7 Tips for saying NO

Saying NO can unravel a friendship but sometimes there's no way around it

The Final Straw: Saying NO to a friend isn't easy

It's always hard to say NO to people, especially friends. But learning to say NO may be essential if friendships are to remain authentic and mutually satisfying

Dealing with a friend who's a Drama Queen

This is the type of friendship you might have had in third grade but I'm in my 30s! I need to figure out a way to maintain the friendship but keep it at a distance.

Expecting, And Feeling Let Down by Friends

I am six months pregnant, and moved to my current city 2½ years ago. I hadn't had a chance to tell all my friends yet (many of whom are spread throughout the country), so I sent a "Happy Valentine's Day" message to them, informing them of our impending family member, and asking them to "send good thoughts our way towards the end of June."

The etiquette of remaining friends with an ex-friend's mom

Is it proper to continue my friendship with my ex-friend's mother? My husband, son, and I truly enjoy Nonna's company, and she truly enjoys ours as well, especially spending time with my son. I have no hope of ever getting back together with my ex-friend.

When a friendly lunch leaves a sour taste

A few years ago, I started meeting a couple of old friends for lunch every month or two. Well, the longer we do it, the less I enjoy it.

Fluid friendships: Is it just me?

I just want to know how many women out there have "staying power" with their friends, or do friendships come and go as has been my experience. Is it me?

My BFF exhausts me!

I'm tired of trying to convince her that I do care for her; she's like family to me. I don't have the energy to constantly tell her she's not fat and not ugly. I feel guilty because we've been so close for so many years and I want to help her but every time I try the tough love bit, she won't speak to me or she tells me I just don't care about her anymore.

Nothing but trouble: When a mom can’t stand her teen daughter’s best friend

What should you tell a teen who's friend is nothing but trouble when she feels that the friend is her best friend in the whole world----but you already can see how bad her friend could be? Looking for advice for a mom who loves her daughter, but not always her daughter's friends.

7 ways to make a friend feel special on Valentine's Day

Whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or the Día del amor y la Amistad (Day of Love and Friendship)---as do many Latin Americans---February 14th offers a perfect opportunity to show affection for close friends, who add so much to our lives.

No best friends but plenty of contacts

I have grown up moving around a lot---five middle schools and six elementary schools to be exact. Always being the new kid conditioned me to meet new people. Once I hit a certain point with friends, I find new ones.

Friendship: You don't have to be a rocket scientist...

I feel that I am limiting myself from hanging out with people and making new friends because I am afraid they won't be "good enough" for my boyfriend unless they went to college and it will reflect poorly upon me in his eyes for not having more successful friends.

Guest Post and Giveaway: When BFF stands for Bad Feelings For everyone

Friendships bringing you down? Social stress can add to feeling completely overwhelmed this time of year. Here are three strategies for how to cope with it.

One more reason why cancer sucks

Now I am 38. Most of the people in my life now know that I've had cancer, but they've never seen me sick so I suppose it's hard for them to comprehend all that I went through. I recently had a recurrence and again, many friends are falling by the wayside

What went wrong with this office friendship?

A year ago I entered into a relationship with a man who works at the same institute as me. His ex-girlfriend also works there and we have friends in common. 

Ditched by a Best Friend

I've had a great best friend for about 6 1/2 years now. We were always depending on each other, hanging out together practically every week. She's been in a new relationship for about a year now and doesn't want to hang out with me. She says that she wants to be selfish and focus on herself, but I see her hanging out with his friends and other people.

How to handle a BFF who hits on your husband

Hi Irene,My best friend since first grade has an obvious crush on my husband.

Her 'other' best friend

My friend just moved here during the summer, and ever since then we've been really good friends. I feel like I can tell her anything and talk about anything. I think we hit Best Friend Status, but I really don't know because she's always talking about her best friend where she used to live..

Getting Rid of an Old Grudge

I was in my best friend's wedding 25 years ago and then never heard from her again, no returned calls---nothing. She had been distancing herself from me for a while so it didn't come as a surprise. But it hurt terribly.  

Changing places and changing friendships

Dear Irene,I have never been the type to initiate friendships, although I can usually guess pretty accurately whether I'll end up being friends with someone from the moment we meet. I just wait for the friendship to 'happen' or for them to make the effort. 

Too desperate for friends at college?

I've been trying to make friends. But every one I meet and click with HAS friends already. I don't. I NEED friends and therefore, when I meet people it's not casual, it's survival.

Left out of happy hour

I was so glad to find this blog. This past year, I've gone through a breakup with a group of work friends and it continues to sting. The problem began when I befriended a new co-worker, whom at first I didn't trust.

Feeling deserted when housemates move out

For the past sixteen months I've lived with two very vibrant, interesting, artistic women in a lovely house in the Toronto Beaches. Two days ago they moved out and I've been crying non-stop. 

Learning from a Facebook tragedy

What would you do if you saw the following status post from a friend on your Facebook feed?"Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone."  

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