|Photo courtesy of Peter Beste|
MY FRIEND IS SUICIDAL
Dear Willie D:
Since my friend broke up with her boyfriend she has been acting strange, and talking about how messed-up her life is. She is 24 years young, smart and beautiful, yet she is always so depressed. She says things like, "I hate my life" and "Sometimes I just want to swallow a bottle of pills and not wake up." I'm really starting to fear for her safety.
I'm always calling, and stopping by her house to check up on her, asking her to hang out, and giving her words of encouragement. We live in Dallas, but her family lives in Austin so I'm the closest thing to family she has in the city. I contacted her parents to voice my concerns, and they came for an intervention. But she put on a front, and they left thinking maybe I was exaggerating.
My brother killed himself when he was 17 years old so I know the signs [of suicide]. I feel so helpless. Knowing that she's hurting and I can't stop the pain breaks my heart. How can I save my friend's life when she doesn't want to be saved?
Your friend does want to be saved, that's why she tells you her thoughts. Nevertheless, she is depressed and may be contemplating suicide. So take her comments seriously.
The best thing you can do for her at this moment is to listen, and continue to be there for her like the true friend you are. You can even suggest that she see a psychiatrist or social worker. Something like, "I'm here for you, and if you want to talk to a professional I'll go with you if you want me to" will do. Be careful to not crowd her, or become judgmental.
She's already thought about the people who she will hurt if she takes her life, so no need to go there. Trying to put her on a guilt trip may be enough to send her over the edge. What's important is that she knows she has support from friends and family when she needs it.
So call her parents, and reiterate the urgency of the situation. She's not weird or crazy. She's a human being who is seeking attention she isn't getting and she just needs to learn how to process the pain. But she has to want to — I know from personal experience.
MY BEST FRIEND ONLY WANTS TO HANG OUT WHEN MY GIRLFRIEND IS AROUND
Dear Willie D:
My best friend only hangs out with me whenever I have my girlfriend over. Does that mean he likes my girlfriend, or is it just a coincidence?
Hung Out to Dry:
Open your eyes, homey! Your best friend is trying to bag your girlfriend. Your girlfriend is likely aware of his intentions, but is watching you closely to see if you'll man up and handle the situation yourself. Ask your friend straight-up, why does he only want to hang out with you when your girl is around? It doesn't matter how he responds because you already know the answer. You're posing the question to put him on notice so he'll know you're hip to the game he's running.
Check him hard, and if you decide to remain friends, limit his exposure to your girl. If you let the problem fester, neither your best friend nor your girlfriend will respect you. Women like a lot of soft things; men are not one of them.
More Willie D wisdom on the next page.
MR. KNOW IT ALL
Dear Willie D:
My best friend thinks he knows everything. We share a lot of things in common like football, gaming and muscle cars. It doesn't matter how good of a time we're having, or what the discussion is about, he figures out a way to turn it into a competition, like he has to prove he knows more than me. Granted, he is a smart guy [but] nobody knows everything. When he talks he has an attitude like his opinion is the be-all and end-all. What's up with that?
Oftentimes people who come off as a know-it-all are overcompensating for something else. It could be that he's insecure, so to make himself feel better he has to take on a superior persona. It could also mean that he wants to be helpful. Because you're his friend, it's possible that he wants to be the one responsible for providing solutions to your problems and answers to your questions. At any rate talk to your friend, and tell him in no uncertain terms that his know-it-all ways are annoying.
Once you tell him about himself, he isn't likely to be so absolute with his opinions as much; at least not when dealing with you. Some people just talk for attention or to feel involved. If your friend falls into that category, after you put him on blast be sure to give him a hug. He really needs one.
HE LIKES ME BUT I LIKE HIS FRIEND
Dear Willie D:
A good friend of mine invited me to her house to help celebrate her going-away party because she was moving out of the country. I have been to her house on a few other occasions, and have always had a good time. She has an eclectic group of friends who likes to party, and all off them are doing good things in life [careerwise]. The last time I visited, she introduced me to her husband's friend.
We hit it off, and decided to exchange numbers. After talking to him on the phone several times, he came to my apartment and we had sex. On a scale of one to ten his bedroom skills were maybe a two. I couldn't wait for him to leave my house, not just because of the wasted time I spent preparing for his arrival and sharing my body, but he couldn't hold a decent conversation. I quickly realized that we were not compatible.
So anyway, at her going-away party her friend that I had sex with was there, but so was another "attractive" mutual male friend of hers, and his. When the friend saw me talking to the mutual friend he walked over, hugged me and half-jokingly asked, "What's up with you and my girl?"
The mutual friend respectfully excused himself, while I was left standing there with a simple-minded doofus who proceeded to tell me how close he is with the mutual friend. We had a one-night stand and that's all, but he seems to want more. How do I get him out of my life, and pursue his friend without coming between their friendship?
Getting doofus out of your life may prove to be much easier than pursuing his friend without coming between their friendship. Men are uncomfortable with being friendly with a man who's been intimate with their woman. One of my closest friends, who was like a little brother to me, fell for a girl I used to date. We went from hanging out daily to not seeing each other for years at a time. They got married, had a couple of kids, divorced, and married other people. Now they hate each other.
Just be honest. He's a generic dude so give him a generic dismissal. Tell him: "Hey you're a great guy, but we're not compatible. I would appreciate it if you not call me anymore. It's not you, it's me." If he has a problem with that, wait a few days, call him and say, "I just came from the clinic, and my doctor told me to notify all of my sexual partners in the past ten years."
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