I've known my "best friend" for about eight years. We used to get along great, but lately she's been increasingly rude to me and I don't know how to react. She gradually began making undermining comments about me in front of other people, regarding both my intelligence and my body type, but when we hang out, just the two of us, she's the same old fun person that I befriended all those years ago.
A few months ago my boyfriend and I went to visit her. We now live on opposite sides of the country and I figured that some space would make her realize the value of our friendship. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and she in fact acted even more horrible towards me. She would prance around in her bra and underwear (claiming it was too hot in the house to wear clothes), and while shopping for swimsuits, she commented on my small chest, saying "No offense, but you aren't that curvy," while my boyfriend was right next to me! Stranger still, she had her own boyfriend with her the entire time, too.
I'm fed up with her lack of respect for me so I haven't initiated any contact with her. She calls and emails occasionally, but she's become my last priority. She was once my closest friend, so is this relationship worth saving? Should I be the bigger person and forgive and forget? — Upset by Her Helen
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Dear Upset by Her Helen,
I don't blame you for being upset with your friend's actions but why haven't you asked her what's wrong? Could she be going through a difficult time that you're unaware of? Could she be jealous that you've moved far away and started a life without her? Could this just be a phase?
It obviously never feels good to be undercut by anyone, let alone your bff, so I advise you to stand your ground the next time she behaves like this — since you've never pushed back on her, she might not know that what she's doing is upsetting you. Her constant need to talk negatively about your body makes me think she's either insecure or jealous so when broaching the subject, don't attack her as she'll most likely get defensive. Her antics only serve to boost her ego while bruising yours so I advise you to get everything out on the table before your relationship suffers any more than it already has.
When it comes to good, old friends, I always think it's worth it to make amends. Though your friendship might not be the same for a while, or ever again for that matter, at least you can know that you did your part to work it out. Hopefully this is just a phase, but if nothing changes, perhaps your friendship has run its course in which case you might just be better off living your own lives and going your separate ways.