HOW DO I CHANGE THE DYNAMIC WITH MY TWO FEMALE FRIENDS THAT MOTHER ME?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I often hang out with two female friends (I am a guy). I really like them but sometimes I feel picked at, like maybe they’re mothering me. Like they critique my clothes or talk about how to find a girlfriend for me—none of which I ever asked them to do. How do I change this dynamic? Still want to hang out with them but this is getting old.

–A Man (United States)

DEAR MAN:

Good awareness for looking at this. This is quite a common dynamic in U.S. culture, where women are often trained to “mother” men or try to “fix” them in some way, even when he doesn’t need fixing.

You might want to have a conversation with both of them at the same time and let them know how you feel. You’re probably going to have to train them to start interacting with you in a different way.

You might also want to notice if this is a common dynamic in your life—with friends, with your mother, with women at work, or whatever. If so, this could be a sign that you’re learning how to own your authority and certainty. When you’re obviously in your power—wearing your clothes with confidence no matter what you’re wearing, or certain and confident in dating and your choice of partners, most people don’t have the desire (or the nerve) to try to tell you what to do when you’re really owning your choices. Play with that and see what happens in your life and with the dynamic with your two friends.

 

HOW TO HANDLE A FRIEND THAT CONSTANTLY FLAKES OUT ON ME?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I have a friend that constantly schedules with me, then cancels at the last minute. My friend’s sweet and fun but I’m beginning to feel the friendship is not worth it. What are your thoughts?

–Feeling Not So Friendly Anymore (United States)

DEAR FEELING:

Well, first you might want to use this opportunity to clear any energetic matches you have with your friend. It sounds like you’re not the type of person to schedule then flake out with your friends. Are you just as reliable at work? Or with family? Or with things that are just for you—like exercise, quiet time for yourself, journaling, staying within your budget, or whatever it is that you need to do just for you? Observe if you have any similar energetic matches with your friend and release them if you want, and call back all your reliability for yourself.

Next, you might want to sit down with your friend and have a talk if you haven’t already. Let them know this habit bothers you and let them know some specifics of how it has inconvenienced you—for example, maybe you turned down an invitation to a concert because you had already committed to getting together with this friend.

You might want to decide on the consequence of this behavior should it recur in the future. For example, in the future, maybe either you’ll only invite them to group parties where it doesn’t matter exactly how many people there are, or maybe you will decide to just use your time and energy getting together with people who keep their commitments to you in the same way you keep your commitments to them.

 

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