Dear Barb – Positively Negative

Dear Barb:

I have a friend who is very difficult to get along with. She finds fault with everything and everyone. When my husband and I go out for dinner with her and her husband it is always a big production. To begin with, she refuses to wear glasses and she can’t read the menu, so instead she asks our server if they have this or that. If the server says yes they do, she then asks if it is good, or does the chef know how to cook it, or is it dried out, is it homemade etc. This friend has had a few traumatic events in her life, so I have always tried to be understanding. We have mutual friends and she finds fault with all of them. It seems that at first she likes them but then she starts with the negative comments. I can only assume she talks to other friends about me in the same manner, but again I have tried to be tolerant, after all we are supposed to try to see the best in others.

Recently I have reached my limit with her. I hadn’t heard from her for a while and then ran into in a restaurant and she totally ignored me. Then last week we both attended a funeral for a mutual friend and she was so rude, I couldn’t believe it. When we walked into the chapel we saw her and her husband sitting at the back, so we went to sit with them but she did not want us to sit with them. She said she needed to get out to go to the washroom, but we could have sat on the other side of them. To this point she had not looked at me or acknowledged me in any way. So my husband and I sat in the pew in front of them. I thought I would be the bigger person and turned around and said hello, but she ignored me, then I said it again and she still ignored me. At this point my husband said are you just going to ignore Pat? Then she said hello, but no another words were exchanged between us for the rest of the time. I feel quite angry and really don’t want anything to do with this person. How do I just let something like this go? Thanks Patricia.

Hi Patricia:

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I think your friend has some serious issues that she needs to work out. She seems to be projecting her anger and negativity onto you and others, rather than face it within herself. There really is not a lot you can do about it. You cannot allow yourself to be abused or treated as she is treating you. Perhaps avoiding contact with her for a while may help. In the meantime, she may reach a point where she knows she needs some professional help and eventually you and her may be able to reconcile your relationship. I hope this was helpful.

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Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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