My best girlfriends have started to treat me awfully, and I don’t know what to do.
We’ve been friends for over 10 years now – we were so close we once referred to each other as sisters. We spoke every day on the phone and grabbed breakfast together weekly. We delighted in our own romantic failures and comforted each other after every heartbreak and misstep.
Everything was fine until it wasn’t.
You see, within these past few months, a lot has changed in my life. I got a shiny new job, a terrific partner, and approval for a home loan. I guess I’ve found my place in the world, and I’m starting to feel really great about where I’m headed.
But as happy as I am in my life, my best friends seem disinterested at best, and downright nasty about it at worst.
The moment I first realised they were treating me horribly was when I told them about my new job.
I sent them both an excited text to let them know I got it after a month-long application process, but not once did they seem happy for me, or bother to even say congratulations. Instead, they treated it like I’d bought a bottle of milk. Everything was all, “Oh okay, when do you start?” and “how long do you plan on keeping this one for?”.
It took two seconds for the conversation to change back to their own lives.
After such a high I felt dejected and silly for even telling them. While I should have been elated, I couldn’t help but feel ashamed for talking about my success. I went to bed that night feeling arrogant and conceited instead of being proud of myself for achieving one of my ultimate goals.
Listen: Rebecca Sparrow and Robin Bailey talk about how to handle toxic friends and relatives. Post continues after audio.
As crushing as that was, things have only gotten worse since.
My decision to take out a mortgage and get into the property market weeks later was slammed as a “stupid financial decision” and a “waste of money” by both of them. If I dare bring up houses or interiors, they both roll their eyes to each other as if I don’t exist.
When we’re in a group and the news comes up, they quickly change the topic to stop me from talking about my new house.
Even my partner – who they both used to love – has become a divisive topic. They argue that he doesn’t like them (which, admittedly, he doesn’t) and say we’re never going to last. If I’ve made plans with him, they expect me to cancel so we can catch up, and get angry if I don’t. It’s gotten so bad I feel like I can’t tell them anything about my life anymore, out of fear of judgment and ridicule.
What’s worse is every time I see them, I leave feeling markedly worse about myself.
I confronted them both about how they’ve been treating me and was met with a barrage of criticism that I’ve “changed”. While I agree that we’ve perhaps moved into different stages of life, every word they said broke my heart into tiny pieces.
We used to be such great friends, I'm at a loss as to why this is happening.
As nasty as they have been to me recently, I don't want to lose them. We've been friends for a decade, and it would be so sad to let that all go.
That said, I'm struggling to draw the line between putting up with a bad patch and letting my "friends" walk all over me.
I don't know what to do.
Have you had an experience with a toxic relative or friend?