Thursday, September 5th, 2013
39

Ask Polly: My Best Friend Is A Lunatic Who Owes Me An Apology!

Polly,

I’m part of a three-way best friendship between two ladies who complete me. B is a fastidious, engaging, honest lunatic and L is a messy, cuddly, gregarious, drunken, motherly lunatic. I’m a mix of the two maybe? (Definitely also a lunatic.) We fit together and have for the past 15 years. Over those years we’ve traded boyfriends, towns, apartments, clothes; we’ve stayed up countless nights together; we’ve seen each other through petty and epic break-ups. I mean, we were all in our 20s together: it’s been crazy. B & L are my sisters.

Currently, I’m being driven a little crazy by a situation with B that I can’t seem to get over.

Several years ago when my then-boyfriend/now-husband and I were in the middle of a hard-fought reconciliation, B threw a party with her then-boyfriend/now-husband, E. There were drugs, loud music, strobing lights, alcohol and a smoke machine. That night E kissed me in the doorway and as soon as I felt his tongue I sprang back like I was bitten. No way did I want any part of that, I didn’t even want to kiss him in the first place but there was mistletoe hanging in the doorframe and I’ve been bred to be polite to men and acquiesce so I did. Anyway, the next night, B said she saw me kiss E. But not briefly in the doorway. She saw me on the floor, making out with him, like, hardcore. I denied it; she waved me off. I had done it, that was the end. I asked her if she was going to talk to E about it, she said no and, anyway, she had made out with his bff that night. I went to bed reeling. I was trying to reconcile with the love of my life and I did not remember kissing E AT ALL. I felt like she was gaslighting me so that it would be “okay” that she made out with his friend.

Anyway, fast forward a few years, we’re all married, I’m pregnant and E Facebooks me that I’m so sexy and awesome and it’s super uncomfy. I tell our third BFF, L, and we both kvetch for a minute and I decide it’s not worth the drama to tell B because it felt like it was tied somehow to that Christmas years ago and I was scared to have everything upended. Last holiday, we all get into a 3-way fight thanks to L who admits she’s not herself around us, not really, because we shame her and L heavily hints that none of us are really that honest anymore. Hint, hint. (L and I had talked recently about how B makes us feel like children and I brought up the making out accusation.)

Okay, so there’s the big drama. There’s also lots of little/big things that maybe are normal in such a long relationship. Like, I don’t feel like my feelings are very respected. For instance, B has only ever apologized to me once for that time that she literally stole my boyfriend though that’s as much his fault as hers and I didn’t much want him, anyway. She can be rude and insensitive and brittle so every few years, I lose my shit and write some long-winded email about how I’m struggling under her reign and basically she waves it off like I’m just being crazy.

This past spring I emailed about my NOT making out with E and how I felt gaslighted and how he hit on me via Facebook and we all got upset and didn’t talk for a day. She stuck to her story about absolutely seeing me make out with her husband (ugh) and confronted E about the email (he said he was trying to make me feel better because I’d gotten really fat while pregnant and was super insecure about it). I hated he knew anything about me, which is another issue: I feel like she doesn’t respect my privacy. Anyway, after 3 tense days, we all just sort of let it go. Had to. (I guess E is saying he remembers making out with me? I don’t really know how that works.) Then a few months later we got together and she asked some weirdly worded, sort of bullying questions about when I was going to wean my toddler (which I’m sensitive about) and I got upset and told her she was being rude and she… waved me off again.

So, look, I could go on and on and on about the good and the bad. On one hand, she is my soul-sister, my biggest support. I admire her and I love her. I’m godmother to her first-born son whom I adore. Cutting her out of my life doesn’t feel like an option I can live with but when I’m not on anti-anxiety meds, I can get all worked up about how all of this is friendship-ending shit. I’ve dropped the whole husband-making out conversation twice because I felt as though I would have to walk away from this friendship if I didn’t. I had to take my finger off the trigger or lose my best friend, the person who got me through my father’s death, me and my youngest brother’s current estrangement, sleepless nights as a new mother, etc. Obviously, it’s up to me to put this to rest but I'm struggling.

