• Keeping Friends

My friend came out and changed

Published: March 21, 2014 | Last Updated: March 21, 2014 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
Coming out can be a significant transition that affects relationships.



I feel somewhat desperate right now. I’ve been friends with my best friend for almost 11 years and our friendship used to be much stronger than it is now. When he came out two years ago, I noticed he changed.

While a lot of this involved good changes for himself, I feel that he’s developed this “mean” attitude and superiority complex and a lot of it is directed at me because of how close we are. If I make a small mistake, he stews about it for a while and although he says he’s not mad, I can tell he is.

He thinks he’s never the one at fault for anything, and is very quick to point out all of my flaws. When I vent or talk to him about something involving someone else he almost automatically seems to take the side of that person. I feel that he thinks I can’t do anything right and that I’m always wrong about everything. He tells me he doesn’t like talking to me about things going on in his life because I apparently “suck” at listening and giving him advice. I think it’s due to him not getting what he wants to hear or me not being easily agreeable with everything he says. He’s also seemingly very manipulative, telling me everyone else feels that way about me, too.

I really don’t think, and tell me if I’m wrong, that two people who are 23 years old and have been best friends so long should be having these problems and on an almost daily basis. It makes me sad because it never used to be like this. He’s said, “I feel like since I’ve come out I’m just a lot more comfortable being who I am and telling it how it is”. While I’m happy for him, I also think the latter of what he said is not a good quality for a person to have.

Lately I just feel he’s brought me down a lot more than he’s picked me up. He tells me a lot that some of his friends never ask him how he is or what’s going on in his life, which is why he won’t ask them, but I’m different and I feel like he sometimes doesn’t care about what I’m going through.

I take school very seriously, as I’m graduating this spring, and it’s where most of my stress emanates from; I feel that I can’t talk to him about it ever because he doesn’t have that at the top of his list of priorities.

He seems to mesh better with people who are exactly like him, and him and I are very different. I would never ever end our friendship because we’ve been through literal hell and back and there’s been so much more good than bad but at this point I don’t know what’s going on and I don’t want to bring this up to him when we aren’t fighting because he won’t hear any of it and it’ll just cause an argument.

I need help with fixing this because I really don’t know how to do it myself anymore.

Signed, Ariel


Hi Ariel,

I’m sorry to hear you have so much going on with your friend. This relationship is obviously one you care about.

Your friend has gone through a transformation, coming out first to himself and then to others. He’s learning to balance who he is and who he’s becoming and there is a learning curve. Also, you’re both transitioning from young adults and students, to newly independent people, which also brings a certain amount of change and maturation. Often times, friends grow in the same direction; other times they grow apart.

Sometimes people just need an ear, and not advice, and since he’s given you feedback that you’re not listening in a way that’s helpful, maybe he’s not interested in your advice. If that’s the case, whatever you say might sound judgmental to him. I’m not saying you should agree with everything he says or does, but accept that he has a different approach to life. If he asks for your advice then gives you grief, that’s not fair, and I’d tell him if he wants your opinion, you’ll be honest, but if he criticizes you’ll no longer give your opinion.

When you talk to him, use “I” statements and take responsibility for your feelings, rather that blaming him, because blaming gets you nowhere.

“When you criticize my opinions, I feel frustrated and like I want to hold back.”

Don’t talk about how he was before as a golden time, because he was less happy and free then, so he might interpret that as you’d rather have him be who he was before he came out.

In the meantime, expand your friend horizons. This friend may not be the one you can count on “to lift you up” or talk about your school-related stress but you still have a lot of history together. Lots of times as we get older, rather than having one friend who meets our every need, we have a variety of close friends who fit into different areas of life.

Good luck!

Amy Feld*

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

**No information provided here or elsewhere on this blog is intended as medical advice. The blog focuses on everyday friendship problems.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Alberta says:

    Friends can be like chapters in your life – when you read a book it doesn’t stay on the same chapter. In the stream of life pages turns, time shifts the winds change direction. This relationship sounds very unhealthy for you.

    You can’t communicate – that is a serious red flag that should not be overlooked and dismissed because of your history. It comes across that is only kind when you are being like a marionette to him, being manipulated to ‘behave’ so he won’t get ‘mad’ because when he gets mad he’ll point out what you do wrong – and there will be no shortage of the things you do ‘wrong’ and he is never at fault.

