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The Odd Woman Out

Dear Sugar
A year ago after I finished college and moved to a new city, I formed a great bond with a friend of a friend. She and I were so similar that we instantly bonded and were a really dynamic, fun-loving duo. During our friendship she was going through a very hurtful break-up with a man and wasn't very happy at her job. Months later she began to rekindle a bond with her former flame and got a great new job through him.

Once she took him back, our friendship completely changed. Her boyfriend has never been one of my favorites, but I put on a happy face for the sake of my friend. He is extremely pompous and seems to bring out the worst qualities in her. Lately, our fun loving relationship has switched gears to competitive and harsh.

I always feel like she undercuts me and tries to "one up me" when it comes to material things and anything to do with our careers. Slowly but surely our relationship dwindled and we rarely speak. To make matters worse, I introduced her to one of my best friends. The three of us hung out maybe twice when they exchanged numbers. Next thing I know, when our relationship began to sour, my two friends started doing stuff together without even a phone call inviting me along.

I was genuinely happy that my two good friends got along so well in the beginning, but now I am feeling hurt and left out. I miss her and wish we could all just be friends. If I chose to try to try to salvage our relationship, how do I even begin a conversation with her about this without immediately triggering her defenses? Left Out Libby


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Dear Left Out Libby
I am sorry you are feeling neglected. It's never fun to feel ganged up on by your friends, especially since you introduced them. Have you talked to your other friend about how you are feeling as well? Is she neglecting you as well or are you just feeling the strain from your other gal pal?

Girl fights usually stem from insecurity and it sounds as though she is trying to rub in her new job and new boyfriend because she might not be that happy after all. Friends go through ups and downs and sometimes a good heart to heart will get you back on track.

When confronting your friend, start your conversation by letting her know how much you miss her friendship and hopefully she won't automatically get defensive. Let her know that her friendship means a lot to you and that you want to work out your differences.

This is your chance to be honest with her, so let her know how her competitive ways make you feel and can be off putting to others. Rivalry is very common between friends and while some competition is healthy, singling you out is not necessary. Hopefully she will take your feelings to heart and you can rekindle your friendship.

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