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.

 

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