Carolyn: My best friends daughter, 10, is a little (twit). She never smiles at you, and if she deigns to speak to you, it is a one-word answer spoken with hostility. When I walk into my friends house, her daughter looks me up and down and refuses to say hello. If she speaks, it is by whispering either to her mother or a friend, and I can tell she is talking about the people present.
I broached the subject with a mutual friend. This lady let loose about how this girl bullies her own son. She is questioning whether to remain friends with the mom. Clearly there is a problem.
My friend would be devastated to learn we feel this way and are considering ending the friendship, yet she gets defensive and refuses to hear any criticism of her daughter. Do I just forget the friendship, or is there a way to approach this with my friend and try to do some good?
CANT STAND HER KID!
You have nothing to lose here and much to gain not by having a better-worded heart-to-heart with her mom, but by addressing the demon daughter herself, on the spot, with Poppins-like playful restraint (nastiness undermines your point):
When she looks you up and down, Does my outfit meet your approval?
When she whispers to her friend, Ooh, a secret! Please do share you wouldnt want to be ruuuude.
When she answers you with hostile monosyllables, Hm. You appear to be old enough to speak in full sentences maybe I should try again.
Let her mother hear this.
In other words, village up: Its the adults job to teach snippy children the rules. Pull your societal weight. Its your friends prerogative to abdicate that responsibility; however, its also your prerogative to correct children who fail to respect an adult.
Carolyn: I have just been friend dumped. A very close friend of a few years stopped talking to me, and when I asked why, she ended the friendship with an Internet message. She claimed it was because the friendship is unhealthy.
The friendship was unhealthy at times I have jealousy and fifth-wheel issues but it was because we lived together, and we dont anymore. I cant wrap my head around the idea that someone I trusted so much would do this to me so easily, without feeling bad or giving me even a paragraph of thought.
The worst part is, I will have to see this person regularly in school. I know I need to move on, but I am very deeply hurt. I did so much for her, and I was always there for her. How do I stop obsessing over this and feeling bad?
THE DROPPED FRIEND
Im sorry. Getting dumped hurts, and getting dumped abruptly hurts even more.
Be careful, though an abrupt end can also be distracting to the point where valuable information gets lost in the why-me haze.
Please turn your attention to those jealousy and fifth-wheel issues. What was your part in the undoing? Did your friend ask too much of you, or did you ask too much of (or do too much for) her? Was the silent-treatment breakup about her cowardice, or about your inability to hear bad news without melting down?
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