Dear BeingGirl Experts, I have a friend that ALWAYS puts me down in a joking way, so if I get mad she would say, "I'm only joking!" But sometimes it really hurts my feelings. The bad thing is that I've been wanting to say something to her the next time it happens, but if it "seemed" like it never bothered me before then why say something now?!? My friend is mean. PLEASE HELP ME!! Thanks, Eve --- Dear Eve, You have the right to let your friend know when she puts you down that it bothers you. If you ignore it, this sends the signal this kind of behavior is acceptable. When you learn to stick up for yourself in relationships, you will learn nobody can stomp on you unless you let them. Tell her calmly you don’t like what she’s saying and things will have to change for you to stay friends. Here are some approaches you might take with your friend ... — Can we talk? — Says “ I want to resolve things.” — Remember the other day when you put me down again? Well, it’s been bothering me. I was really hurt by... — Being specific gives the two of you a problem to solve together. — How do you see what happened? — Your are acknowledging her point of view, and you’re willing to hear it. — I don’t get what you mean.... Could you explain it to me? — You are saying “I’m trying to cut you some slack.” — Our friendship means a lot to me, and I want to work this out. — Says “I’m willing to do my part if you’re willing to do yours.” Hope this is helpful, Your BeingGirl Experts
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