I always say the trick to a long relationship is a short memory but ACK. I’m haunted by everything that’s wrong about this relationship even though I value it so very much. How the fuck do I let this (and everything else) go?

Sincerely,

C (Obviously, the long-winded one)



Dear C,

I know that you love your friend and your intentions are good. You want to get everything out in the open. You want to clear the air. You want everyone to be honest with each other. You want to let this go.

If I had the tiniest bit of evidence that you've exercised self-restraint, listened to other people's feelings, opened your mind to the fact that two people can remember the same event in different ways, given others the benefit of the doubt, put yourself in your friends' shoes, and, above all, taken personal responsibility for your actions, then my advice to you would be very different.

Instead, here you are, waiting for an apology from B. But if I'm B, I'm still waiting for you to apologize for kissing my boyfriend/husband instead of writing long, attacking emails, repeatedly bringing up what I was doing that night (which is a separate issue since it didn't involve you or your boyfriend at the time), and casting aspersions on my marriage by gossiping to our mutual friend that my husband "hit on" you, when he says he only wanted to make you feel better about your weight. Instead, I have to eat shit for talking to my husband about my friends? And I have to tolerate your insistence that my memories are inaccurate?

I know that there's a lot of water under the bridge, and you guys have been friends for a long, long time. Those conditions make it very challenging to stop and take the other person's perspective. You have this long history that allows you to simply write B off as someone who thinks whatever she wants to think. You say that you're all lunatics, but you're sort of invested in the notion that she's worse. You firmly believe that you've put up with far more shit than she has.

But you're wrong. Dead wrong.

You know what B is doing when she waves you off? She's practicing restraint. Your refusal to listen to her side of the story makes her crazy.

So what if E really is hot for you? I'm not sure I buy it, based on the evidence at hand, but let's suppose it's the case. How do you think that feels for B? Should you maybe cut her a little slack for feeling some antipathy towards you over the years, considering your history of kissing her husband, regardless of whether or not you were on the floor? You're not even factoring in her possible lingering envy or jealousy or nagging notion that he once thought you were worth a drunken pass? And instead, she needs to apologize to you?

Basically, you're behaving like the immature twentysomething you were when you met these two friends. You need to grow up and start taking a hard look at the way you deal with the people who matter the most to you.

First, though, a word about long-winded, attacking emails: Don’t write them, ever. Don't write short attacking emails. Don't write short, mildly aggressive emails. Friendship troubles are not solved via email, period. Unless you are apologizing, don't write. Here's your friend, walking around, trying to be cool about the fact that her husband thought you were hot at one point (clearly B mentioned your weight gain and insecurity to him PRECISELY BECAUSE that kiss still weighs on her mind). At some point, you should've recognized her emotions about this and told her, "Look, we'll never agree on exactly what happened, but I'm so sorry that ANYTHING happened. Because nothing should've happened, period. I made a big mistake, plain and simple."

Instead, though, she has to walk around feeling vaguely haunted by this event, and then she has to field a long email from you in which you 1) insist on setting the record straight once and for all, 2) paint yourself as the victim of her "gaslighting," instead of acknowledging her feelings, and to top it all off 3) accuse her husband of hitting on you RECENTLY. If I were her, I'd definitely be doing more than just grumbling and casting aspersions on your breastfeeding choices.

She's rude to you because you refuse to apologize or take responsibility for yourself. Even if you've apologized before, you should do it again. You should demonstrate that you understand that she still has strong feelings about the kiss/ make out, and that it still bothers her. You wonder why she isn't over it. You know what I wonder? Why are you such a fucking stickler about being right about a crazy, drunken shared memory like that one, when it's a memory that hurts her, not you? What skin do you have in this game? She needs to understand that you didn't want anything to happen with him, right? That you aren't a bad friend at heart? She wants you to help her get over the feeling that he once had a thing for you? But every single time you bring it up, you insist on your version of events, you re-accuse her of invented crimes, AND you suggest that he's STILL into you?