    He doesn’t care what you are going through – so it is a one way relationship. This person is showing he doesn’t care about you and yet you are having to invest a lot of mental energy because you are always doing something ‘wrong’ That he doesn’t care about what you are going through reveals to you that you are a source of ‘energy’ to him. He gets his feed via the negative energy generated when you do something ‘wrong’.

    What a glorious set up…for you being mentally abused in the name of friendship and your lifes energy – life energy which you could be spending with people who are supporting you, who show that they care about you by listening, conversations flow back and forth they ask details about your life, who love the you-ness of you and show love and appreciation for the person you are….

    If you keep spending time in a relationship with people like your friend, it could lead you to cultivating other similar relationships where the person has a habit of treating you badly and you get to thinking it is normal to be treated without love and respect. You really don’t want to end up with a spouse who treats you as your ‘friend’ does.

    The crux of it is: you don’t want to have close friendships with people who behave like they hate you – his behaviour towards you – belittling, not being on your side, never taking accountability for his behaviour, is not loving behaviour it is hateful.

    It may take self examination to see why you think you deserve to be treated this way – I learned from another thread on this site that people from abusive and addictive homes choose abusive friends and partners because that is what is familiar to them.

    You need new priorities – having this meannie as your priority is soul destroying and also makes you feel like you deserve to be treated like this. You don’t.

    A book that may be helpful for you (there likely will be copies at your local library)

    Should I stay or Should I go – by Lundy Bancroft
    He also wrote another good book called
    Why does he do that? Lundy Bancroft
    it will enlighten you on behaviours and things to be aware of in relationships

    another book which is valuable – because it teaches you to be in tune with your instincts – (and to see through manipulations) and your instincts are telling you something here – The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker.

    Who’s pulling your strings – Harriet B. Braiker

  2. tanja says:

    I think in many ways, it doesn’t matter how long you have known a person, people change over time, especially before the age of 25. There will be a lot of new friendships in your life. A lot of my old high school friends, I am no longer friends with, we grew a part. I have two friends that are still in my life because we have similar lives now. We didn’t always talk on a regular basis, life takes over, we have had gaps where we did not talk at all. But, now we do again. This is partially due to the fact that we are all married with kids around the same age as each other. This helps.

    I am 35 and I have had a friend, a guy friend from the ages 13 to 28. He stopped talking to me once I got married and had children. He was at my wedding. But, over time, we stopped talking. He is 36 and he is dating a 23 yr old. What I have noticed happening over time is that he is getting older but his girlfriends always stay the same age. They are also super, model gorgeous hot. He doesn’t have kids. Part of me thinks that he is gay himself but doesn’t want to admit it to himself. But, either way, we have nothing in common anymore and that is okay. I am married and have two kids. He is single pretty much, a forever bachelor maybe who dates women a lot younger. He is successful in my eyes, in that he does have his own magician business and works for a company. I do not think he is doing too badly. But, what do we have to really talk about, I am a stay at home mom and I have my kids to talk about and he is out and about and has his beautiful girlfriends to talk about and that doesn’t interest me and my kids don’t interest him. Not to mention, that a lot of friendships do change when you have kids and your friend doesn’t because hanging out sometimes means coming in a package deal from now on. So, my friends that I new for over 15 yrs, that do not have kids, we drifted, or their kids are teenagers now. But, my friends from high school that happened to be pregnant around the same time, we reconnected and are close once more. That is the way life goes I suppose.

    I do feel sad at times when I think about that male friend I had and I look at all the pictures of my sister and I with him in the photo, either kissing his cheek, being picked up by him, waving. All those pictures make me sad and I miss him, but that person in the pictures is not the same person he is today. Friends can remain, if they grow and change together, but most often than not, friends that start from highschool or before, when they grow into adulthood, they grow apart and need change.

    Eventually, your husband or wife becomes your best friend (you hope) and you get to that comfortable stage, where you don’t want to change any more friends the way you have to change the roof, once ever 10 yrs. You spouse sticks and having kids makes it better…in my situation…I have a good marriage and i married my best friend. But, I met him at 27 and it took one year for us to be best friends and then we started living together and dating, got pregnant and then married. We wanted the same things.

    Being young, you will see, this is the way friendships and life will go. Some people you will meet and become instant buddies and it won’t take long at all and others may take more time, but I have learned that history has nothing to do with a friendship sometimes.

    You just have to see where life goes. Some friends stick and others don’t.

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