How to tell a friend they’re being judgmental

prettyndweet12 asks: Lately I feel like my friend is acting more like my mom than my friend. Every time I say I miss my crush, or that I like another boy, she’s always giving me lectures on how I need to enjoy my summer and stop thinking about boys all the time and just chill. I understand if she’s saying it once just for friendly advice, but its almost everything I say that seems wrong to her, and its gotten to the point where I’m afraid to say things to her because she’s so judgmental! How do I let her know to stop without being mean or wrecking our friendship?

Hi prettyndsweet12 –



I’ll give you an answer, but first I can’t resist asking a question:  Why is it that your friend doesn’t worry about whether she’s being mean or wrecking your friendship?!  Endless bossing is really annoying!!


Anyway, what you’re really asking is how to handle this issue without hurting her.


One mistake I see humans do all the time is to worry too much about hurting the other person’s feelings, to the degree that they hurt them even more.  For example, Handsome was once dating a woman, and it wasn’t going well.  He really wanted to split up.  But he knew it would hurt her feelings a lot if he did.  So he thought it would be really smart if he proved to her that she was important to him, and that even if they broke up he’d still care about her.  So he took her out to a great dinner, a fun concert, fun stuff afterwards… and then he broke up with her.  And did she say “Oh thank you Handsome, that took all the hurt away?”  Not a chance!  Instead, she felt he had been horribly cruel, and had done all these things to set her up to thinking things were great between them, just so he could hurt her more with the breakup!  And then she spent months telling a lot of their mutual friends about what a horrible person he was!


We dogs don’t do that at all.  If another dog annoys me, I turn and give them a small nip.  Or maybe bark in their face for a second.  And then it’s over (unless the other dog picks a fight with me, which then goes to a whole new level!).


So my advice is to stop thinking so hard.  Just, next time she says one of these things, turn and say “Do you realize how annoying that is?!  Please, just cut it out!”  And if she doesn’t understand, you can explain, “I know you want me to enjoy my summer.  And I appreciate that.  But can you just stop telling me not to feel what I’m feeling?  I mean, I can stop talking about it if you want, but I’d rather share what I’m experiencing with you.  You know, my best friend?”


No need to soften the blow, or worry about her feelings.  It’s not like you’re telling her you hate her, or think she’s ugly or something.  You’re just saying “Stop it!”


Which is kind of the human version of biting your friend on the butt.  (Though real biting is SOOOO much more fun!)


Good Luck my friend!



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