WHEN YOUR FRIEND WON’T LET YOU SPEAK YOUR MIND
Today’s question comes from Rosen, who writes:
Hi Rosen! I don’t want to criticize your BFF, but it sounds like she’s acting kind of selfish and not really being a good friend.
If you wanted to listen 24/7 and never be able to say anything back, you could hang out with your iPod instead. At least then, you’d have apps, games, and potential resale value!
Based on many months of super scientific research (and by that I mean watching CCPs who always act totally rude to each other), I’ve learned that there are three reasons people act like this.
It could be that…
1. She REALLY doesn’t like being wrong, and she’s afraid that if she listens to you, you might prove that she is.
If she never admits she made a mistake and says things like, “I knew it would be sunny today! I wore my winter hat on purpose because my head feels good when it sweats!” then it’s a pretty good chance this is it.
2. She’s used to always getting her way, so she figures what you have to say doesn’t really matter, since your way isn’t hers (obviously).
If she says stuff like “I called shotgun first…in my head! I get the front seat AGAIN!” and “I know it’s your sleepover, but I got dibs on your bed!” then it’s a pretty good chance this is it!
3. Her parents or siblings never let HER speak her mind, so she sees your friendship as her chance to be the bossy one.
If you’ve hung out at her house before and her nasty older sister says things like, “Unless I’m hot and you’re blowing air at me, keep your mouth shut!” then it’s a pretty good chance this it!
Knowing WHY she’s like she is might help you deal with her.
If you know she doesn’t like to be wrong, you could start speaking your mind by saying, “I see your point. And it’s a good one! Here’s what I think.”
This way, you’re not telling her she’s wrong. You’re just sharing another way to look at things.
If it’s the second one, and she’s used to getting her way, you could start by saying, “I know what you think and what you want. Since I’m your friend, I’d appreciate if you would listen to what I think and want now.”
This way, you’re reminding her to stop acting like a spoiled four-year-old and treat you like a BFF deserves to be treated!
And if it’s the last one, you could say something like, “Sometimes my annoying sister doesn’t let me speak my mind. I hate that! Let’s make a pact that we’ll both listen to each other so no one has to feel like their opinion doesn’t count, OK?”
This way, she’ll remember how bad it feels to be the person who doesn’t get to talk, and hopefully she’ll realize NO ONE has to be that person.
If you try to understand her and these approaches don’t work, then there’s one thing you can say in less than 15 seconds, before she has a chance to go off on you:
“You’re not being a good friend. I’m out!”
I know that might seem harsh, but you know what’s even harsher? Treating your BFF SO badly that she’s afraid she’ll lose your friendship if she speaks up!