Advice: Priority Number 1- her new boyfriend….
My best friend just got a new boyfriend who’s really popular and so she’s been hanging out with him and the popular kids at lunch and kind of ignoring me. I feel really rejected. Please help me!
Poppy, 14. North Coast, NSW
Our psychologist says: Sometimes when people are in the early stages of a new relationship, they get so absorbed in the excitement of it all they seem oblivious to the fact there’s still a world outside their ‘romance bubble’. More than likely your friend is caught up in the ‘honeymoon’ phase of her relationship and is probably not deliberately setting out to ditch you. It’s also important to recognise that most close friendships go through a tricky period of adjustment when a third person (eg. a boyfriend) comes into the mix. If you’re feeling hurt by your friend’s behaviour, bring it up with her. If you stay silent she may remain completely unaware there’s even a problem. Resentment may also keep building in you to the point where it boils over and say or do something you later regret. Express to your bestie how much you care about her and value your friendship. Explain that lately you’ve been ‘missing’ her and feeling a bit rejected. Let her know what you wish could be different (eg. “I’d really like to spend time with you”). Tread carefully with what you say, as it can be a sensitive issue. Don’t be negative or judgemental about your friend’s boyfriend or their relationship. This may just come across as sour grapes and get her on the defensive. Also, avoid ‘pushing her into a corner’ where she feels forced to choose between you and her new guy. Aim for a happy compromise (eg “it would be great if we could all hang out together at lunch more”). Hopefully, by ‘putting it out there’ you’ll encourage your friend to make more of an effort to include you and nurture your friendship. As her relationship moves beyond the ‘new love’ stage, hopefully she’ll manage to keep things more in balance.
image credit: Boris SV
Over to you: Our psychologist has shared her suggestions, but what do you think? Have you ever felt rejected when your best friend got a new boyfriend or girlfriend? How did you deal with it? What might help Poppy?