Life Advice



Ask Amy: These office mates cannot be friends

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have known "Camilla" for 20 years. She is the closest friend I have, but I know she doesn't feel the same about me. Instead, she tends to lean on me when her actual closest friend, “Elizabeth,” hurts her in some way. The three of us all work together.

Over the last three months, Camilla has leaned on me a lot, confiding in me that she was trying to find a way to extract herself from her friendship with Elizabeth without too much drama.

However, two weeks ago, Camilla literally yelled at me — in front of Elizabeth — for no reason other than Camilla had just gotten a bad haircut and I happened to walk into the room as she was telling Elizabeth about it.

I was so mortified that I just backed out of the room.

It also happened to be Camilla’s birthday. Just three hours earlier she was opening a birthday gift from me, telling me how much she loved it, and me. Now she has stopped taking my calls and will not respond to my texts.

I am deeply hurt by this. It may be time for me to redefine my relationship with her. I love her dearly, and I understand that she doesn't consider me her closest friend, but this recent berating and subsequent cold shoulder are not acceptable in my mind.


Am I overreacting? What do I say to her the next time Elizabeth hurts her and she wants a shoulder to cry on?

— Hurting

Dear Hurting: Life at your office seems like a veritable den of drama. This is not to diminish how hurt you feel, but to advise you to step carefully.

So yes — “redefine,” and do so quickly, while you still seem to hold a shred of affection for “Camilla” (why you do is something of a mystery).


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