or do this too. Either way, I don’t think it ever comes from a place of self-awareness and inner peace, so I tend to forgive that. The third possibility, and frankly this is frequently the case more than not, some people don’t know what to do on social media and all they see as “news” is the new things they’ve bought. I would cut her some slack, and hide her—it doesn’t seem like this is who she really is and you should stay with the good part of her you know in real life.
I’ve got this friend who I really, really like. She’s funny and smart and self-deprecating— all the things I love. Her one flaw is that she is always trying to set me up with her other friends—not to date, to be friends. Whenever I meet her for lunch she says, “Oh, I’m inviting Suzy, you have to meet her!” And then Suzy comes and she’s all right but I never have time with my own friend. Also I wonder why she doesn’t seem to want to see me alone. I worry it’s me. Am I too intense one on one? I am trying to figure it all out but the main thing is I don’t like it. What do I do?
Of course, it’s you! But not because there’s something wrong with you, you’re so fabulous that your friend wants others to see it! If you were too intense or unpleasant one on one, I guarantee your friend wouldn’t want to share that with her world. That said, who cares? I hate when people do this with me. They also say things like, “You’re funny and Jewish and she’s funny and Jewish” and then I end up lunching with a bad Barbra Streisand impersonator. Also, it implies that we want more friends which most of us do not (my friend Jancee and I have a rule, no new friends unless someone dies). Sometimes it’s nice to mingle with friends’ friends and sometimes you want to talk to your friend alone—like when you want to share something personal or just catch up on things that would be boring for a new person. What do you do? Tell her. You ask her to lunch and she says, “You have to meet Suzy,” and you say, “I’d love to but maybe another time, this time I’d like to have lunch alone with you so we can really talk.” In some way you are both complimenting each other, it helps if you try and see it that way.
Got a platonic problem of your own that could use the Friendkeeper’s advice? Fire away: [email protected]. No situation is too uncomfortable or too small and all details are kept confidential.
AN INDEPENDENT FREE PRESS HAS
NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT.
Your financial support helps DAME continue to cover the critical policies, politics and social changes impacting woman and their allies.