I'm worried that my best friend is trying to steal my boyfriend. She's always inviting herself to hang out with us, and then when she does, she practically ignores me and focuses all her attention on him: She laughs at every single one of his jokes (even the lame ones), and she's always tossing her hair and touching him. She even texts him without including me! He's always been nice to her, but I feel like lately he's starting to respond more, and it's making me nervous. Is he going to dump me for her? Should I talk to both of them, or just to her, or maybe I'm paranoid?
Is it possible that your friend is acting like this (a.k.a. needing a ton of attention) because your romantic relationship has her feeling left out? Sometimes when we're used to feeling that someone is "ours", we have an insane, jealous rage-blackout when they lavish someone else with attention. Your friend might be acting this way because she doesn't know why she is feeling so crazy-jealous-lonely, and has decided the way to cope with it is to stick to you like glue. While you see her paying your boyfriend all the attention, maybe what she is trying to do is form a friendship with him too, so she can feel justified in hanging around you guys all the time. This, of course, is a terrible
strategy for dealing with her feelings, but when a person is in that state, it can be challenging to be logical.
Or she is completely off-side crushing on your man. This also sometimes happens as an extension of feeling like you're losing your BFF to a boy. Said boy can all of a sudden appear to be the yummiest, coolest, best dude and why oh why did you never see it before? This reaction is similar to the haze of lust I sometimes feel when a friend of mine buys a pair of shoes that I never would have thought were cute until she owned and wore them. Neither the Column A nor Column B explanation is flattering for her, and she probably realizes she is acting capital C crazy. Because of this, I would approach this cautiously. Begin by spending some major one-on-one time with her, sans boyfriend. If she continues to text and hair-flip all over him, bring it up. In a soft voice. Gently. In every friendship we are all entitled to one truly crazy episode. This just might be hers.
P.S. Do not
ask your boyfriend about any of this. It is unlikely that he is entertaining any kind of ideas about your friend other than, "Wow, my girl's friend is nice!" Let him be. There is no need to terrify him with a glimpse of the nuttier side of female friendships. He will have to cross that bridge eventually, but let him keep his innocence a little longer.
I've been best friends with Charlotte since grade 3, and we've always been super close. Last year, she was having a hard time at home (her parents almost split up), and she stopped taking care of herself (she didn't wash her hair, or wear lipstick, and she wore the same couple of outfits every week). I like to think that I was a good friend to her during this time, and I didn't care at all what she looked like, other than that I knew it was probably adding to her misery. Here's where it gets strange: When things got better at home, she started dressing almost exactly like me, even down to buying the same denim jacket and pink flats that I wear all the time. She's like her old self in every way except this one. It's making me feel strange, but I don't know if I'm overreacting, or how to bring it up.
You've heard the saying "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," correct? That's exactly how you should take this, as flattery. While it may feel uncomfortable and occasionally irritating to have a friend copying your style, at the end of the day what she's trying to do is emulate someone she admires. While part of this is about your sartorial savvy (denim jackets are bomb), it likely stems mostly from the fact that when she was feeling (and looking) out of control, you had it all together. She's gotten back on track at least partly by following your good example, and you should feel proud of that.
If it begins to get super noticeable (every day turns into a Doublemint gum commercial), or if her behaviour gets more extreme (taking your clothes rather than buying the same ones, for instance), then it will be time to have a chat. In the meantime, do your best to take it as a huge honour that someone looks up to you. Continue to be the wonderful friend you were during her struggles. She will move past this phase, and, if you let her do it in her own time, your friendship will be stronger than ever.
There are four of us in my close group of friends, but I feel like one of them (I'll call her Amanda) is trying to edge me out. Amanda and I have always been a bit competitive because we're good in the same subjects at school and we also look alike and have the same taste in guys. Lately I've been feeling like she puts down everything I do or say, by rolling her eyes or talking over me. I don't know what I've done to upset her, and I'm worried that if I bring this up with her she'll brush me off. My other friends are still acting (mostly) normally but the whole situation is freaking me out, especially since the summer is here now, and we don't see each other every day. Am I going to lose all my friends?
There are certain things competing for makes sense: grades, sports medals, and the last slice of pie fit this bill completely. Other things, like the friendship of other girls or the attention of boys, are a losing proposition. "Winning" these things at the expense of another person's happiness, especially a person you consider a friend, is not winning at all. While it is your "friend" who really needs this advice, you're the one to get it because you have the unenviable task of taking the high road. She hasn't told you why she's upset, so you'll need to steel yourself, invite her to do something with just the two of you, and ask her.
If something specific is bothering her, this will likely sort the issue out: She'll relax when she sees that you care enough to address this with her. If the reason behind her behaviour is simply competitiveness, you may be out of luck in the short-term, but she will definitely
be out of luck in the long-term. While this situation is uncomfortable and annoying for you (spending time with your friends without her around, and dealing with her rude attitude when she is around), it bodes far more poorly for her. If she spends her whole life attempting to undermine other women whom she feels competitive towards she will miss out on so much, including being friends with awesome girls like you. In the words of Tina "Bossypants
" Fey, "People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. 'You're up for a promotion. If they go with a woman, it'll be between you and Barbara.' Don't be fooled. You're not in competition with other women. You're in competition with everyone
One of my good friends just asked me if she could borrow $100 from me to buy a dress for her 17th birthday. I have a part-time job, and I could afford to lend her the money, but the truth is that I'm worried that she won't pay me back. She's a great friend, but she isn't good with money, and she doesn't have a job or a big allowance. Am I a bad friend if I say no, and if I say no, how should I say it? I don't want her to feel that I don't trust her, because I do in every other way.
There are some situations in your future when loaning money to a friend is going to be a good idea. For instance, said friend has been laid off and needs help paying her rent; she's been arrested and needs to be bailed out of lock-up (or is it lockdown?), or perhaps she has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy an Chanel bag at 70 percent off. In each of these scenarios, you can make your decision to help or not help based on a complicated formula that will look a little bit like:
Amount of money multiplied by the chance the money will be returned minus the Karmic payoff divided by the Level of urgency.
Money loaning is the scourge of friendships and likely plays a factor in 50 percent of all friendship breakdowns. It should therefore be approached with the level of caution you would use when attempting to defuse a bomb.
If you were to run that complex and scientific formula, your answer would be very clear. $100 is a lot of money at your age (at any age, really). Multiply this by the chance you will ever see it again. Since your friend doesn't have a job and no obvious way of making the money, let's put it at 1 in 500. This puts you at 50,000. Eep! Minus the karmic payoff, which isn't very high, since buying a dress is not exactly a noble cause. Let's put it at 40 out of 100 karma points. Your number is now 49.960. Divide your total by the level of urgency (a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being earthshakingly important.) This would have an urgency level of about 2, making your sum total $24,980. That is a high number. Huge even. When you tell her no, you now have the proof you need to explain why when she complains. She may think she is asking for $100, but the value to you is $24,980. No investor would take that deal.
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