How to Deal with a Frisky Friendship

Dear Ms. Marist,

My best friend and I both have very different personalities. She likes to be dominant and sometimes takes it out on me. Sometimes, when I try to speak my mind, she just becomes more dominant. How do I stand up to my best friend without offending her and keeping her my best friend?


Dear Female with Feisty Friend:

They say communication in a relationship is key. This goes for friendships too. It’s always important to speak your mind. However, silence can be valuable too. I’ve learned in all types of tumultuous relationships that sometimes it’s just better to shut up and walk away. Zip it. Pour some wine. Make a cheese sandwich. Take a walk.

Don’t walk out on an important conversation, but sometimes taking time to think and cool off can be valuable for both parties.

Mila Kunis credits her marriage to Ashton Kutcher to her “Year of Yes”. For a year of her life, her goal was to always say yes to trying new things, which also included pursuing a real-life relationship with Michael Kelso. While we all want saying yes to be as easy as accepting a marriage proposal from Ashton Kutcher, it’s also okay to say no. Be defiant. Piss some people off. They can get over it.

Saying no is a powerful thing. It is a singular word that can help you avoid drama, and doing things you don’t want to do. Always be helpful and kind, but don’t let people walk all over you. Nobody likes a yes man. Being able to put your foot down especially against a friend and someone whose feelings you value and care about can be difficult. However, it’s so important to be able to say “I don’t like that” or “That’s not okay with me.” Girls are dramatic, but friendships shouldn’t be fragile, and it’s okay to test them once in a while. If you have a solid relationship with your best friend, the friendship can handle the word ‘no’. Otherwise, maybe it’s time to reevaluate that friendship. Know your priorities, and know who your people are.

Always remember that friendships should lift you up. Like a romantic relationship, they should make you feel good about yourself. Avoid friends that feed off of put-downs and making you feel bad about yourself. There is a difference between having a dominant personality and making people feel inferior to you.

I know it’s hard, but walk away, take deep breaths, and practice saying ‘no.’ Unless Ashton Kutcher is asking you to marry him. Then you say yes. 

Sincerely, Ms. Marist 

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