I’ve finally reached my breaking point. I’ve had the same best friend since third grade. We’ve had our ups and downs, but I never thought it could get this bad. I love her and care about her very much, but lately all she does is put me down. She always has something negative to say to make me feel insecure or self-conscious. I have to be careful of everything I say around her to make sure I’m not hurting her feelings.
Over the years I’ve gotten into the habit of just brushing off all of her comments because she has been through a lot in her life and still struggles with adversity, so I try to do as much as I can to make her feel good about herself and be more positive. But, as hard as I try it seems as if I can never do or say the right things.
I care about her too much to end our friendship, but I’m scared to tell her how I feel because I’m horrible with confrontations. Her put-downs are starting to affect me, even though I know she only says them to feel better about herself, I can’t keep pretending that it isn’t hurting me.
Dear Frustrated Friend,
First I just want to start by saying that you’re so strong— but you shouldn’t have to be. You’re a great friend for staying supportive and consistent in her life and she’s lucky to have a friend like you. But you shouldn’t let these bothersome things be kept bottled up inside of you. I think your friend probably realizes what she’s doing, but doesn’t realize to what extent it’s affecting you. Even if you aren’t good at confrontations, it’s important that you’re honest with her about how you feel.
Often people tend to hurt the ones they love the most, and it sounds like your friend is in constant need of affirmation. Remind her how much your friendship means to you and how much you care about her.
It’s hard to be the better person, especially when you’re not receiving encouragement in return. However, friendship is a two-way street. Through struggles and adversity, you ultimately learn who your true friends are. But regardless, you’re the only one that has the power to decide who you will invest your time in and how those people will make you feel.
Hope this helps,
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