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Dear Wendy

What should I do?

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  • #859737 Reply


    I’m an 18 year old girl and I have a friend (girl) who is three years older than me. I’ve known her for almost 3 years, but since I went to university she started acting weird to the point where she ignores me.

    For example:
    It all started to happen in the second semester. I don’t know why she wasn’t like that in the first semester.

    – She pushes me to go to class when I am in pain/sick and yells at me till I go. Yes, I have social anxiety and sometimes I don’t want to go to class, I only skip max 3 hours of class a week (only when my SA is very bad, which gives me a bad mood), which is also one of the reasons for my abscence. She never skips classes and always takes notes for herself. But she told me that I put weight on her, because she has to take notes. Even though I told her that she didn’t have to worry about me, because professors knew about my abscence. The fact that she pushed me made my anxiety worse.

    – She does not wan’t me to sit next to anyone else, unless the people she chooses.

    – Everytime she get’s mad, she ignores me and doesn’t open her door for me when I want to ask what’s wrong. Which makes the problem even worse, because she’ll get even more mad at me for not ‘fixing’ the problem.

    – If I don’t reply/ see her text immediately, she get’s passive aggressive which results in getting mad and ignoring me.

    – She once told her ex-boyfriend lies about me & told him that she did not see me as a friend. I confronted her about this and she denied it and told me that she would never say such things.

    – She get’s mad when I say no to her requests.

    – She acts often very rude towards me by insulting me.

    – She get’s pissed when I get better grades than her.

    – Some days she ignores me, ‘because she feels like it’ and acts nice to others.

    (When I could, I told her in person that I did not like those ^
    things at all)

    – When I lend her money, she lies about it and tells me she already gave it back.

    – She makes up lies when I ask her to do something together with me.

    – Now she ignores me again for almost two weeks (It’s year two of uni now). She won’t even work together in class when we have to. When I sit next to her, she looks at me and looks away. She has made two new friends which feel very forced to me.

    I talked with my therapist about this, he told me that she shows childish behavior because:
    1) She might be in love with me and is trying to get my attention.
    2) She might be jealous of me and tries to get ‘rid’ of her insecurities by doing such things.
    3) She might be very obsessive.
    He told me that I should talk to her and tell her that I can’t do more for her than just being a good friend (like listening to her when she feels down, giving her advice and so on), which is not really that helpfull because she ignores me.

    I also talked with my other friends about this and they told me to dump her because she is a toxic friend. Some of my friends also thought that she might be in love with me, but nevertheless they think I still should ‘get rid’ of her because her behaviour is obsessive.

    She might be doing all of this because she thinks she is helping me, but I don’t really know how to explain her other behavior like lying to her ex-boyfriend about me, being mad at me when I say no to a request, ignoring me…
    I already told her that pushing me is not going to help me and I used my therapists advice as argument.

    I don’t really know what to do. I want to close this chapter and leave it all behind, leave her behind. But I have never done such thing, because nobody in my entire life has acted this way to me. I’m also a bit concerned that closing this chapter might be the wrong solution. I wonder if I am not too harsh for thinking that. (By closing this chapter I mean: just ending our friendship on good terms even though I think she might get mad and hate me for that.)

    I wan’t closure about all the things that have happened. I want to know why she did that, even though she always brushes it of when I ask her. I want to know why she does not do this to other friends that skip classes, even more than me.

    I’m really confused. Because I feel like I am a puppet and she is a puppetmaster who want’s to control everything. Yes, I really feel like that, because I always have to do like she is telling me otherwise she’ll get mad. I feel like I am not treated right and have let her walk all over me. But I am not sure.

    What should I do?


    #859744 Reply

    Hi Vanessa-she does not sound like a good friend,or maybe she is just not the kind of friend that is right for you.She either really thinks she is helping/trying to help you (even though she is misguided in how she does this) or she is moody and deliberately manipulative/gaslighting and creating stress.
    I don’t know why she is acting this way. It did cross my mind that maybe she is attracted/interested in you and gets jealous (likely not,but possible I guess). Or she is insecure or just plainly not a good match for you as a friend. She is not adding to your social life,supporting you or fun to be around,she is causing stress and confusion. Maybe you are more sensitive, because of your social anxiety,but she still does not seem like a healthy friend.
    I think you are right to/should take a “step back”. I would just avoid her for a bit to get some distance on how you are feeling. I fear that if you try to talk to her or “get closure” she will twist things around and make you feel guilty or bad again. I would just drift away and find better/other friends. If she does contact you,then you can be “busy”. If you are “busy” a few different times,she may get the message. If she confronts you,then simply say that you have decided to work on your issues/anxiety and are rethinking your life and relationships and are not socializing much these days… Of course talk to your therapist about this.

    #859745 Reply

    You are describing a very unhealthy dynamic between the two of you. She might think she’s helping you “get better” but she isn’t. You seem to have a lot of personal insight. Keep working on your goals and obtaining small victories. Focus on your self and let her worry about herself. She might be working though her own issues but those aren’t your problem

    #859752 Reply

    It seems like she’s already moved on (blessing in disguise) and so should you. Keep going to therapy. If you’re so sick that you can’t be in class, maybe you should look into a leave of absence?

    #859765 Reply

    I understand your friend’s point of view actually. I’m not going to get into all that because you sound pretty fragile. I’m not sure you should be seeking out advice on the internet — again, because you sound pretty fragile, and advice from strangers can be unpredictable.

    The real advice has nothing to do with your friend or this relationship. The bottom line is: You should be working very closely with a therapist so you can make it to your classes. No one else is controlling your emotional state, or your class attendance, so it’s best not to call people “puppetmaster.” A good therapist can guide you on how to take care of yourself.

    #859882 Reply

    If a friendship isn’t working for you then it is good to step back from it. Does this friendship bring more unhappiness than good? If so you need some distance.

    Focusing on closure won’t help you. She isn’t going to tell you why she does what she does. You won’t get answers. Instead of focusing on what she has done and trying to figure out why she did it you need to focus on whether the friendship works for you and whether you want to continue it.

    Shift from why did she do that to does this work for me.
    Ask yourself if she is more of a positive in your life or a negative. From time to time you will end up with someone in your life who isn’t good for you. Instead of trying to make them understand why they aren’t good for you and instead of trying to understand why they do what they do you quit interacting with them as much as possible.

    #859892 Reply

    Simple universal advice when determining if you should be friends with someone.

    Does being around this person energize me or deflate me?

    After that huge laundry list of toxic behavior, I have doubts that this relationship is energizing. Why are you still friends with her? Why is this level of cruelty acceptable to you?

    You’re focusing on the reasons “why” she is this way, when the reality is that doesn’t matter because it’s outside your control. You need to focus on why you’re letting yourself be her punching bag.

    #859894 Reply

    Strange that friend is 3 years older, yet they attend the same classes.

    I wonder if friend doesn’t see LW withdrawing more and more into herself and being unwilling to leave her room and that she is very worried about LW. The anxiety is definitely impacting LW’s life and education and she needs to work on fixing it. Therapy is important.

    LW says the problems with friend developed in second semester. I wonder if her problem of not being able to make it to class 3 times a week also began in second semester.

    #859929 Reply

    Closure comes from you moving on. You won’t get any satisfactory answers from her. Think of closure as closing that part of your life and not allowing her to harm you emotionally.

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