Dude. YOU are the wound.

Now, I know you don't believe me. I'm sure I've gotten some detail wrong that justifies ignoring my entire response, because that's how you seem to operate. And look, I'm sure I AM wrong about something in this picture. But I'm not wrong about your inability to own up to your own missteps and mistakes and fuck-ups. If you don't believe anything else that I've told you, believe this one thing: You need to take a close look at how you move through the world, because you're stepping on people's toes left and right.

Do not send any more long, angry emails, ever. Pick up the phone and call your friend and start with an apology, then listen. Do it when you're in a good mood and have an open heart. If you have an urge to argue, set things straight, prove that you're right, just don't do it. It's her turn to tell you the truth about what she's been through with you.

Finally, you must see a therapist on a weekly basis. Tell her or him that you really want to look closely at your behavior without fear and defensiveness, so you can grow up and be a good friend, wife and parent.

I'm sure you're incredibly charming and wonderful otherwise. You long-winded types usually are. I bet you're worth every bit of the bullshit you put your friends through. Maybe you're not getting enough love and understanding right now, plus you've got a little kid who's clinging to you around the clock, and you're afraid to say no. Your fear of saying no, though, is what gets you into trouble. You think "How could I be a bad person making bad choices? All I ever want is to make other people happy!" But that's where bad choices come from, don't you see? They come from slavishly trying to make other people happy, then resenting them for it secretly (or not-so-secretly).

You need to see a therapist and learn to take care of yourself a little better. You need to learn to say no. Once you start to say no when you really don't want something, that's when you'll be flexible enough to look at the past and say, "Fuck, I handled that wrong." This kiss with E isn't about the kiss itself anymore. It's about how badly you handled it, then and now. You haven't stopped handling it badly. Because you're incredibly defensive. Because you're worried that you're crazy.

You ARE crazy, because you're so afraid of being crazy that you can't admit when you're wrong. That's the definition of nuts: not being able to admit when you fuck up. The second you take an unforgiving look at what you've done in the past, and how you handle things now, and how it must feel to be on the receiving end of your diatribes, and how it must feel to have your close friend claim that your husband is hitting on her? In that second, you will be a million times more evolved than you are now. You just have to make the choice to be wrong—really, truly wrong, thoroughly mistaken—for once in your life.

You are wrong about a lot of things. Admitting that can actually be liberating. You'd be amazed at how good it feels. It makes everything much easier and more relaxing. And people want to be around you a hell of a lot more, too.

Good luck.

Polly






Dear Polly,

I’ve a problem with my best friend.

You see, we are pretty tight, me and her—Thelma and Louise, talk-for-ages-on-the-phone-despite-the-fact-that-we-hung-out-the-same-day, really-truly-understand each other type tight. I'm very happy and lucky to have her, and—my immediate family excluded—she is definitely the most important person in my life.

However, of all the things we really truly understand about each other, there's one thing about her that I don't understand, and it's been bugging me forever: despite us knowing each other for over 15 years and being BFFs for over 10 of those, and how well she treats me in all other aspects, I've come to see that I'll always, always come second to whoever it is that she's dating at the moment.

I should elaborate. Me and her, we have distinctly different romantic lives and ways of approaching that whole aspect of our existence: while she got her first boyfriend at 16 and has practically never been single since [she has dated a lot of people, but most of those were pretty serious relationships], I have only dated one guy that was really close to me—for about 2 years, and only after I turned 22; while she barely talks about anything else, and cannot even imagine life without a significant other, I tend to put romantic interests pretty high on my priorities list, but definitely not higher than everything else, including my friendship with her. We are vastly different, and I respect that.

