Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Friend's Behavior Causes Reader to Want Distance

DEAR HARRIETTE: Recently, one of my friends broke up with her boyfriend. She claims that since she hasn’t been single in a long time, she can do whatever she wants with boys. Her actions have been a little out of control. She is betraying her girlfriends, including me. Every time somebody tells her she has changed, she gets really defensive. I have begun to distance myself from her. She keeps asking me what is wrong, or what she did. I am not sure what to do because I want to simply avoid drama, but I also want her to understand what she is doing. -- Girl 4 Girl, Portland, Oregon

DEAR GIRL 4 GIRL: Your friend is giving you permission to tell her the truth. Do it. This doesn’t need to be a prolonged conversation. To protect yourself and avoid drama, as you have said, limit the interaction about this to one main conversation. Agree to speak to your friend. Tell her that you are concerned about her behavior ever since she and her boyfriend broke up. Give her specific examples of things she has done that have been disturbing. Do your best to point to actions that could be directly harmful to your friend as well as those that can and have hurt others. Include how she betrayed you.

Suggest that she get some professional help to work through the pain of her breakup and the reality of her life today. You cannot do this for her, nor can other friends.

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