Picture post should prompt frank talk with best friend

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3D

DEAR KELLY: My best friend posted a picture on Instagram about two weeks ago posing with my boyfriend and wrote, "Maybe someday …"

At first everyone (including me) thought it was funny and just a joke. But she never took it off and now it really bothers me. I told her that I thought it wasn't funny anymore last week, and she got mad at me and said that I over- reacted and I couldn't take a joke. It's no secret she had a fat crush on him before we ever got together and it took her a few months to accept we were together.

I thought she had finally accepted it and moved on, but I guess I was wrong. They still text occasionally as friends and I've never freaked out about it, but now it makes me really uncomfortable. When I said something to my boyfriend, he just said that he thinks she still likes him (based on some things she has said to him) but he likes me and I have nothing to worry about. We almost broke up over this whole thing because he "liked" her picture. When I asked him why, he said it was just part of the joke and not to get so upset.

She and I haven't really talked this week and now I wonder if I owe her an apology or if she owes me one. Who do you think is to blame?

Am I wrong to think it's weird to post (even if as a joke) someone posing with another girl's boyfriend and write, "Maybe someday …"? Am I overreacting, and how do I talk to her without getting angry with her?

– Confused, Mad and Not Sure What to Do

DEAR CONFUSED: "Blame" is such a bad word because it usually implies finding fault with someone. Trying to decide who is to blame can be very difficult because people see situations from different viewpoints. In your case the question is, where does the responsibility fall in starting all this unneeded drama and hurt feelings?

The answer to that lies with your best friend.

Your friend was wrong to post a picture of your BF with the caption "Maybe someday …" considering the history involved around her past crush on him. Even if it was a joke, it wasn't funny to you and it upset you. The moment she realized this disturbed you, she should have taken it off, not brushed you off when you told her how you felt. Had she responded the correct way and removed it, the situation would have been diffused and you probably would feel better.

Instead she made things worse by telling you that you overreacted and disregarded how you felt. Her response seems callous, almost as if she was trying to pick a fight with you.

How good of a "best friend" is she? Are you willing to let this splinter your relationship with her? Do you have a history of competing for guys with each other? Has she been a loyal and kind friend in the past and never made you feel like this before? Has she harbored anger over you getting together with him when she had a crush on him? Were you compassionate to her feelings when you got together with him?

Look at the history the two of you have shared to see if you can find answers as to why this might have happened. If she has been a truly good and valued friend, then you don't want to let this situation end a special friendship. No guy should be worth that.

Ask your friend to meet for coffee or at a park so you can talk. Avoid blaming and demanding an apology from her. Don't even go there. Instead, focus on how you can move forward and address the hurt feelings you both have.

Be prepared to have two different viewpoints of the situation and be OK with how you each felt things shook down. Tell her you feel uncomfortable and wonder if she still likes him. Let her know the posting on Instagram has planted seeds of doubt in your head.

If she sticks to her theory that it was just a joke, share that though it may have been her intention, it felt like a hurtful and insensitive joke. See if the two of you can come to a middle ground on this and be able to move on and let it go.

"Joking around" is a dangerous road to take when it comes to treating people. Your feelings aren't overreactive and you have a right to feel uneasy about what was posted.

If she continues to leave the picture up even after you talk with her, ask yourself if she really has the qualities you are looking for in a best friend and perhaps you should develop other friendships with people you can trust and who honor your feelings.

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