When Friends Worry in Unison
Last week, Penny answered a question from “Concerned” about her friend Abby who has a body image issue. All of Penny’s readers flooded her inbox with support for Abby and her concerned friends, but this response stuck out. Read on!
I read your last post from Concerned about “Abby” and I couldn’t believe it. She sounds like my best friend also, and she needs more good advice!
Amidst all of her dieting frenzy, my friend has managed to have a few failed relationships in the past few years. The guys she dates seem nice in the beginning, but they were just never right for her. One was too clingy, one too distant, one was very supportive but not active enough, and one was not supportive of her but a very ambitious individual. Now she is getting ready to marry a man who encompasses all of the negatives of every man she has ever dated!
She is always posting on Facebook and Twitter about how much he neglects her, complaining about their issues, and outright attacking him! She complains about everything, from his attention to other girls, his questionable hobbies, and the fact that he doesn’t have a job and still lives at home with his parents.
With all this negativity, no one can understand why she is still going through with the wedding! Penny, how do we make our already self-conscious friend understand that she can do better? All of her friends are so
Poor Abby. Either her friends are overly sensitive or she really does need a reality check!
Let’s start with Abby’s main issue: self esteem. First she has a challenge with the way she looks, now she is willing to marry a man who, in your words, “encompasses all of the negatives of every man she has ever dated.” Both of these challenges come back to the root of Abby’s low self esteem.
While you can’t make the decision for Abby to give up a man she is always complaining about, you can help her see her own worth. Talk to your friend. Find out what makes her complain about her fiancé and find out what she likes about him, what he does well, what she enjoys doing with him. It may be that she only posts the bad on Facebook and is too consumed when things are going well to remember to update her friends.
But if things really are bad, talk to her about number 4 on eHarmony’s list of reasons why people stay in bad relationships. Laugh if you like, but with online dating sites getting over 20 million unique visitors a day, I think eHarmony may be onto something with their list.
Communication is the key to every successful relationship and I think you should start by communicating to your friend your worries about her issue. And I will give you the same disclaimer as the last friend of Abby, if you are indeed just jealous of Abby’s relationship, rethink confronting her about her man troubles.
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