• Keeping Friends

Missing an old friend who treated me badly

Published: January 24, 2016 | By | 34 Replies Continue Reading
A reader asks whether she should reconnect with an old friend whose humor made her feel badly.


Hi Irene,

I’ve experienced a lot of growth over the last few years – started a new career more oriented around my skills and passion, finished another grad degree, secured a wonderful relationship, and feel like I’ve grown a lot, personally.

Unfortunately, this change has not come without consequences – I’m more distant than ever from some of my old friends. My threshold of what I will put up with is a lot lower – the subtle put downs and stubborn lack of encouragement from some is more than I’m willing to entertain. This had led to a loss of connection, and an outright breakup that didn’t go very smoothly with my best friend of 20 years.

We had been at a wedding together and she openly mocked me in front of a group of people about the way I move (in terms of housing, lack of planning—I can be disorganized). She would tend to do that, get people laughing about how I can be late, how infrequently I go to the bathroom even, how desperate I acted when my cat was sick, etc. She’s very gifted comedically. Even I would laugh until I went home and then I’d feel low about it but I grew tired of being the butt of her jokes.

I confronted her on it after the wedding, and she said I deserved it since I’m always disorganized when she helps me move and it makes her angry. I said she can be a bully and I’m tired of it, and that I hope she’s doing okay since it’s not what healthy people do, and we haven’t spoken since.

This was two years ago, and I miss her, I think about her a lot. But should I be friends with someone willing to treat me that way? Is it worth trying to rekindle what we had? Truth is, my self-worth might be better without her. But I do miss her and I’m having a hard time letting go.

Signed, Maya


Dear Maya,

It’s nice to have an outgoing friend with a good sense of humor but not when the laughs come at your expense.

I’m sorry your friend made you feel so badly at the wedding. Although it’s not an excuse, I’m wondering whether she had had too much to drink, precipitating her lapse of judgment or whether it was something more persistent in your relationship.

You were right to let your friend know how embarrassed you felt. The fact that she didn’t apologize, admitted at the time that her jokes were motivated by anger and frustration at you, and that you haven’t spoken to her for two years suggests that this friendship doesn’t have much going for it. You also say you are less tolerant of put-downs than you were before.

It sounds like you need to make some new friends. Although it can be tempting to fall back into toxic friendships when you’re feeling lonely, given your recent career and personal achievements, I wouldn’t try to resurrect a friendship like the one you describe. Instead, try to cultivate new friendships based on mutual respect.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Comments (34)

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  1. Jane says:

    The reason toxic friendships are difficult to end is that the person is not all bad and, during a break, you recall the good times. I’ve been going through this with a friend and I find the causes are a mix of my fear of loss/people pleasing, differences in interests, as well as her behavior.

    Friends are hard to find, but it doesn’t mean you should hold onto ones who aren’t good for you. Friendships take time, but there are others out there. I’ve made a real effort to engage people at my regular activities. I don’t have a new bff, but I have a circle of friends I enjoy being with. I liked the advice
    That the impulse to reach out will pass. I find it helpful in those weak moments to recall some of the episodes that drove us apart.

  2. Debbie says:

    I certainly can empathize with you Myra. I too have been lost without my “toxic” friend and I do believe that I am looking back on the times that we had between the degrading that she did to me. We had some really good laughs, some really sad times (death) and when she broke her leg, I took care of her for 2 weeks, then in a few months turned around and took care of her again when she broke her shoulder. She is in Fl. and I am in NY. So we aren’t even in the same area. She moved from here 8 yrs. ago. We talked daily, even several times a day. I even got mocked and put down on the phone. No one like her. Not my other friends, my family and my husband. They all saw what she was doing and they would mention it but I didn’t listen.
    That is until a month ago. I just had enough. She knew it. And she told me she was sick of listening to my problems and giving me advice and me not taking it. There wasn’t a fight nor an argument. She rushed off the phone without a goodbye and that was that.
    No one needs to take that kind of abuse from anyone. I decided that I am never going to subject myself to that kind of treatment ever again. It’s even hard to enjoy myself around my other friends right now because of this person.
    So continue with your life and your other friends and let this toxic friend go her merry way to someone else that is going to take it from her.

