Friendships: Broken Friendships with Richard Kneip (cont.)

joyciepooh_2000: Should I let my friend run over me just to keep her friendship?

Richard Kneip, PhD: I would not recommend it. If you continuously allow yourself to be used or mistreated to maintain a relationship, I have to believe that ultimately you will come to resent this, which will hurt the relationship in the long run anyway. Instead, I would encourage you to talk to your friend about the ways you feel you are being run over in hopes that your friend will be more respectful of you and stop doing this.

serenaraine: I recently lost a friend because she started working with me. She quit her job and hasn't spoken to me since. Should I try to mend the friendship by making the first move?

Richard Kneip, PhD: Certainly. While you assume that your friend is having feelings about you and your friendship as a result of having lost her job, you can't really be sure what is going on until the two of you have a chance to talk about it. Why not approach your friend with the same enthusiasm that the two of you had before? If she has a problem, she will let you know. This will give the two of you a chance to work it out. Many relationships have been ruined because assumptions were made.

dava_00: I had this friend that recently got married and I missed it because of a bad fight we had. I feel guilty now and I want to apologize but she was to blame. Any advice?

Richard Kneip, PhD: If you feel like apologizing, then do it. As I have said, many good relationships have suffered when friends are reluctant to make the first move toward reconciliation after a fight. At the same time, you will have a difficult time apologizing because you feel that your friend was to blame for the fight. Approaching her with an apology would be very courageous on your part, and you would hope she would acknowledge her role in the fight and would forgive you for missing her wedding. At least this would give the two of you an opportunity to talk about it and work it out.

atomandhispackage: I have a friend who is ALWAYS contradicting me. I'm the kind of person who won't quit until everyone knows I'm right. We are currently in a fight because of it. I know I'm right but I know she will not apologize, and I wont either as long as I'm right. What should I do?

Richard Kneip, PhD: It is very important in relationships that we are accepting of other's views. It sounds to me that your friend might feel stifled by your insistence on being right all the time. Sometimes there is no one clear right answer. For a change, try asking your friend if she thinks you think you are always right. Ask her what that is like for her. Ask her if she thinks that you think that you must be right all the time. Try to get a better sense of what her experience of you is like. Maybe if you understand her viewpoint better, you will be better able to empathize. As the old adage goes "seek first to understand than to be understood."

martina_mcbride_fan: What should you do if your best friend tells you she's sleeping with your boyfriend?

Richard Kneip, PhD: Few scenarios that I can imagine would be as devastating as this. As in a single sentence, you have potentially lost two of your closest relationships. The hurt, anger, and sense of betrayal would be extremely difficult for anybody. What you do would depend upon the situation. No doubt you would confront your boyfriend with this information and then talk, a lot, with both of them. If it is as bad as it sounds, then this probably marks the end of both relationships as most friendships or romantic relationships could not withstand such a betrayal.

sasa_kelly: My friend is very jealous of any other friendships I have. It makes me angry and makes me not want to do things with her when she acts like I should only be hanging out with her. How do I handle that?

Richard Kneip, PhD: You have every right to be uncomfortable with your friend's possessive jealousy and should confront her with the fact that you can't tolerate it. She needs to understand that you need to maintain all of your relationships and that it would be best for her to have a variety of friends and activities as well. If she is unable to change, then you might be best off ending the friendship, as ultimately it will be doomed by her manipulative attempts to control and possess you.

sappygirl99: How do I get my friend to believe that I didn't' spread rumors at a party?

Richard Kneip, PhD: You tell your friend that you did not do it. If your friend is truly a friend, then he or she will believe you. If they don't believe you, then your friend is not a friend. Go get some friends that trust you and believe you.

sanjose_lady_nopm: My best friend told me that my husband tried to kiss her before we got married. He and I are not together anymore but not as a result of that. Now my friend and I are talking again, but I feel like she can't be trusted because she waited until after he and I split up to tell me. What do you think?

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