My Friend Puts Me Down in Public

Question: Hi Luise: Why does my friend put me down? I would like to know what to do about a friend I have who sometimes will put me down in front of other people. She has been my best friend since “forever,” and I really love her. But she makes me mad. When I tell her she is rude, she tells me I don’t have a sense of humor…that she is just teasing. Am I being too sensitive? Thank you. Susie

Answer: Dear Susie: Well, you have some decisions to make based on how difficult this situation is for you to deal with. Your friend is how she is and you are how you are, until someone chooses to change. Since you have talked with her about this, you have obviously made an honest attempt to get her to cease and desist. That has failed. So, if things are to change…guess who needs to do it?
It’s time to reassess your overall reasons for continuing your friendship, since you certainly don’t like this particular behavior of hers. Is there enough of value in your other interactions with her that you feel you want to stay “best friends”? If you really want that, the next step is to decide whether you also want to continue to be the goat of her idea of humor, which is to put you down in public. If your answer is “yes”, ask yourself why you would make such a choice? These are all questions that only you can answer. You are in charge of you. You have no influence over her. See that clearly. There is another option, and that is to refuse to interact with her in situations that include others. Tell her that you are going to remove yourself, (and your sensitivity), from any further opportunity for her to build herself up by tearing you down. How does that sound to you? Put your nose to the ground and sniff out the truth on this one and do whatever you need to do for your own peace and joy. Blessings, Luise

4 Responses to My Friend Puts Me Down in Public

  1. susan September 17, 2007 at 5:04 am #

    I feel a bit old to be taking this kind of advice at 32, but then maybe you are never too old to take the advice offered.
    I too have had a similar experience lately, and after much deliberation have decided to end an old relationship that has over a good while started to cause me suffering.
    I am now going to distance myself from this person and hopefully find nicer friends. This has and will be a diffficult decision but one that I am going to adhere to.

    Thankyou
    Lol Susan

  2. Luise September 17, 2007 at 6:31 am #

    Answer: Dear Susan: I am still listening to advice when it iseems applicable at 80. Often another point of view helps me work through an issue. What I hear in your comment is self-repsect. You can’t change the other person but you can change the circumstances that aren’t working in your life through self-esteem. Blessings, Luise

  3. G. August 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    I’m in such a rut at the moment, I lost my virginity to a guy last year who I believed cared for me but I was very wrong. Then months later we started sleeping together casually and I allowed him to use me, my best friend started doing the same with one of his friends. I felt dirty and used and yet as it was the only contact I could have so I took it. I never stop thinking about him, its been well over a year I don’t think I’ll ever get over him. My best friend and I aren’t getting along the same because of it, and she thinks I put him before her and its honestly not true. I hate what hes done to me I just can’t get over him. G.

    • Luise August 26, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      He didn’t do anything to you, G. You did it to yourself out of low self-esteem and still are by hanging onto something with so little value. Please get into counseling. You deserve so much better. Blessings, Luise

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