    • Sandra says:

      Debbie & Maya,

      I have had many great friends over the years; the same ones since high school. I have also had some friends that have used me for their benefit only. These are usually the friends that have some hidden secrets; alcohol and drug abuse. They begin by acting as if they don’t trust anyone and they slowly let you in. I was so desperate for a friend who was single, my age, and lonely…so we connected. She came from an abusive childhood and I had similar experiences. We started getting close and after 2 years we started going to the diner for coffee and a bite to eat everyday. She never had money for food or gas. I always paid at the diner, then I started giving her brand new items; an air conditioner I recently bought, a new coat, new UGGS, her dogs vet bill, and one year I bought her entire family all of their Christmas presents. When her son got married I wasn’t invited to the wedding. I was so hurt and I told her how I felt more than once. I wanted to share in her happiness. It didn’t matter how I felt, she didn’t care. About 2 weeks before the wedding she asked me to borrow $200.00 for her sons wedding. She wanted a new dress, shoes, and a wedding gift for the couple. I told her no….that was the first time I said no. She was angry and hurt. The friendship was going to change, perhaps end, and I got scared. I never gave her the money because giving it to her is what it would’ve been. She never paid me back when she borrowed money…NEVER. Let me tell you why she never paid or asked me to the wedding. She is an alcoholic who gets very drunk everyday. She uses every penny she can for alcohol. After I moved a few hours away and gave up my apartment I would come home and stay with her. That’s when I clearly saw the truth. She drank 10-20 beers a day. Her excuse was “it’s only beer.” She would get nasty and belligerent. She never really went to sleep; she passes out. Sometimes she stays in the bathroom throwing up. Everything she does takes triple the amount of time because she is too busy drinking! She would make dinner and she would bring the food up to her bedroom at 10:00pm. The bottom line is that she wasn’t capable of being anyones friend. She didn’t need one….her best friend stayed right by her side, never left, was always loyal, never cheated on her or lied, and most of all…..never spoke up.

      Alcohol was her name and addiction was her fame. She wouldn’t give up that CAN up for anyone, not even a man. If a friend found out the truth she would tell them “this isn’t true.” But having me as a friend was something she just couldn’t do. She will love you and use you as long as you are still, especially for fools like me, who are still footing the bill. In the the end when I gave her the choice she didn’t pick me cause she’s got her best friend it’s in the Can….can’t you see?

  3. bizzy says:

    I had to cut out some toxic friends a while back. I am a busy person, but when life gets slow, sometimes I miss them. That is dangerous, because that sucks you back in. I have been strong and not contacted them, and I am so glad. If you feel lonely for them, just wait it out. That lonely feeling will pass, and you will move on stronger.

    • Maya says:

      Thanks Bizzy, that’s good advice. She was obviously doing something for me which is why we stayed friends for so long. The do-not-cross line for me now is when people behave in such a way as to prevent me from growing. Friends are supposed to nurture you – and I’m more than willing to help someone else be their best self – I deserve the same in return!

  4. Diella says:

    Maya, I feel very sad for you. It’s so painful when you do what any healthy person would and should do in your situation, and express your feelings about how the other makes you feel. The healthy response would be for the other person to feel bad about what they did and try and change their behaviors toward you. I also feel bad for you because you miss the good parts of the friendship. You’re still in mourning. I would try and keep it that way, and not contact the ex-friend. You sound like a kind soul; one that may attract people and behaviors that are degrading. Be aware, but don’t close yourself off to new friendships.

    Best of luck to you.


