DEAR KELLY: How do I respond to one of my good friends who makes mean comments about my boyfriend all the time? Since the beginning, she’s made it clear she doesn’t think he’s cute and makes comments all the time. She will say things like, “He’s not worth wasting a Saturday night on” when I say I’m hanging out with him. Recently, we were at like a bowling party for our friend who goes to another school and one of the guys was hitting on me. I kept telling him I had a boyfriend, and my friend kept telling him he should ask me out. When we were driving home, she said to me, “He would have been a total upgrade. You’re a fool.” I told her her I like my boyfriend and I’m really comfortable with him. She told me that she has a pair of really ugly pajama pants that are comfortable, but she would never be seen in public wearing them because she’s smarter than that.
I’ve asked my other friends if he’s ugly, and they don’t think so. She doesn’t tell them the same thing about their boyfriends, but she tells them when their boyfriends are annoying or when their clothes don’t match. When I asked her why she doesn’t like him, she told me we weren’t a match physically (I’m cute and he’s unattractive – her words) and asked me if I was selling myself short being with him. She thinks I can do better. He’s not popular, but everyone likes him and he’s a really nice guy. His teeth aren’t perfect and she’s always reminding me of it, but it doesn’t really bother me. I know she’s wrong for saying all of this, but I don’t have a good comeback when she does. Please help me. I know he’s not perfect, but I really like him and I want to have something good to say to make her shut her mouth.
DEAR FED UP: She sounds like a lovely friend to have. So kind and supportive. Who needs enemies when you have friends like her?
Your “frenemy” has crossed the line and is showing her true colors – which aren’t very pretty. It’s ironic she calls him unattractive. There is nothing more unattractive than someone who is judgmental and superficial. She needs to stop casting stones at others and take a hard look at herself. I don’t care how attractive she thinks she is, she doesn’t sound very pretty to me at all.
Beauty is so subjective. It’s not her call to decide if he’s attractive enough for you. Or if he’s worthy of you. Or if you’re selling yourself short. These are your choices to make and she doesn’t seem to respect you or him enough to keep her mouth shut. Your business isn’t her business. It’s your life – your choices, your mistakes, your opinion, your relationships, your love life and your lessons. She needs to step back and mind her own business instead of worrying so much about you and your life.
If you like your boyfriend, he’s nice to you and treats you well and you are attracted to him, who cares what she thinks? She seems to sit on a throne and casts unfair judgments on others. Stop giving her words any merit or if you chose to hang out with her. Tune out her comments on other people. If you think your man is fabulous, that’s all that matters.
The next time she says something mean about your boyfriend, say something like, “I need to tell you that your comments about my boyfriend are really bothering me. I find him cute and he’s so nice and we get along great, so please keep your comments to yourself and stop saying negative things about someone I care about. If this is too hard for you, perhaps we shouldn’t hang out anymore because I don’t really like spending time with people who don’t make me feel better.”
If she gets defensive, walk away and take a break from the “friendship.” Know in your heart that you did and said what needed to be said and if she can’t take the criticism, perhaps she should learn to keep her mean mouth shut.
There is a great proverb that says, “Sweep in front of your own door first.” Basically it means “Take care of your own life or business before you worry about trying to take care of mine.” Sometimes people like to focus on other people’s lives because they are pretty miserable with their own life, so they put other people down to try and make themselves feel better. Don’t let her be an anchor in your life or in your relationships and hold you back from feeling happy and excited about someone else. Her insensitive words are just a reflection of her character and should not be used to define your boyfriend. True friends just want you to be happy and don’t care what that looks like as long as they see you feeling good about yourself and your life.