In high school I had a best friend who I was really close with. In the beginning of college, I started getting interested in vegetarianism and yoga. She didn't understand at first, but then became a devout follower. Over the past few years I have eased up on my tight restrictions. I feel that I have found a good balance between living purely and enjoying the world humans have created.
My friend, however, has stayed at the radical end of things. I feel like she looks down on everything that doesn't fit her vision of acceptable. That is, until she goes through it herself. Last year she thought that I was a nonindependent woman for doing most of the household chores (because my boyfriend worked more and paid most of the bills). Now she is in the same situation and is fine with it. I saw her last week and told her about my boyfriend's great new job and all she had to say was "Doesn't it bother you that one of his clients is Nike since they use sweatshops?"
We have a long and precious history together, but I am starting to feel like I can't tell her anything without having judgment thrown against me. I feel like if I tried to explain my feelings to her, she wouldn't even understand since she is so far on that side of the fence. I feel like she is on such a high horse and is just following the crowd instead of making choices for herself. Should I try to keep the connection alive and risk judgment of my choices or should I let the old friendship fade?
—Less than Perfect but Perfectly Happy Harriet
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Dear Less than Perfect but Perfectly Happy Harriet,
It sounds like your friend is extremely opinionated. It's great that she holds onto her beliefs, but doesn't she see that they are getting in the way of your friendship? I know you're nervous to talk to her, but you've got to tell her how you feel if you want this friendship to last. Explain that you respect her views and you would appreciate that she respects yours as well. Tell her that you feel like she is always making you feel bad about your decisions and that you don't feel like she's being a very supportive friend. You never know, she may not even realize that's she's acting like such a judgmental friend.
The thing is, when you're in your early 20s, you go through a lot of changes trying to figure out who you're going to be. It may turn out that your differences are way too vast to make this relationship work. Losing a friend is never easy, especially when you have a tight history together, so you should at least give it one last shot before you let it fade completely out. Good luck.