  5. Serena says:

    I used to have a couple of friends like this. We’d known each other for a long time (25 years) and the three of us used to hang out a lot, including going on holidays together etc. However, I started to realise that I was often the butt of their jokes. If i got upset by it, they would use the old “you’re too sensitive” line to excuse their behaviour. For example, they would randomly start going on and on about the hairstyle I had when I was 14, despite the fact that that was 20 years ago and they too had silly hairstyles then! This may sound like a really small thing, but when it’s brought up constantly it starts to get quite wearing and feels like they are trying to undermine you. We’d be in a nice restaurant having a nice meal, for example, and one of them would start cackling about how silly my hair used to be. Then the other one would join in and they’d literally be cackling together for about ten minutes, holding their sides and guffawing about my teenage hairstyle, while I just sat there trying to pretend I was OK with them bringing this up AGAIN. The first ten times something like this happens you can laugh it off, but after that it gets really tedious. There would be many other things like this that they would deploy, to try to make me remember my place. They were constantly giving me “fashion tips”, which involved them being derogatory about what I was wearing, even though they were hardly fashion icons themselves. On nights out they would spend all night mocking me because I couldn’t drink as much as them (we were in our 30s for god’s sake – who tries to shame a 30-something woman for not binge drinking??!!!). For people reading this and thinking that it’s all just “banter”, it isn’t….when it’s constant and one-sided, it’s just plain rude and unpleasant. Because of my low self esteem at the time, I just accepted that after every occassion I spent with them I’d feel like sh*t. I eventually confronted both of them about it – I sent an email saying that I valued our friendship but that their constant putting-me-down had to stop. They both responded by sending me extremely nasty emails, saying I had betrayed them after 25 years of friendship and how they always knew I was “paranoid” and this just proved it, etc. Because they were so used to me being so submissive, they were outraged that I’d stood up for myself and probably expected a grovelling apology from me. But I didn’t email back…..that was 5 years ago and I’ve not looked back. It’s wonderful to be rid of all the “banter”.

    • Maya says:

      Hi Serena,

      This really hits home for me – thanks for sharing. The hard part for me is that I invested so much time in this friendship, and there were points where I knew she wasn’t being great to me, but I chalked it up to her insecurity, and would try to forgive her. It’s hard to turn your back on so many years of friendship. Did you replace these friends in time? Were they hard to get over?

      • Serena says:

        Hello Maya

        I’m so sorry that this has happened and I can totally understand why you’re missing your friend and feeling low about the whole thing.

        I think my new rule, for friendships, is that I have to be having more “good times” with that friend than “bad times”. In other words, the positives of the friendship need to outweigh the negatives. What I found with my two friends was that gradually, over time, there just weren’t any positives… The time I spent with them just wasn’t enjoyable, not only because they seemed to want to put me down all the time, but because of various other reasons too. For years, I responded to all this by thinking that if I could somehow make myself more lovable, more outgoing, more fun etc, then they’d treat me more kindly. But it didn’t make any difference… if anything, their poor treatment of me got worse.

        Like you, I made excuses for my friends’ behaviour. They were both quite insecure and also had both had really difficult childhoods and now stressful home lives as adults, including financial and family problems. Because I had an idyllic childhood and didn’t have the problems in adult life that they had, I felt it was my duty to put up with their treatment of me. I think it’s good to be compassionate and put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to see the best in people……however, this sometimes leads to a situation where your friends take advantage of this and get so used to you being a kind person that they feel they can do and say whatever they want to you, because they know you’ll take it.

        Eventually, the pain of having my friends treat me like this was so great that I felt I had no option but to confront them, knowing that they might never want to speak to me again. It was really scary at the time and I was shaking as I sent them my confrontation email …. like you, I had invested a lot into the friendships and didn’t have many other friends, so it did cross my mind that maybe I should just put up with them, rather than be left friendless. But, I can honestly say that it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. After I’d broken off contact with them, I felt like a big weight had been lifted off me and my self esteem became much more healthy. I half thought that I’d miss them so much that I’d want to get back in contact, but I haven’t felt like that at all. I miss the good times we had when we were younger and still have fond memories of those times, but for the last ten years of the friendship all I can remember is stress and hurt – I don’t miss that! I look back and can’t believe I’d allowed them to treat me like that.

