February 9, 2013 WHEN YOUR GROUP WANTS TO STOP HANGING OUT WITH A FRIEND This question comes from Nayanika. She writes: I used to have a friend, but she had very odd behavior. Whenever I didn’t talk to her or didn’t share something, she thought that I would stop hanging out with her. And she used to turn our whole group against me. Now we (the whole group) have stopped hanging out with her, so she has been acting so nice to us. But whenever we act friendly, she starts behaving the same way again. Now what should we do to get rid of her? My Advice: Hi Nayanika! I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but I sort of feel bad for your friend. She sounds kind of insecure! (And by “kind of” I mean “SUPER”!!) It seems like she freaks out whenever you don’t talk to her for a bit…and then she gets SO nervous that maybe NO ONE likes her that she tries to make people think it’s not her…it’s YOU! And now NO ONE in your group wants to be friends with her, and you all want to get rid of her. I totally get why you guys would be annoyed with how she’s been acting. On a scale of 1-10 for neediness and drama, she’d probably be AT LEAST an 8. But maybe she could be an awesome friend if you figured out WHY she’s so insecure. Maybe there’s some kind of crazy stuff going on at her home, or maybe some OTHER friends ditched her, and now she’s terrified everyone else will too. If I were you, I’d sit her down and say, “I’m kind of confused by how you’ve been acting, so I wanted to see what’s up. Why have you been so afraid that I’ll ditch you? And why did you try to turn the group against me?” This way, you stop all the drama instead of making MORE of it by making her a social outcast! If you guys talk things out and you STILL don’t want to be her friend anymore, then try to tell her nicely. She’ll probably be super sad and hurt, and she’ll try to be part of the group again, but at least she’ll know what’s up and won’t be shocked when you don’t talk to her! So that’s my advice: Give her a chance to explain herself, and if that doesn’t change things for you, just be honest! What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Nayanika?