I have been friends with a person for almost 10 years now. They recently started being a jerk to me. They seem to have no apparent reason, and are fine with other people. I haven't done anything to upset them (at least I don't think so) and want to fix this problem. Do you have any tips for confronting or calling this person out?
We've all certainly found ourselves in this situation before. While a lot of the time it's a fleeting problem, every once in a while a friendship really can take a turn for the worse. It's never a fun experience, but here are a few ways to handle the situation.
Schedule A Time To Talk It Out
First things first, you need to double check and make sure your relationship with your friend is really in trouble. Just because someone's a jerk a few times doesn't mean they're going to stop talking to you all of the sudden. Unfortunately, the only way to really root out the problem is to talk with them.
Talking it out is obvious enough advice, but as The Huffington Post suggests, it really is the best solution to root out the problem:
If you've had a falling out or need to speak to a friend about an issue. Reach out to them. Tell them you would like to repair the friendship and want to talk about what happened.
That directness is pretty tough and the conversation might get a little messy. There's no easy way to do this, and your best bet is to just meet up with them and be straight about what's going on. Tell them they're being a jerk, and you want to know why. Hopefully the conversation will be productive from there.
If you need some help navigating the conversation, we've walked you through calling people out on BS before, as well as how to properly deal with manipulative people. If all else fails, it might just be time to decide if you even like that friend to begin with.
Downgrade The Friendship
Ten years of a friendship equates to a pretty high friendship status. This might mean you're spending a lot of time together and doing loads of activities. Over time, this might put significant stress on the friendship. Psychology Today suggests that the best solution might be to downgrade the friendship status a little:
Consider whether you really need to end the friendship? Can you downgrade the relationship so you see each other less often or dilute it by seeing each other within the context of a group?
It seems a little silly, but the idea here is to simply spend a little less time together. Sometimes, people need to just shake things up a bit. If your friendship has become a routine where you're always doing the same thing, changing the dynamics of how it works helps keep it going. It might not be the same friendship you've had for the last 10 years, but at least you'll still have it.
Give The Friendship A Break
Chances are you've been through plenty together and you've seen each other in a variety of highs and lows. While it's hard to really explain why they've suddenly decided to be a jerk, sometimes friendships just need a break. As Psychology Today points out, this isn't a bad thing and sometimes it's just about growing apart:
Drift in friendships can also happen when you grow and change while your friends do not, or when you haven't quite figured out your own talents and beliefs and are susceptible to conforming to the values of those around you.
When you grow apart, your friend might not know how to handle it and they react by being a jerk to you. Psychology Today highlights a gross story about a friend who's volatile temper went a lot further than just being a jerk, but closed with the following advice:
Given that this is a 15-year friendship, I think it is likely she will come back to you after she gets over this. Give her all the time she needs. You've said and done what you could to help her at the moment.
Having a friend go suddenly aggro on you is never a pleasant experience, but hopefully you can at least keep the whole thing civil even if you can't repair the friendship completely.
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