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by Abigail Van Buren

Lack of Sympathy Reveals Friend's True Colors

DEAR ABBY: How do you know if a friend is actually a "frenemy"? I think my friend "Gwen" may be one.

I successfully started a second career and was doing well, but Gwen had no interest in hearing about it. She also announced her engagement on my wedding day, which diverted attention away from me on my special day.

I went through a difficult time because several family members passed away, and Gwen was neither supportive nor particularly sympathetic. Her lack of response made things even harder for me. I no longer feel like I can share my successes about saving money or getting raises, because this "friend" would be threatened by it. I almost felt Gwen was happy when I was struggling, because it made her better than I was.

Is it OK to let people go? Is this a real friend? -- FRIEND OR FOE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR F. OR F.: Gwen appears to have neither good judgment nor empathy. If those are qualities you value in a friend, my advice is to look elsewhere. Friends celebrate their friends' successes and reach out to offer comfort when they suffer losses. It is not only OK to let people like Gwen drift away, but it is also healthy.

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