        As for making new friends, this has been a bit difficult, partly because I’ve been very ill and partly because I find it difficult to make new friends. But, this will only be temporary and I don’t regret cutting off contact with those 2 old friends….. it’s often better to be on your own than with people who don’t value you. It gives you time to assess who you are and what you want out of future friendships. Then, as you start to meet new people, you can start friendships that are on a more even setting – you will be making friends with people who don’t use you as the butt of their jokes… because you will be making it clear, from the outset, that you will not be treated like that.

        So, my message to you is to be brave and stick to your guns. Open yourself up to the fabulous new you! And new friends will come….it may take time, but it will be so worth it. You deserve to have friends who make you feel good about yourself. Don’t settle for anything less. Good luck x

        • Salstarat says:

          Very well said, Serena. You sound like a really lovely person … those two idiots didn’t DESERVE a good friend like you. Ending your friendship with those toxic people is YOUR gain and THEIR loss!

          • Serena says:

            Thank you, Salstarat…. that’s so nice to hear! Took me a while to gain the courage to do it, but GOSH it’s so nice to be free of the toxicity 🙂 !

            Sending you warm wishes xx

        • Maya says:

          Thanks for taking the time to write, Serena. Your perspective is really helpful. Congrats to you for what you’ve learned and the steps you’ve taken to being kinder to yourself.

        • Sandra Gunn says:


          People who intentionally try to make you look bad in front of others, are usually jealous. Look at all of your accomplishments…..why doesn’t she bring those up in front of people? There are a lot of mean people in the world… I refer to them as ” haters.” Everyone has their own past; good and bad, but at some point in life we have to stop being the victim. Who does it really hurt??

        • Reality Check says:


          You wrote “the pain of having my friends treat me like this was so great that I felt I had no option but to confront them”…

          Did you ever consider the possibility that you were the one that caused this situation? You had no option but to confront them? It wasn’t your friends that were the problem, it was you! You said you had a duty to put up with it? That tells me you are a martyr and are living in la la land.

          You said “For years, I responded to all this by thinking that if I could somehow make myself more lovable, more outgoing, more fun etc, then they’d treat me more kindly.”

          Did you ever think that if you just told them how you felt about the way they were treating you, they would stop doing it? They said you were too sensitive when you told them how you felt? How many times did you try doing this? What other examples can you give about how mean they were to you? If laughing about the hairstyle you had when you were 14 really bothered you, that’s on you. It might be a good idea to find out why that bothered you so much that you thought that was the best example to use in your post about your mean friends.

          You continue with “Like you, I made excuses for my friends’ behaviour. They were both quite insecure and also had both had really difficult childhoods and now stressful home lives as adults, including financial and family problems. Because I had an idyllic childhood and didn’t have the problems in adult life that they had, I felt it was my duty to put up with their treatment of me.” An idyllic childhood? No problems as an adult? Your duty? Think about what you are saying. Read it again. Poor you!

          Good Luck!

          • Ann says:

            Dear Reality Check,

            Before posting any more judgemental criticisms of anyone on here, I would advise you to read up on the dynamics of abusive relationships. What Serena is describing here may not make sense to an outsider who has never found themselves in a position where they’re being consistently demeaned. Would you say the same of a woman in a physically abusive relationship with a man? The abuse isn’t the same kind or maybe even on the same scale – but similar tactics and dynamics are at play – and what you’re doing is the same kind of victim blaming that those women can face.

            Serena – if you’re reading this – please don’t take this comment to heart. It’s obvious Reality Check is hurting about something and is taking it out on someone who has chosen to be open and vulnerable. As we know, there are a lot of people like this out there!

            Reality Check – Good luck on YOUR journey. I hope you find some peace.