Thing is, I’ve come to realize she'd still value even the guy she's been dating for two months [for example] over me—despite us having been much closer, for much longer, and the fact that as always, I’ll be the one standing next to her when their relationship falls apart and she needs support. I've always been very careful not to put her in a position where she'd have to choose between me and her current beau; it'd put unnecessary tension on our friendship, and it would make her uncomfortable. But sometimes it's unavoidable, or she’d make it unintentionally obvious—and I've come to understand it with a painful clarity: while I believe in friendship as the purest, more valuable of human relationships, and always put her first, she'd always prefer her boyfriends, or sometimes just guys in general, regardless of how serious her relationship to them is.
[I’m talking stuff like paying more attention or spending free time only with them if she has limited amounts of it at the moment, guy emergencies always taking priority over best friend emergencies, or willing to put me in relatively uncomfortable positions to get guys to like her, etc.]

I tried talking to her about it a bit—and she agreed and then shrugged it off, telling me that's just the way she is and she can't help it.

Now I realize how rare a good friendship is, and would definitely hate to lose her, for any reason; I also know that no one’s perfect, and I probably tick her off in some ways, myself. Thirdly, I know that trying to change anyone is a huge no-no—both because they probably won't, or even can't, and because people should be loved for who they are instead of being turned into hobby projects.

That being said… is there any way to make her see that years and years of support and understanding are more important than the mere existence of a Y chromosome? Am I even right in thinking that? Or am I simply being egocentric—or a naïve girl, brainwashed by too many examples of the 'friends over guys!'-type chick pop culture?

And even if I am right, is that even a serious enough problem for me to be concerned?

Thank you so much for your help in advance.

Fighter For Friendship





Dear FFF,

I know exactly how you feel, but I think you need to be patient. Women who place their boyfriends/partners/husbands over their girlfriends do so for a lot of very personal reasons, not all of which amount to immaturity. It's tough to say why your friend is the way she is, but I don't really think you'll have any success in trying to change this aspect of her personality. You could sit her down and say, "I wish you could see things the way I do, because you and I will always be friends while men come and go. I wish you could see how important we'll always be to each other."

Maybe that's worth saying. But as long as she's generally good to you, I wouldn't expect her to change her ways dramatically.

This is my guess: She wants to find the right guy. It's high on her priority list. When this phase ends—either when she finds someone, or gets over this as her central obsession—she's likely to value you a lot more. Love and emotional security are something she craves so much that she just can't manage to think about much else. She doesn't realize that when a woman is careful to give a lot to her female friends, to trust in them and rely on them, it strengthens her ability to stand up for herself and confidently develop trusting relationships with men, too.

It's true that your friend could end up disappearing into a marriage and becoming even more remote. I don't really think she'll do that, based on what you've said. I think that she'll become more secure and less obsessed with men, and that will allow her to see how precious your friendship is.

If situations come up where she's discounting your feelings for the sake of a man, you have to address that when it happens, and be very clear about the behavior you expect to see from a close friend.

If she's being a good friend in general, though, you just need to accept that you two are very different. Tell her you love her and want her to see how crucial and important female friendships are. Encourage her to reshuffle her priorities, if you can do it gently. But be respectful of how she feels about this. You're not wrong to believe in female friendships, not at all. But she's not wrong to believe in love, either.

Polly




Who's bugging the shit out of you today? Tell Polly right now!

Heather Havrilesky (aka Polly Esther) is The Awl's existential advice columnist. She's also a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, and is the author of the memoir Disaster Preparedness (Riverhead 2011). She blogs here about scratchy pants, personality disorders, and aged cheeses. Top photo by faith_lee. Illustration published by Auchincloss & Bro., from the Boston Public Library.

39 Comments / Post A Comment

Miyax (#247,878)

Oh dear. Too real, both of these. I fear I'm the friend from letter 2 and the writer from letter 1.

beetnemesis (#247,919)

@Miyax Don't listen to @1731489822@twitter, MY neighbor's cousin makes a sweet 100 bucks an hour on the computer, and he doesn't even have any hands!

liznieve (#7,691)

#2: I don't know. At some point her partner is going to be her highest priority… say, down the line if they have kids, share a household, etc. I get close friendship, I do. And understand that it can be like a family. But there are some realities that distinguish friendship from a romantic, life-building/blending bond that one has with their partner. Sure, it might be preemptive to prioritize even short term romantic partners in this way, but the reality is that you won't always be priority 1.

