I’ve been friends with a woman for several years and lately her messages have gotten on my nerves.
She makes snide remarks about parts of my personal life that don’t concern her.
Yet when I comment about her life, she has a little nasty way of “putting me in my place.”
I’m wondering if I should continue my friendship with her after her latest remarks about my relationship with my fiancé of three years.
I often wonder if she’s simply jealous of me, as she has no man, no real job (at 50, she’s still struggling to become a known actress), lives with her sister (I have my own place), and has no car (I do).
I also have a production company.
I’m tired of her negativity and believe that her attitude is one reason she's never made it in the film industry, and can't land a job in the field of her education.
I usually ignore her disparaging comments, but should I?
Whatever it might’ve been at the start, this is no friendship now. It’s more of a “Who’s Winning?” contest and you’re both playing that negative game.
Given your own attitude about how she’s lagging behind you in achievements, she’s as unlikely as you are to feel encouraged by being friends.
Next time she offers a disparaging remark, just say you feel it’s time that you both agree to disagree about each other’s personal choices.
Then gently distance by not responding to some of her messages. I’m sure she’ll do the same.
FEEDBACK Regarding a writer’s “Nasty Neighbours” (December 19):
Reader – “Years ago, when my husband and I bought our first home, our neighbours turned out to be very scary.
“All the red flags were there, if only we weren’t so young and naïve. Over time we learned that this couple had a vicious side.
“But we continued to try and be friends with them. When street parking became an issue, things went downhill fast.
“We decided to move away but it had already turned very ugly.
“One day, as I was cleaning our basement windows next to our neighbours’ driveway, my neighbour attacked me.
“The only way I got her off me was by pleading that I was just two months’ pregnant. I was okay, as was our unborn baby, but I was left very shaken.
“We called the police, but there were no witnesses and then things progressed from bad to worse.
“I can still see my neighbour’s husband screaming and smashing a metal bat against our fence with our three-year-old son crying from the living-room window.
“I’ve never witnessed such scary violent behaviour in my life before or since.
“My advice: Be wise in staying far away.
“If the writer’s neighbours can curse for no apparent reason, the situation could turn for the worse quite easily.
“Extending a hand is not the right approach in this situation. We have to protect ourselves and learn to trust our instinct. I wish I had done this.
“Yet, I stupidly ventured too close and could’ve ended up seriously hurt or worse, lost our baby.
“Don’t look at them, keep your distance, if you see them cross the street, go the other direction if necessary, keep your curtains closed.
“Avoidance is key. If all else fails and this is eating at you and the happy life you deserve, then it’s time to move.
“Best decision we ever made and we should’ve done it sooner.”
My husband of 11 years has a very irritating habit he can't seem to break.
Every time he refers to his sister, he will say, "My sister" instead of using her name.
When he talks about my brother, he will say "Your brother" …
I don't know why, but it drives me nuts.
I know it's not intentional but it sounds like he's trying to separate "his family" vs. "my family."
I've mentioned it to him several times, but it still happens and I just try to ignore it and not let it bother me.
But when I'm in a bad mood, it just adds to it. Any advice, Ellie?
Give it just five more minutes of reflection, alone.
Unless there IS a gap in the way he treats your family vs. his, OR in the way you feel about his family vs. yours, this is a small itch you should stop scratching, especially when irritable.
Tip of the day:
Messages of criticism and snide remarks are about jealousy and competition, not friendship.