Dear Blake,

I had a close friend, “Kayleigh,” for about 10 years. She helped me through tough times and was always there for me. Now I feel like she has turned into someone else. For the last six months, she has been putting down everyone I love, even in front of my daughter. She sees no problem with it, nor does she have any remorse.

Kayleigh doesn’t have a healthy relationship with her family or in her love life. I believe I’m her only friend. When she does this, I feel like she’s disrespecting me. I have talked to her about it, but she never apologizes. She gets defensive and says it’s “just her opinion, it shouldn’t matter and I shouldn’t stay mad.”

I have told Kayleigh things in confidence, but she’s thrown them in my face, which made me feel insecure and small. I no longer talk to her about these issues because sometimes she brings it up with a jab. I can’t be friends with someone who acts this way. I have stopped talking to her, but now I’m having a hard time not feeling guilty. Advice?

Signed, Brenda
From Austin, Texas

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

Dear Brenda.

If you are feeling guilty, you should contact Kayleigh. And because she has been putting down everyone you love, do the same thing to her… in spades. Here are some suggestions. Be critical of her parents for making the stupid decision of bring her into the world, and recklessly not rigidly using birth control. If you are aware of some guy that she has feelings for, tell her he’s the most unappealing person you have ever known in your life, but you admire him for beating the odds and locating the only woman on the planet desperate enough to find him desirable. Or, tell her you don’t hold it against her for bringing up things you’ve told her in confidence, because your life is worth talking about… and hers isn’t. And lastly, you should call her every offensive name you can think of, making the personal attack relentless and viciously sustained. And when she stands there deeply offended at rattled, you should say to her “it’s just my opinion, and it shouldn’t matter and you shouldn’t stay mad.” I hope this helps.