Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,
I’ve had the same best friend since I was a little kid and I would never want to do anything to hurt her. Recently, however, she started going out with this guy who I thought was really cool. A bunch of our friends went out with the couple and his friends several times and we all had a great time. However, the guy is no longer interested in my friend and, according to a mutual friend of ours, he’s interested in me instead now. I really like him and want to go out with him, but I don’t want to hurt my best friend by going after him. What should I do?

-At a crossroads

Dear Crossroads,
Love triangles never seem to go out of style, do they? It’s always an iffy situation when feelings aren’t reciprocated and even more complicated when the feelings from the opposing side are aimed at the trusty sidekick. I’m glad you actually took your friend’s feelings into consideration before doing anything.
In regards to the mutual friend and the things they’ve told you, I would just like to say that girls are known to be gossipers (guys too, but girls more so). Along with gossiping, people sometimes tend to add things to their stories and they end up being entirely false. I personally wouldn’t take their word for it, because you really don’t know what a guy’s relationship is like with his friends. This friend may be one holding a grudge against your new guy pal and may have lied…yeah, people can be evil that way. Your best bet is to ask this guy personally during a time when your friends and his friends aren’t around.
Before asking him about it, however, it may be a good idea to tell your friend how you feel about the guy. If you don’t, you may look like a backstabbing jerk for going after this guy behind your friend’s back. And be sure to consider how much this guy is worth, because you may end up risking your friendship with your best pal.

Dear Devil’s Advocate,
I’ve always been heavyset and recently I’ve lost a lot of weight, but still want to lose some more. I have another friend who is on a plan to lose weight as well, but she is at a normal weight. We both workout together and she’s a nice person, but she has this bad habit of putting me down when she starts making comments about weight. She’ll say she’s fat and then she’ll make an offensive comment about how I look good but it wouldn’t hurt if I lost more weight. In the beginning it was bearable, but now I can’t stand it and it really is affecting my confidence. I’m always reassuring her that she looks fine, but she refuses to believe me and now I’ve noticed she puts down some of our other friends as well, sometimes to their face or behind their back. How can I get her to stop?
-Lots of weight to handle

Dear Weight,
Wow, that is a lot of weight to carry… pardon the pun. The media puts enough pressure on girls to be thin and when friends start pestering you about yours that is definitely a confidence killer. Girls like your friend have low self-esteem so they find others who they think are defenseless and feed off of them. When she points out your flaws it’s only feeding her more, making her feel good about the way she looks while making you feel bad. Now your task is to kill that monster. And I don’t mean it literally, unless there is some weird way you can run her over with a stationary bike or treadmill. Your friend needs help; maybe therapy to teach her how she could use that negative energy she emits in a positive way. Your friend’s negative self image is also endangering her health because she may turn to dangerous ways of weight loss which could lead to an eating disorder.
Let her know her comments bother you and others and try to get her to open up to you about her feelings, in a non-offensive way. Maybe she doesn’t even realize she does that and you can help her by getting her to tone it down. Just keep in mind, she’s in the same boat as you; she may just need someone to talk to about her own weight issues in order to help her feel more at ease in her own skin.

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