I don't know, maybe I also think the concept and term "best friend" is a little juvenile. Friendships shift and change and morph and fluctuate in importance over the long term. Assigning the "best" label seems to trap it as one static thing, where it's all or none.

questingbeast (#201,738)

@liznieve 'Assigning the "best" label seems to trap it as one static thing, where it's all or none'. I completely agree, and that seems to be part of the trouble in the other letter too. Maybe all see other friends a bit more and there'll be less drama/ resentment.

commanderbanana (#167,624)

Ehh, I had a friend like LW #2's friend. I just accepted that she'd vanish when she coupled up and reappear when they split demanding to hang out all the time. I waited a couple years and she grew out of it. She's always going to spend more time with her SO than I would with mine, but eventually she realized that our relationship was a constant she could depend on, and I had enough other friends and activities to not just be depending on her for friendship.
It's kind of an unfortunate character trait but I don't think it's a friendship-ender, unless she does something super shitty like cancel on an expensive nonrefundable vacation because of a dude.

@commanderbanana: I agree. Many women are raised to prioritize heteronormative relationships with males over friendships with females. I was specifically told by my mother that I should also follow this pattern (it has never made sense to me however). I currently have female friends who are just super flakey without the intervention of a boyfriend, likewise I have just learned not to depend on those people, yet enjoy their company when they are around.

sunnyciegos (#551)

I traveled to another state to spend New Year's with a best friend once. The first night I was there, she went on a blind date that I guess she couldn't wait to schedule after I left. Five years later, she is married to this dude, and we're just not part of each other's lives anymore. We see each other and weddings and stuff and it's cool, but we'll never be what we were.

I think what both LWs need to remember is that friendships go through phases. People serve a purpose in your life – all-encompassing bestie or bar buddy or whatever – and then you gradually phase into another part of your life. It doesn't diminish what this friend meant to you at this time. But you have to accept that life circumstances and priorities change, and friendships too. Accept it and save yourself a lot of anguish.

LW1 (#247,883)

@sunnyciegos I think this is definitely true that friendships go through phases. My marriage has; it stands to reason my best friendships would.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@sunnyciegos Exactly. People who measure relationships quantitatively miss the entire point.

LW#1 is doing one of my least favorite things using one of my least favorite internet buzzwords-of-late: accusing someone of "gaslighting" who is definitely not "gaslighting". It makes me so mad because it seems like people use this word to avoid taking other people's feelings and positions into account in a move to be blindly self-advocating in the face of a perceived slight, and (more importantly) seriously undermines the actual use of the term to describe (actual, serious, horrible) emotional abuse. Remembering something differently than you do is not abusive! AHHHH!

LW1 (#247,883)

@Kath Barbadoro@twitter Yes, I think I misused the term. I don't think B is abusive or trying to make me think I'm crazy. I think she thinks she saw something that she didn't. Sure, people remember things differently but what she saw doesn't trump what I know I did with my body. So, I said gaslighting because it felt like she was trying to accuse me of something to give herself the okay to make out with hub's best friend.

That is not what gaslighting is though. Gaslighting is manipulating someone into doubting their grip on reality and objectivity in an attempt to control them. By your definition, you saying to her "you saw something that you didn't" is just as much gaslighting as her insisting you made out with her husband. Seeing you do that is also "something she did with her body". This is not an issue of bodily autonomy. It's not emotionally abusive just because you are assigning an intent to her memory.

LW1 (#247,883)

@Kath Barbadoro@twitter Yes, you're right, I misused the term.

