My success made her toxic!

When things are going well for me, my best friend gets anxious — but she won’t let me help her. Now she’s ghosting me!

Our elder thinks it might be time to look for some new friends.

Dear EWC

I’ve been going through a bit of a tough time with my best friend for the past three years. It all started when we both failed our finals in high school and we’ve both been going through a rough time ever since. We both kept having a really hard time with school (her more than me but still) and though it took a toll on our friendship, we pulled through. In the past year, however I’ve been doing a lot better in terms of my education. I’m studying a subject I’m interested in and getting good grades. My friend on the other hand is still going through a tough time because she didn’t get to study abroad like she planned and had to end up studying a subject she doesn’t like (I tried to tell her to pick a subject she finds interesting but apparently she doesn’t like any of them) and she’s been getting really bad grades. I’ve tried helping her by offering to help her study and by telling her that grades aren’t everything but she always ignores me and ends up lashing out and being really mean. Anytime something good happens to me, she starts ignoring me and I have to call and chase after her to get her to talk to me again.

This friendship has been turning into something really toxic that gets me stressed every day but at the same time, she’s my best friend so I can’t exactly just leave her alone when she’s clearly going through a hard time. Recently she told me that being around me makes her want to throw up because I give her a lot of anxiety. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I want to help her but how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be helped? On top of that, all this drama has been really messing up my mental health. I already struggle with anxiety and social phobia so having my best friend ghost me on a daily basis is really hard on a person like me. I don’t know how to handle this situation. Please help, thank you.

Grandpa-Bill replies

Clearly, this friend is only thinking of herself and lashing out at you for being unhappy with her life. If she were a true friend, she would be happy for your successes and would take your advice. She seems to only want to complain and doesn’t see that she has control over how her life goes, no one can fix it for her. The fact that she told you hanging around you makes her want to throw up and gives her anxiety means you should end the friendship as it is hurting both of you as far as your health. It is time to move on from her and make new friends. I would just tell her that the friendship is no longer working and is causing you both health issues, so you need to end it. Wish her well and then stop communicating with her by any means. Trying to stay with her and make her life better will just drag you down.

Make new friends by joining any type of group such as a play, league, class, team, hobby group, etc. Then go up to people alone and ask them how they like the class, the weather, the event, etc. Then introduce yourself and ask about them, whether they have any hobbies or interests, what they like to do in their spare time, etc. You will soon find things you two have in common and can invite them to do something with you.

Letter #: 429742
Category: Friendship

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