Today’s question comes from Roxy, who writes:
My friend never wants me to spend time with other friends. She always gets upset if I talk with other people or make plans to meet up with them. But when she talks to those people, she acts like this never happened.
She says that I don’t care about her anymore. I tell her that I DO care and don’t want to make her mad, but she won’t listen! What should I do?
Hi Roxy! Your friend sounds super possessive. But you’re not her Barbie doll! She can’t keep you in a box under her bed so no one can play with you but her!
I’m guessing she might be kind of insecure. When people feel solid about their friendships, they don’t try to keep their BFFS on leashes.
I’d NEVER tell Chloe or Zoey, “If you REALLY cared about me, you’d ONLY hang out with me!”
And they’d never tell me that, either. That’s because we trust that no matter what we do when we’re apart, we’ll end up sitting in the janitor’s closet, laughing about it all together.
You probably don’t want to tell her that you think she’s insecure, since that would make anyone feel kind of embarrassed and defensive. So maybe you should ask her WHY she’s acting like this and see what she says.
You could say, “I can tell it upsets you when I spend time with other friends. Why do you think that is? Are you afraid I won’t have time for you, or that I’ll get closer to other people?”
If she starts with the “You don’t care about me” stuff again, ask her why she thinks that.
Maybe you forgot something important to her, or you’ve been taking forever to return her texts, or you’re not REALLY listening when she talks because you’re fantasizing about running through a big, grassy field, holding hands with your crush.
Once you get to the real problem and talk it through, she’ll probably feel a lot more secure. And if not, then you might want to stop spending time with her. You’re too big for that Barbie box under the bed, so it’s time you busted out!