            • Serena says:

              Thank you, Ann. I can’t tell you how much your comment means to me. And you’re so right when you say that the kind of behaviour I showed with these friends is not easy to understand for people who have never had a problem with self esteem. It probably won’t be a surprise to you when I say that, as well as the problems I had with these two friends, I’ve also been in an abusive “romantic” relationship in the past……. Now that I am a much stronger person, I can’t relate AT ALL to the person I used to be. And I feel sad that I spent so much time allowing myself to be treated like that. I wish I could rewind the clock and relive the last couple of decades again………

              I also agree with you that Reality Check must be hurting… why else would he/she spew out so much hate?
              Thank you again, Ann. The world needs more people like you!!

              Sending you best wishes and hope your life is wonderful and smooth and full of love.


          • Serena says:

            Reality Check

            Thank you for your massive dose of judgemental negativity. Wow. I contemplated not responding to you, but actually I would like to challenge you on your nastiness (are you aware that you sound like a bully??). And I would like to echo what the lovely Ann says, in her response to you below.

            In order to understand why I put up with my friends for so long, you need to understand that, until recently, I had zero self esteem. This may be almost impossible for you to comprehend, since you CERTAINLY don’t sound like someone who has problems with this – lucky you. But we’re not all that lucky. I didn’t act like that to be a martyr, I acted like that because that’s the only way I knew how to be. So yes, as you said I did “cause this situation”, but whether it’s my “fault” or not is a different matter. And as soon as I realised why my friends treated me like that, I made great steps to change my behaviour. When are you going to change yours?

            You’ve COMPLETELY missed the point when you say “Did you ever think that if you just told them how you felt……..”. How utterly naive you are. That’s the WHOLE point – I wasn’t confident enough to do this!!!! That’s the whole damn point of what I was saying!!! It must be wonderful to be you, to be so confident that you’re able to just tell people how you feel. Let me say this again: I did not have the confidence to do that. I believed that they would not want to be my friend anymore (and yes, I am aware of how pathetic that sounds)…. and, as it turns out, I was right! But, before my Damascene moment, them not wanting to be friends with me seemed like the worst thing in the world. I already believed that I was a worthless person, so if I ended up with no friends, that would (in my mind) make me even MORE worthless.

            In answer to your utterly ridiculous question “What other examples can you give about how mean they were”: I could write an essay on it! You don’t seriously expect me to list every example of their bad behaviour? I used the hairstyle example to show how seemingly innocuous banter can actually turn into bullying. Sure, if we were all, say, chatting about our teenage years and how funny the fashions were, and someone mentioned my hairstyle, I’d laugh and find it funny. But when it’s brought up, completely out of the blue, time and time again, you have to question the motives of the person initiating it. You know, as adult women, surely there are more interesting things to chat about? And, as I said, it wasn’t just that – the whole hairstyle “banter” thing was against a back drop of constant belittling. You seem to have decided that I ended two long-term friendships because they once or twice joked about my teenage hairstyle. If you think that constantly putting someone down is acceptable, then I’m afraid you are the same kind of person as them.

            The purpose of my above post was not to try and get sympathy – I take full responsibility for the fact that my behaviour needed to change….. and I’ve now changed it. The purpose was to try to offer support to others going through a similar ordeal – and as you can see from this blog, I am not alone in allowing myself to be treated badly by friends. To all the people out there who may be struggling: don’t allow people to demean or belittle or take advantage of you. You are not worthless. You are amazing!!

            So, my friend, this brings me to the purpose of YOUR post…… How is your response helpful to anyone, in ANY way?? I’ve already examined and changed my behaviour, so I’m not sure what you hoped to achieve. You know, it might be a good idea to find out why my post bothered you so much? Why does someone explaining how they became a stronger person elicit such a vitriolic response in you? Perhaps it has made you worry about how you treat people in your life who are a bit vulnerable and whose self esteem might not be as good as yours?

