I’ve had a friend for 25 years and have always treasured her loyalty.
Since developing psoriatic arthritis, however, I’m often not able to do the things I used to do. My problem is that my friend constantly boasts about her life – her exercise regime, her new car, her children’s masters degrees, and so on.
I am not jealous or competitive in the least, but she seems to be.
Worst of all, she follows my daughter on Facebook, then phones me to ask about my daughter’s new job, as well as loads of other questions about her life.
This really bothers me – and my daughter – as we are both private people. My friend also pushes the essential oils she’s selling on both of us – for my disease and my daughter’s endometriosis.
When she calls, I no longer want to talk to her.
What can I do? I don’t want to close the door on a friendship that was once so important to me.
I think it’s a question of taking the control back. You don’t have to close the door on the friendship, but you don’t always have to be available – if you’re not in the mood, don’t speak to her.
I think you can also be honest about a few things without being nasty. Tell her it’s wonderful she’s so concerned about your health, but that you don’t want to use essential oils and neither does your daughter. Draw a line under it.
If she’s asking intrusive questions about your daughter, simply say you don’t think she would like you talking about her.
As for her competitiveness – try to let it go over your head. In my experience, most people who brag about their lives to such a degree are over-compensating for the fact that they’re actually unhappy.
They’re putting on a face for the world. If you’ve been friends for 25 years your relationship should be able to weather a few home truths. She probably doesn’t realise she’s upsetting you this much.
* More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems