Question #326: My friend is nice, but she likes to boss me around. We always have to do what she wants and do things her way. I don’t want to lose her as a friend, but it’s not fun to have her ordering me around. What should I do?
- Jessica Fedupfollower

See Dr. F's Answer

Dear Jessica,

There’s a middle ground between putting up with being bossed around versus ending a friendship: You could try to talk to your friend about what you want.

You don’t have to yell or get angry or accuse your friend of being mean. My guess is that she isn’t trying to boss you around; she’s just excited about her idea. The next time she wants to do one thing, and you want to do something different, try using one of these comments:

  • “We did that last time. This time, let’s…”
  • “I’m tired of playing that game. I want to…”
  • “I don’t like that game. I like it better when we…”
  • “This isn’t fun for me. Let’s do something else, instead.”
  • “How about if we do partly what you want and partly what I want?”

These comments get your message across clearly while also being friendly. Going along with what your friend wants on the outside while being mad at her on the inside isn’t kind. It’s not fair to expect your friend to be able to read your mind! How can she know what you want if you don’t tell her? If you can explain what you want, it will make it easier for your friend to understand and respect your wishes.

Best wishes in friendship,

Dr. Friendtastic