Do you have issues with your no-longer-best girlfriend? Is your coworker driving you crazy? Megan Carpentier is here to give you the life advice that you don’t want to hear, told in the way you absolutely need to hear it.
I have a friend who always dumps her friends every time she meets a new guy. Sure enough, she and her most recent boyfriend just broke up and now she wants to hang out with me all the time. I really do care about her, but I’m also tired of getting ignored every time she starts sleeping with someone. Should I cut ties with her?
To start with, I think you’ve been very patient with someone you care about who has indicated, time and again, that “friends” are something you only need when you don’t have a man to make your life perfect and complete. Your friend, on the other hand, needs to grow the fuck up — both for the sake of her remaining friendships and for the dude that she eventually gets with, so that he isn’t stuck being the sole focus of her entire universe and all the crazy that comes with that.
I’m not a big fan of the friend-dumping without the break-up conversation, and this isn’t the time to bust out, “It’s not you, it’s me.” It’s time you point out to her that you need friends who behave like friends, and don’t come and go based on the availability and commitment of third parties. It isn’t always easy to balance a burgeoning romance and other ongoing emotional commitments, like friends, but it’s an important skill to learn and, from what you’ve said, she hasn’t learned it yet. Either she’ll be apologetic and more cognizant the next time she finds a new man, or she’ll be super-defensive and then behave as though yet another guy is the center of her universe — and come running back to your unimportant friendship when he turns into a black sucking hole. Either she’ll be the friend you need and want, or you’ll have the meager satisfaction of knowing that you told her what you needed, she disregarded it and the end of your relationship started with the start of her new one, not the end of her last one.
My mom used to be a model and still looks great for her age. I’ve always been kind of a tomboy. She pressures me a lot about losing weight, changing my hair, dressing a certain way, etc, etc. How can I tell her to back off?
Every parent seemingly wants their kid to be perfect, and every parent has a different definition of what “perfect” means. Your mom has decided that perfect apparently means “looking like her.” That’s her issue, and she’s making it yours. And it sucks.
Getting her to stop isn’t going to be an easy process: she’s just trying to exercise a similar level of control to the days in which she used to tell you when to go to bed or picked out your clothes. I’m a big fan of the direct approach: “Mom, do you want to have a relationship with me, or bitch about my clothes? It’s kind of up to you. But the more you try to make me feel bad about my hair, my weight and my clothes, the more you damage our chances of having an adult relationship.”
And then just keep repeating it, and stop engaging about your weight, hair and clothes. Quietly say, “Mom, you’re doing it again. I’m not going to engage with you when you criticize me in this way, and you’re just doing more damage to our relationship,” and then walk away. You’ll feel more empowered by being the adult in the situation and limiting the criticism and she might even make the choice that’s best for both of you.
My cousin posts all this really annoying political stuff on her Facebook wall. I want to unfriend her, but if she finds out she’ll be really pissed. I’ve tried taking her posts off my wall, but she still sends group invites and stuff. It’s bad enough I have to listen to her and my relatives’ dumb ideas at Thanksgiving, but if I have to listen to her year round I might kill myself. Help!
If she’s posting things to your profile that are revealing her political persuasions to your friends, then it’s totally fine to demand that she stop. You simply tell her that, with potential and current employers looking at your page, you’re not comfortable with having that kind of specifically political content on your profile wall, especially as she knows it’s content with which you disagree. You can simply say that, if she continues to post content to your profile like that, you’re going to have to de-friend her.
However, if she’s just posting the content to her own wall, what’s the big deal? You can take it out of your newsfeed pretty easily in the newest version of Facebook, and you already know she’s crazy. Just ask her to quit with the constant invitations, as they’re clogging your Inbox, and tell her that if the only thing she uses Facebook for is to spam her contacts with constant invitations, she’s eventually going to be defriended by people other than you. Then avoid her Facebook profile, take her out of your feed, delete her invites without opening them and just pretend that she doesn’t really exist!
And, if she’s still on your last nerve, and you’ve asked her to quit with the invites, just defriend her. She can get pissed all she wants, but she can’t leave messages on your Wall to tell you she is, anyway.
If you have a problem with a friend, relative, coworker, or other person in your life, email Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a problem with your boyfriend, you should probably just try talking to him.