DAME’s Friendkeeper helps a woman whose fabulous-party-throwing friend is selfish with her social circle and another who’s lost her closest confidante to a new relationship.
A friend of mine is an incredible host of some of the best parties around. What makes her so good is that, unlike most people (let’s face it), she has a lot of wonderful friends, and she takes the time introduce everyone, and especially match up people in conversation that she thinks will have a lot to say to each other. So, what’s the problem, you wonder? Well, it’s what follows. One would think she’d want her friends to become friends with one another—isn’t that why she introduced them? Well, whether or not she’s aware of this, she gets extremely jealous. I learned this when I struck up a friendship with one guest I met, whom she strongly encouraged I get to know at the party. The three of us went out a few times. And then the two of us struck out on our own. My friend felt rebuffed and then confronted me about it, which I understand, and we talked about it and I thought we were fine. But now it’s every friend we share in common that she’s got a thing about, and we have several mutual friends—that’s how she and I met. And anything I don’t invite her to these days—a dinner, a movie—she seems to regard as my rebuffing her. So she’s stopped inviting me to things, but let me know indirectly through social media. Yet still she chides me. I’d wiggle my way out of this friendsdhip, such as it is, but this isn’t such a big community, so it’s not that easy. I’m feeling a little stuck. How do I defuse her jealousy, or whatever it is she’s feeling? It all feels so middle school to me.
What should I do?
When my niece Sadie was two and a half, we had this party up at my parents’ house. There were a lot of little kids there and Sadie’s mom, Cheryl, made this lovely speech to her about how although all the toys there were bought for her by her Bubbe, she was going to need to share them with the other kids. Sadie had had a pretty rough life up to this time; she had a very round head (VERY) and then a sister was dumped in her lap that she never even asked for, and NOW the sharing. Things had gone too far. Tiny Sadie gathered up all the toys, put them in her sister’s playpen, sat on top of the pile with all the kids watching, her eyes blazing and hissed, “MINE!” I didn’t have any kids yet, but that didn’t stop me from telling my brother Brian, her dad, that I didn’t see any hope for Sadie. He had another kid, Lily, focus on her and just move on. But they insisted on keeping her and teaching her. And now at Sweet 16, Sadie is as good a sharer as you’ll ever meet. The point is your friend doesn’t seem to have learned the valuable lesson that sharing actually is caring. And she’s sitting on top of her pile of friends saying “MINE.” You say she confronts you, I think that’s the opportunity to tell her how you feel and that it doesn’t feel good. And if she can’t share the friends, you’re going to have to pick them up and go home.
I am a single lady. Up until recently, my BFF was a single lady as well. But she just started dating someone and while I’m super happy that one of those many terrible Tinder dates finally worked out for her, I’m super bummed for myself because now I’ve lost my roll dog, my wing woman, my partner in crime. When it used to be a given that we would hang out on the weekends, now I maybe see her for coffee, Sunday brunch if I’m lucky. We still text all the time and it’s not like she’s become a total stranger, but the person I hung out with practically every day is now hanging out with someone else. I don’t want to put a damper on their honeymoon phase, but I don’t want to lose her completely either. How do I tell her I miss her and would like more of her time without looking like a selfish baby? Or should I just swallow my loneliness till the newness of their relationship wears off? Help!
Suddenly Lone Ranger
I always think how much nicer life would be if friends—especially BFFs—could have everything happen to them at the same time. Get promotions or get pregnant or get engaged or find the same boots on sale…whatever. I mean, why not? You can get your periods at the same time, right? Unfortch, it doesn’t go that way. And I am here to tell you that you have every right to feel sorry for yourself about this and draw sad faces on your pancakes with syrup. I don’t think you’re a selfish baby at all. I do think it may be hard for your friend to navigate this all right now. I know from being on both sides of this, that being in a new relationship can be demanding and scary and if it’s good you want to do everything you can to keep it. BUT you can’t dismiss the people that were in your life before that, though they may end up getting less of the You Pie. A couple of things: it’s certainly reasonable for you and your friend to have time together, and she might not get this, but it would be better for her new relationship, too, if she’s not available every second (that’s the way to spin it to her if she panics). Also, you need to expand your stable. Get together with some other friends, most likely the intensity of the relationship she’s experiencing right now is not going to last—hopefully the relationship will. (Unless the person is a jerk, then buh-bye!) If he/she is not a jerk thought maybe he/she has a nice friend for you!
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.
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