I just returned from an extended visit with my two BFFs. Known both ladies for nearly 20 years. They are married/kids/California, I am a swinging NYC single. We've stayed fairly close for many years, but it's because 1) we don't get too judge-y about each other's life choices, and 2) if we do, we do it openly so there's little backbiting. Female friendships are complicated under the very best circumstances, they can only survive and thrive in an environment where everyone takes a deep breath and gives the other person some latitude.

LW1 (#247,883)

Hi, LW1 here. Oops forgot to mention that I did apologize to B and, also, the letters were a last ditch effort after failed attempts in person/on the phone (we live far away). I definitely have a problem saying no, that's for sure. Anyway, nothing like getting your ass handed to you by a stranger to get over something stat!

pie (#247,885)

@LW1 "I'm sure I've gotten some detail wrong that justifies ignoring my entire response, because that's how you seem to operate."

YUP, there is is! Try therapy, it really does help with managing interpersonal relationships.

LW1 (#247,883)

@pie Oh, dear, I'm not actually THAT bad. Goodness gracious.

beenthere (#247,887)

My guess? This old fight was your One Time that you felt you needed to be receiving sympathy rather than giving it, and you can't get over it. Putting others' desires first is a problem when you expect your friends to return the favor, and are then pissed off and hurt that they didn't, but most people don't function in this binary all-or-nothing way. It leads to being taken for granted when you are selfless, and dismissed when you are selfish.

And to make Polly's comments actionable: when you talk to B, try to describe the situation emotionally from her end (earnestly! try hard to not inject how you felt, or what you think it was "right" for her to feel) and then ask her what rings true. It's a way of making the first move with sympathy, and will set the tone for her to be receptive to your feelings eventually in the conversation.

I say this as someone who could have written your letter a year ago. pie's comment is obnoxious, but, man, does therapy help! It's someone whose only agenda is to help you navigate life easier.

sallysitwell (#247,888)

@beenthere Can you talk more about this non binary way to function? Because what you described in your first paragraph is basically all my personal problems summed up…

beenthere (#247,887)

@sallysitwell Talking it out with a therapist allowed me to actually feel (not just logically recognize) that being self-interested is not a bad thing, and is the only sustainable option.

It is shocking how such a small change in thinking took a year, but once that got through, shifting small things in how I've acted was easy and my life has gotten way less frustrating. If you want to chat about it, send me an email (Iknowgetexcited at gmail).

TheBigBabyP (#246,322)

It is letters like this that make me thank God I'm a dude.

beetnemesis (#247,919)

@TheBigBabyP I know, right? While I was reading this, I was just thinking "They should just get drunk and play some video games together. Problem solved by morning."

sallysitwell (#247,888)

Maybe its hitting a little too close to home, but does anyone else think Polly came down a little hard on LW1? Reading the letter I really thought the response was going to be "you've got to move on from these friends" and not "you are the worst person ever". I agree her actions have sometimes sucked, but it doesn't sound like she was any worse at the time than her other friend (who stole her bf).

Is the problem that she won't forget these things and let the friendship mature? Asking because, as a fellow person who frequently feels dismissed or gaslighted by a particular friend, I genuinely want to know.

sunnyciegos (#551)

@sallysitwell I agree. I think the LWs should automatically get a little benefit of the doubt because they're seeking help, and really, that's a positive step that leaves you vulnerable. Polly should leaven her criticism with compassion for the fact that these people really sincerely want her help. That said, a smackdown like this does make for excellent reading.

paddlepickle (#8,731)

@sallysitwell I at least definitely feel like this E guy is a sketchball. Married men who have kissed their wife's friend in the past know that they probably shouldn't Facebook said friend about how sexy they are "to make them feel better about themselves". Polly made it sound like LW1 is nuts for reading into that when it seems pretty clearly sketchy on his part.

@sallysitwell I had the same reaction. I think there is some truth to both perspectives ("you've got to move on from these friends" and "you are the worst person ever"). And @paddlepickle, you're right—E is a sketchball. If he really wanted to make the LW feel better, there are plenty of other ways to do so. Though if he really thought kissing was the way, he should have cleared it with B first.