            I spent half my life not being able to be honest about my feelings, for fear of judgement from people like you – you are NOT one of life’s good guys. For the old me, any form of rejection was devastating. The new me couldn’t give a hoot. So, if you were trying to cut me down to size, I’m afraid you’ve failed.

            Think about what you are saying. Read it again. Learn some compassion.

    • Friend says:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, Maya and Serena. If I ever looked back on such “friends,” the only regret I would have is putting up with them for so many years. I like bizzy’s advice, “If you feel lonely for them, just wait it out.” The feeling will pass, and you’ll be glad you didn’t give in.

  6. Dionne says:

    Oh no, don’t even think about going back to this mealy-mouthed bully!

    You called her out on repeatedly making an azz out of you in public and successfully getting the whole group to laugh at your failures.

    Her response? She let you know for sure that this little game is based on anger and removed the possibility that it’s good-hearted and kindly meant fun that unintentionally crosses the line now and then.

    She admitted that, yet she did not apologize but basically told you that she’ll continue to treat you like her public trash can anytime she feels like it and it’s just too damn bad if you don’t like it.

    She’s lucky you didn’t “jokingly” throw your drink in her face. What a beyotch!

    So, the reason you’ve dumped her is because whatever positive qualities she may possess, she fails hugely in the number one quality that defines a friend – Your welfare does not matter to her.

    I think you are just having a little lapse in your excellent newly raised self-esteem. 🙂

  7. Pixie says:

    Your friend is passive aggressive, rather than tell you up front when she helped you move, that she was upset about the work involved, she chooses to embarrass you in front of people, when you confront her, she blurts her gripe! that is not honest friendship, what did she do to make you feel good? nothing, let it go and enjoy your new journey.

  8. T says:

    The secret to knowing if you should rekindle or not is about looking at the person for who they are in the present. Not for who they were when you first met or when things were going great.Presently she laughs at your expense and likes to put you dow,and you told her it hurt you and she just blew it off.There are plenty of people out there to choose from,you dont need to revisit this failed friendship.Leave it finished in the past where it shoud be.

  9. Salstarat says:

    DON’T DO IT !!! People who put you down, make you the butt of their sick, twisted jokes have self-esteem problems and are, quite frankly, INCAPABLE of being true friends because they do not, and will never, have your best interests at heart. I have relatives like this who made me the butt of their jokes and now I refuse to see them or have anything to do with them – my life is a lot better without them in it. These type of individuals are toxic and will NEVER make you happy because THEY are only happy when they put you down! This women is obviously jealous of your success and sounds like a complete sociopath. The fact that she didn’t even have the decency to contact you after you raised the issue with her, speaks VOLUMES about her callous disregard for your feelings. You would be very foolish to rekindle a relationship with this malignant person as your move to replenish the relationship without her apologising to you will give her PERMISSION to go on and on belittling and degrading you in public. DON’T DO IT! She is not worthy of your friendship. Friends are supposed to love and support you and make you feel good about yourself … if they hold you up for ridicule, treat you with contempt and make you the butt of their cynical jokes, you really must question WHY they are doing this and what is their agenda. Usually it stems from jealousy, lack of self esteem and the need to put others down to make themselves feel better … none of which indicates they are ever going to be the type of person you want in your life or the lives of your family. She’s out of your life … keep her out!

    • Laura s. says:

      I agree. I wouldn’t reconnect with her if I were you. Breaking out of toxic friendships is a two-part learning lesson for yourself.

      First part realizing that you don’t deserve to be treated that way, making an effort to communicate your feelings to the person who hurt you, and finding resolution. If the friend isn’t willing to come halfway and understand that you were hurt by them, they are not your friend. A big important thing to remember is a person does not get to choose whether or not they hurt you. If you can’t get past that point with them, it’s not worth trying to remedy.

      The second part of breaking out of toxic friendships is getting out of the habit of wanting them. There is a big difference between missing someone and missing what the two of you could have been. I think some people tend to embrace toxic relationships for the sheer hope that maybe someday they will change and the toxic people will end up realizing that you have been kind and loving and they will turn around and treat you the same way. A resolution of sorts is what is in the back of your head. That tolerating bad behavior will eventually pay off and unfortunately it doesn’t.

