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