Ee Gads (#10,627)

@sallysitwell Ditto. It was weird how Polly took bits of LW1's story to make a very specific portrait of her friend B. In an effort to show things from B's perspective, it goes too far for someone Polly knows nothing about.

And to dismiss how LW1 had to deal with an unwelcome, drunken advance from her friend's bf and then that friend more or less calling her a liar about the experience. That seems a totally appropriate thing to get hung up on, to be a "fucking stickler" about. Especially when the guy's sketchiness is confirmed years later with a creepy email. It seems really inappropriate to focus so much on how LW1 should "take responsibility for herself" and apologize for not handling that very well.

skyslang (#11,283)

@Ee Gads All the parties involved in this story seem kind of dramatic and annoying. I wouldn't want to be friends with a single one of them. I prefer my friends funny, fun and relaxed.

lemmycaution (#243,936)

@sallysitwell Polly was harsh but LW1 is annoying.

She is sure that she only kissed E in the doorway and was disgusted by it but she also says she "did not remember kissing E AT ALL."

she needs to pick one excuse and stick with it.

Ee Gads (#10,627)

@lemmycaution I'm pretty sure she means she didn't remember going all "on the floor, making out with him" like B accused, considering just a couple sentences before your quote she explicitly said they kissed.

She may be annoying but you're misreading her and then saying she's coming up with "excuses".

mochi (#232,676)

@Ee Gads He is a clearly a huge creep. I don't know what kind of advice I'd give LW1 though because if I was in her shoes I would have NEVER let it go, not for a moment, and the friendship would have probably long since gone bye-bye as a result. Sounds like the husband was making out with someone else after he kissed LW1, and said it was LW1 because of whatever manipulative reasons he had going on (I can think of a few possibilities). And the wife, B, is choosing her husband's story over soul-sistas. STICKY.
Good luck LW1! Sorry but you should probably dump 'em though.

blueblazes (#238,044)

I am one of those people like LW2's friend who disappears into a relationship. I know it bothered/bothers many/all of my female friends.

In my defense, I'm introverted and analytical by nature… and being around people is exhausting for me. The early days of a relationship, the part where you can't tell each other your life stories fast enough and want to be together every night and blah blah blah would literally take up all of my social and emotional energy. It wasn't that I didn't still love my friends. It's that I knew I would be a real drag to hang out with because I'd spent my social time and needed to be alone when I wasn't with the dude.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

LW1: you need to grow out of this shit. Whether your friends do or don't it's up to them, but you need to worry about yourself. If a grown person called me a liar, I'd be done with them (until they apologize) no matter who they are. The fact that you are willing to sort of "deal" with this tells me that calling you a liar is not such a serious infarction, it just happened to be incorrect in this one instance. So, you need to fix yourself to the point where you would be surrounded by people who respect you and who have your respect. You are way too old for this teen drama.

I sympathize with LW2. When I was getting married, my best friend was single (divorced, actually). Over time I started to realize how self-centered she was, like how I would drive the hour and a half to visit her, but she would hardly ever come down to visit me; and how I listened to her for hours when she complained about her marital problems, but she didn't seem as interested in listening when I needed to talk to her about a problem in my own life.

But the last straw was when we went shopping for bridesmaid dresses. I'd picked out a bunch of dressed I liked, then I brought the whole bridal party to the store to try them on and get their opinion. I was really excited about this. We walked in the front door, and I immediately spotted one of them. I hurried over and pulled it off the rack to show them, and as soon as I turned around, she was on the phone with some guy. And it wasn't just an, "I'm busy right now, can I call you back later?" thing—they had a long conversation while she mindlessly thumbed through the rack next to her, while my other bridesmaids excitedly looked at the dresses I'd picked and couldn't wait to try them on. I was crushed. (We're not friends anymore.)

lovecats (#247,918)

The biggest friendship rule: if we're not fucking, you can't bring drama into my life !!

cardiganboots (#232,781)

I miss the old comments here that were an interesting discussion with LW1. What happened to those?

jessicapancakes (#237,115)

@cardiganboots Yeah, I've been noticing a lot comment threads being deleted on the whole of this particular blog network lately. WHAT THE DILLY, AWL?