      If your friend put you down in front of other people and is unrepentant of it then she’s not your friend. You are very right to tell her she was being a bully and her reaction was nothing short of a typical response of a toxic person. I am very willing to bet she has done this for a very long time.

      It sounds like you want to change. One very important thing that I learned myself is that when you change in a toxic relationship the person who has been toxic towards you will try and stop it. If you have let them put you down for so long it makes them feel comfortable, they’ve accepted it and you are taking away their source of comfort.

      You cannot change them. And there is nothing wrong with walking away. Don’t regret this decision and keep going.

      • Maya says:

        Thank you Laura, this was really insightful. I really appreciate the time you took to write this out. All the best to you 🙂

  10. Susan M. says:

    This friendship has run it’s course. I am sure you had many positive experiences that you can focus on. I wonder if your former friend, now has someone else she puts down(?) It is incredibly hard. I know because my friend of 20 (yes, twenty!) dumped me. It took me nearly four years to get over it.

    • Maya says:

      Thanks, Susan. Your instincts are right – she has a man now that she treats similarly. Once she found him our ties became even weaker, and she stopped doing anything that meant investing in the friendship, her energies went more to damaging the friendship than supporting it. People can be strange!

      Ours was 20 years as well, and I also feel dumped, even though it was me who officially cut the cord. I suspect it will take me just as long to come to terms with it, if not longer.

  11. Ruth says:

    My opinion is the friend’s attitude is the tip of the proverbial iceberg and underneath are issues she needs to deal with, not use you and others as emotional punching bags.

    I feel friends should have our best interests at heart. So in your shoes I wouldn’t rekindle the friendship.

    Ask yourself the 5 whys. Why do I want to rekindle this friendship? Why do I want to do that? And what is pushing me to want that? And 2 more why do I want that’s? It helps me.

  12. Beth Anne says:

    Maya, After reading you post twice, I have to say I agree with Irene. This friend hurt you at the expense of making herself look funny or clever around other people — and it didn’t feel right to you. I don’t blame you. While I do believe we should forgive friends for some transgressions, this friend didn’t say she was sorry or even consider your feelings about the situation.

    I wouldn’t be inclined to rekindle this friendship, given what you’ve shared. As Irene has told us many times, it’s best to have several good friends in our circle, and they should be friends who make you feel good around them — and good about yourself. Simple as that. With so many great people out there, why spend time with those who leave you feeling awful — unless they are relatives and there is no escape?

    • Dionne says:

      Beth Anne, I agree with your post except the part where you say there is no escape from relatives who leave you feeling awful. I say relatives who leave you feeling awful are abusive relatives and oh yes there certainly is an escape from them!

      • Salstarat says:

        Abusive relatives are even worse than abusive friends because you expect relatives to love and support you and this is not always the case. There are a couple of very toxic people in my immediate family whose vicious cynical “put downs” have really negatively impacted on a few other people in my family. Their bullying and incessant harassment over many years is the reason why one of my brothers severed all relationship with them and I have done the same. Trust me, our lives are a lot more harmonious and happier now that we have cut these malignant people from our lives. People will treat you the way YOU allow them to … DON’T STAND FOR IT! Walk away and never, ever look back.

  13. Amy F says:

    Sounds to me like you and your friend’s personalities don’t mesh.You don’t like when she (as she sees it) pokes fun at you, she thinks you need to lighten up. You see yourself as a victim of her humor, she sees you as overly sensitive. Some people might laugh and respond with self deprecating humor, but that’s not your style and that’s ok. Your different styles don’t make a good basis for a friendship. I’m not sure why you would want to reconnect with her under these circumstances, but if you do, don’t expect her to change to be more like you wish she were just as she shouldn’t expect you to have changed to be more satisfying to her.

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