When work and friendship are a volatile mix

Hi Dr. Levine,I'm 28 years old and have had a major relationship bust up. I worked for someone named Risa on and off for a year. She's a graphic designer with her own business. It was a very up and down relationship. She could be very abusive at times and tough to work with but she had days when she could be sweet as an angel.  

Teen daughter without one close friend

Dear Irene,I read another post on your blog regarding a daughter who felt like an outcast. My own daughter was in tears last night because she does not have any close friends.

Finding Friends in the Middle of NOWHERE

We recently retired to the middle of nowhere in Illinois. No neighbors, no friends. My husband is very happy playing with tractors and hunting. I feel like I am just waiting to die.

Friendship: When three's a crowd

For whatever reasons, my friend's friend, Amy, hates me. Although we are all adults (in our 40's!), she acts like a jealous kid in school. She rolls her eyes when I talk, ignores me, constantly takes phone calls during meals out (and it is usually her mother on the phone), and dominates the conversation.

Top Ten Friendship Posts of 2010

The "rules" or etiquette about how to best adapt to a changed friendship are often murky. Friends struggle with doing right by their once-BFFs while remaining true to themselves.

Housebound and lonely: What advice would you give this reader?

I'm 63 years old, and housebound due to health and mobility problems. My family works so they can't come every day. I find myself sitting alone in the house day after day and would love to have someone visit, and sit and talk to me 

Why did my best friend dump me?

In Sunday's UK Mail, journalist Mandy Francis wrote about her experience of being dumped by a friend without warning or explanation. Years later, she still feels the hurt.

The most wonderful time of the year? Not for everyone

Think everyone's feeling jolly this holiday season? Think again. Actually, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's tends to be stressful for many.

Best friends: Until business does us part

Our best friends, who have no money, wanted to go into business with us. They asked us for a large sum to open an immersion preschool-3rd grade and we said no... 

Handling a 'friend' who doesn’t get the message

While I was in graduate school I worked on a project with a classmate named Mindy. We hung out a few times and I realized that I had little in common with her...

The Work Spouse: Indispensable Friend or Playing with Fire?

With more women entering the workplace, it's not surprising that many develop extraordinarily close ties with colleagues, both male and female. To learn more about these relationships, I spoke to psychiatrist Dr. Jacqueline Olds:

Guest Post: Learning from Elizabeth Edwards

 I am saddened by the Elizabeth Edwards' death. I never knew her personally, but whenever I saw Elizabeth Edwards on television, or read something she wrote, or saw her from afar during her husband's days in D.C., I couldn't help but think that she is one of those women who I'd want to have as my friend. 

Your platonic friend…she’s just not that into you~

Dear Irene,I have read and been told by female friends that when a man is friends with a woman and all of a sudden wants to take it to a romantic level, the woman will "freak out" and get turned off. 

Could she be suffering from friendship fatigue? Could you?

Lately though, I am feeling weary about friendship. That probably sounds odd. But I think I might need some kind of a break from friends, people, and all the effort and confusion that goes into relationships. Don't get me wrong--I'm not about to go live in a cave--and other aspects of my life (work, marriage) are going well.

Handling a friend who needs to have the upper hand

I'm 18 years old and my best friend and I have been friends for seven years. We went to middle school and high school together and even though we aren't at the same college, we are still very close. In the past year or so my best friend has developed a few obnoxious habits that have made me want to avoid her.

Men of A Certain Age: The Real Bromance Behind the Scenes

The groundbreaking TNT comedy-drama, Men of A Certain Age, returns for a second season on Monday, December 6 at 10AM (9PM central). Starring Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, and Andre Braugher, the show really is must-see TV---for men and women.

Helping a 10-year-old deal with bullies

My 10-year-old daughter has been having a lot of trouble with friends recently. Some of the problems are caused by boy drama, and the "he said, she said" game. Kids have been spreading rumors about her, and I just don't know what to do.

When you've co-signed a lease with the roommate from hell

My roommate and I have been friends since high school. We've been living together for only two and a half months now. In that short time, I've learned she has mood issues and that she doesn't forgive easily. We had one big fight that I thought we had resolved.

What do you consider a 'friendship-killer'?

There have been times in the past when I've felt let down by this person - cancelling things at last minute, not reciprocating favors of all kinds - but I always decided I would just take the good with the bad. 

Who deserves the DWTS BFF trophy?

When Jennifer Grey waltzed away with the mirrorball trophy in the Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) finale, it was more than a win. It was an affirmation of the power of female friendship and the important role that our girlfriends play as cheerleaders

Wrestling with the end of a friendship

I am a college senior having a difficult time getting over a friendship with a girl I've known since freshman year. It has been a year since the friendship ended and I am still hung up on it.

The friendship pause that refreshes

I have a group of girlfriends, basically six of us, who've known each other since high school. Anyway, I got very close with three of them: Annie, Carole and Beth. I thought we would be best friends forever just like in the movies. 

Making time for a friend at a different stage of life

My problem is one friend in particular, who accused me of being "stingy" with my time and ungenerous. I was hurt, mostly because she lashed out with such venom. I pointed out to her that she was only making time for me in large group settings and that her full-time job, family, trips, and other activities made it nearly impossible to see her.

TMI: Try the 'less social' approach

Like the seasonal flu, we all get a touch of social media fatigue from time to time. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare or something else, there are days when there's too much information (TMI) out there-from too many people who are actually pretty peripheral to our lives. We worry about privacy, too, and whether we're giving away too much of our selves.

Ending a one-sided friendship: How can I get her to stop IM-ing me?

It's gotten to the point that as soon as I see that she's online, I immediately sign off, which then infuriates me that I'm doing these things just so she won't contact me. I started off wanting to simply downgrade the friendship, but it's as if she won't let me! It's wearing me out, and it's affecting my other friendships

Finding Friends on a Large College Campus

I'm a college freshman at a large state university. I chose not to join a sorority because it's really not my thing, and I've had some difficulties joining campus organizations. They don't make it easy to join clubs here. I've made a few friends, but no one close yet, and I feel that it's been a long time not to develop any close relationships. 

Guest Post – How far would you go to protect a friend or lover?

We like to imagine that we'd do anything for our closest friends and loved ones. But "anything" is a huge, elastic concept. Would we really do "anything," or even want to do "anything"? When the abstract turns concrete, things can look very different.

Disappearing Acts: Should you think the best or assume the worst?

It is hard to know if lengthy silences and withdrawals by friends are because they are trying to dump you or because they are busy and a little neglectful. I especially grapple with this at birthdays and at Christmas time, often continuing to send cards or emails because I assume the best---that my friends are just busy. 

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