Mariah (#253,086)

Dear Polly, I have a best bestie from the elementary days, and one from high school days. The high school friend has another we've known as long. Because of myself, we all four get together for dinner and drinks a few times of year. I set it all up and at the end I hear "That was so much fun Lets keep doing this"
Much more frequently I get together with the high school friend alone for the same. I am so mad since that last dinner the two of us had and I am waiting for over a month for what i believe is an apology she owes me. She dissed my oldest bestie and refused to change her opinion. It happened at the end of that dinner. She casually pulled out her cellphone and said "I want to show you what(oldest bestie) texted me after our last group dinner. I got this text when i got home" Then she showed me the text…it was simply the word Thanks. She implied, and this convo went on for too long, that my other friend sent the word thanks as sarcasm! I was floored! I am positive that thanks really meant, I like that you two include me sometimes. I got angry at her inside, she knew i was pretty ticked off. I plead and begged her to see she was so very wrong in thinking the worst and the absurd to no avail. Polly, it was the smug, calm look on her face that killed me. I was upset(no tears!) and kept going on and on trying to make her see she was wrong and that her translation of thanks was ludicrous. But there it was, the calm smug look with not the least bit of sympathy for my twisting and arguing the point for a good ten minutes. It was as though she had an agenda. This isnt like her. She is very timid and shy but She seemed cool as a cucumber watching me squirm. I have not been able to bring myself to call her again, I feel like I am owed a Huge apology. I hate hate when people don't apologize since we are adults. It's my pet peeve. Is it me!!?? I am beginning to wonder if I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill. And i hate myself for feeling vengeance, as in only doing our group dinners. She even said in that same convo, i like it better when it's just us! She has never been interested in men, maybe she likes me? That never occurred to me in my life. we are now in our 50's! what would you do?

Mariah (#253,086)

Dear Polly, I have a best bestie from the elementary days, and one from high school days. The high school friend has another we've known as long. Because of myself, we all four get together for dinner and drinks a few times of year. I set it all up and at the end I hear "That was so much fun Lets keep doing this"
Much more frequently I get together with the high school friend alone for the same. I am so mad since that last dinner the two of us had and I am waiting for over a month for what i believe is an apology she owes me. She dissed my oldest bestie and refused to change her opinion. It happened at the end of that dinner. She casually pulled out her cellphone and said "I want to show you what(oldest bestie) texted me after our last group dinner. I got this text when i got home" Then she showed me the text…it was simply the word Thanks. She implied, and this convo went on for too long, that my other friend sent the word thanks as sarcasm! I was floored! I am positive that thanks really meant, I like that you two include me sometimes. I got angry at her inside, she knew i was pretty ticked off. I plead and begged her to see she was so very wrong in thinking the worst and the absurd to no avail. Polly, it was the smug, calm look on her face that killed me. I was upset(no tears!) and kept going on and on trying to make her see she was wrong and that her translation of thanks was ludicrous. But there it was, the calm smug look with not the least bit of sympathy for my twisting and arguing the point for a good ten minutes. It was as though she had an agenda. This isnt like her. She is very timid and shy but She seemed cool as a cucumber watching me squirm. I have not been able to bring myself to call her again, I feel like I am owed a Huge apology. I hate hate when people don't apologize since we are adults. It's my pet peeve. Is it me!!?? I am beginning to wonder if I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill. And i hate myself for feeling vengeance, as in only doing our group dinners. She even said in that same convo, i like it better when it's just us! She has never been interested in men, maybe she likes me? That never occurred to me in my life. we are now in our 50's! what would you do?

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