October 29, 2010 | 2:05 am
Posted by Merissa Nathan Gerson
I just realized that my best friend is a psycho. We go to grad school together and became instant buddies- we hang out all the time.
Lately, we’ve been fighting a lot. I haven’t had these types of conflicts since high school. It all started when a guy she’d mentioned she thought was cute asked me out. She has literally never talked to him, he’s just a dude among many that she’s said she thinks is attractive (we go to a big school). When I told her I was considering going out with him she FREAKED out. She cried all day and said she was having a mental break down. At the time I attributed this to other stress, but now I’m just starting to think she’s crazy.
Earlier this week she told me that another friend had been talking about me behind my back. When she told me what they’d said I was upset and confronted the person. I was so upset that I jumped to conclusions about what the person had meant and it turned out to be a big miscommunication. I worked it out with the third party, but my friend is now accusing me of being crazy and making her look like snitch. She actually called me and basically bitched me out about it. Now she’s giving me the silent treatment! PLEASE HELP ME! I feel silly even explaining this situation – it’s so juvenile! For some reason, though, it’s really upsetting me.
I am really shocked by all of this because I have been friends with this person for about six months and all of these things have only started happening in the past few weeks. Should I cut my losses or try to work it out? She’s one of my only girlfriends at school and it makes me sad to think that our friendship is over.
-Caught in the Drama
Your friend sounds like a mean disaster. For help on whether to salvage or ditch this friendship, see “BF(Forget It).”
For you, though, I am more interested in addressing a whole other possible dilemma. One thing we all do as we age is repeat patterns unknowingly. It sucks the life out of many of us until we learn the hard lessons negative behaviors eventually yield.
In this particular case it sounds as if you have a problem reliving old faulty relationship patterns. It is as if your problem is that you are pretty and your friend has a problem because she is insecure. When I was fifteen I used to have fights like this. All the boys loved my best friend romantically and I would often break down, always seen as a friend by guys. Everyone had a hot friend along the road who by comparison made them feel ugly. You are probably that hot friend.
So? So hot girls have it rough too. As they get hot, many people begin to hate on them. I remember hearing stories on the news of girls in New Jersey public schools who were slashed with knives to ruin their beautiful faces. Jealous and insecure women can be horribly vicious.
Your friend’s full-on breakdown is probably about her and her own demons. Your action hardly warranted hysteria. You and that unshakeable upset feeling might be something different. Everything in life, my grandfather said, can be learned from. He never, however, said that even hot girls need to learn to love themselves with time.
Look at your repetoire of voices from your past. Were you ever compared to someone? A family member, a friend, someone who was not as hot or gorgeous as you? Someone for whom you were asked to forget your beauty, blur your beauty, or more likely, feel guilty about your beauty? This is common among sisters, best friends, cousins. Is it possible that you are reliving those moments now, the moments where you were told to hate yourself for being so damn pretty?
Recipe for the hot hated girl: re-visit your body, your face, your perfect hair and see if you can remember who said what about you in the past. Check in the emotional mirror and try and find what messages are attached to your striking looks. Chances are you have learned to use them to open some doors and close others, and not always at the correct moments.
While everyone was seeing your facade, you were and are still breathing behind it. See if you can do the hard work to balance your interior and exterior. I don’t know what to do with this friend, but I do know that this situation is full of nuggets of life lessons. Remember that her pain is her pain, that no one owns a man, and that it is never ok to let someone else put their skeletons in your closet. Seeing more clearly could help you weather her emotional storm.
Also, some of these negative patterns, finding friends who force us to relive the ugly moments of our past, are best addressed with a trained professional. Especially when those friends are backstabbing liars. Beauty can have dire consequences, and to really see what these were, it might be nice to have someone hold your emotional hand.
To further explore this issue of feeling guilty and/or being persecuted for being gorgeous, read:
“When Other Women Hate You Because You’re Beautiful,” by Ms. JD
“Is It Normal To Hate Beautiful Girls,” in Teen Magazine
Wanting to Be Her: Body Image Secrets Victoria Won’t Tell You by Michelle Graham
and The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf
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