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I have a friend, whom I have known since we were both in 2nd grade (I am in 11th grade now). She has a different set of behaviours for different people. For example, when she's around the people she wants to be friends with, she tries to stay away from people whom she thinks her friends consider 'un-cool', but when she's alone with the same people, she behaves completely differently with them, almost as if they suddenly became useful to her.

This friend of mine has been helpful at the best of times, and is uncannily smart, due to which I have often needed her help in the past. However, her behaviour has led me to feel that it is not worth being friends with a person who doesn't consider me an equal individual, as I fall into the category of the people who she thinks that her friends consider 'un-cool'.

Should I:

  1. Remain friends with her, as I often need her help, and since I've known her for a long time?

or

  1. Stop being friends, and make it clear that I don't like her behaviour towards me?

We have been friends for a long time, and I truly mean friends, not just acquantainces. She is a truly nice person to her friends, and was one of the nicest people I ever met, but I guess I don't fit into that category anymore, as she has changed with time. When we're together without her other friends, I see her old-self sometimes, and then when her friends come in, she immediately changes. I live in India, and so does she.

I'm asking for a general piece of advice on situations like this. Should one put an old friendship before a person's rude behaviour, or should only the present condition be considered?

closed as off-topic by Ælis, Lord Farquaad, ElizB, Rob, gparyani Oct 24 '18 at 21:52

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Asking "What should I do?" is off topic. - Questions should ask for help achieving a specific goal. Your question is asking for personal advice on "what to do" without defining a goal; this is too subjective. Edit your question to explain what you hope to achieve and how you would like to interact with the others involved." – Ælis, Lord Farquaad, ElizB, gparyani
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Does she only help you, or interact with you, when you ask for help/initiate contact? Or does she come to you to help/interact on her own initiative? – Tinkeringbell Jul 26 '17 at 16:20
  • @tinkeringbell Only when I ask her, is when she helps me... It's not like she'll go out of her way to help me, or talk to me. – Abhigyan Chattopadhyay Jul 26 '17 at 16:20
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    So you have known her for 9 years (your profile says your in 11th grade now). In those 9 years, has there ever been any contact other than her helping you with problems? Smalltalk for example? Or an invite to a birthday party? It may be that she is just friendly, and wants to help you out, but that she does not consider you as a friend. There is a difference, and that could possibly explain some of her behaviour towards you when she is with her friends. Have you ever returned a favour? – Tinkeringbell Jul 26 '17 at 16:32
  • I help her whenever I can, and she helps me when I ask her... I've even invited her to a party once, but she said that she couldn't make it, perhaps an excuse... And I have returned her the favor a number of times, helped her out with notes, and what not... But she doesn't see that as a friendly approach... – Abhigyan Chattopadhyay Jul 26 '17 at 17:22
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    I've edited your title because what someone considers "two-faced" is highly subjective. Could you please edit in any information about your current relationship with her and where you are in the world? – Catija Jul 26 '17 at 18:23
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Well if you truly mean she is two faced, that is a deceitful quality associated with being fake. We all have different sides to ourselves that may come out differently depending on who we are with. I am very different in different settings. Some of it is merely etiquette (like at work, with family, with friends, in public versus private, etc) and that is healthy & natural & all people should have some level of this. It's using your internal filter in some cases (like not swearing at work or in front of kids for example, but swearing when with friends), in other cases it's literally just how your personality plays off different personalities. I am much funnier in general around certain people than others because they bring it out in me. Some people tell me I am hilarious. I would bet there are some people that have never thought of me as funny at all, as in a reserved setting, I can totally reign in my silly side.

You are not talking about the benign personality shifts all people have. You are describing someone who essentially is embarrassed to be associated with you in certain circumstances. It is also worth noting, that despite the fact that she is behaving in less than stellar ways, you too are somewhat displaying an unflattering characteristic, which is that you are contemplating putting up with her flaws because you want to be able to use her in return as needed. You do not say how much you enjoy her company when the others aren't around. You do not speak to the things you like about her as a person at all. You merely say that she treats you poorly in front of others, but is so smart it's useful to have her around when you have use for that. That really is the way you can accurately describe "using" a person.

It doesn't sound to me like the two of you really like each other all that well & you both may be guilty of using one another for your own reasons as it suits you. I don't think you are friends, as friends don't act like this. You may be acquaintances, but friendship is something based on mutual respect, admiration, support, possibly other things at times like shared interest/hobbies, similar sense of humor, etc. It is not about the kinds of things I see you describing here.

The good news is you do not have to decide whether to have someone totally in your life or totally out. You can maintain very loose causal acquaintances with some people, closer with others, and have some extremely close friends. What I think is most needed here is for you to actually be more objective & realize that if you were once actual friends, that has long since passed when you both started treating one another as less than that & whatever you will be going forward is up to you. If you want to be friends, act like friends & treat one another with dignity, kindness, respect, and so on. If you want to maintain a loose acquaintance where you can both perhaps benefit one another when needed, that is a fine way to define it too & likely more accurate to where you are. If her behavior truly troubles you, or if you find after analyzing that you are also not treating her totally respectably, then you can decide to fix it, or let it go. All of those things are viable options & ultimately up to you to decide what you feel is what you actually want to have happen.

  • Thanks... That's is so true, and I realise that it's also my fault... To some extent. But I think that perfectly answers my question – Abhigyan Chattopadhyay Jul 26 '17 at 17:24
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Have you ever considered that you and her are not friends!

The fact that she helps you when you need help alone does not make her a friend, a friendship encompasses more than just providing help when somebody asks you for it. Friends go out, talk to each other about things other than work/school, invite each other to birthday parties etc.

The situation you describe sounds more like you are acquaintances, and that she has her own group of friends that she prefers to do the fun stuff with.

Just a guess based on my own experiences: She does not mind helping you, but likes to keep those interactions limited. That might be one of the reasons her attitude toward you changes when she is within her circle of friends. She might not want you as a friend, and she does not want her friends to think you are a friend of her. If her friends think you are her friend, they might feel obliged to invite you into the circle of friends, which is exactly what she does not want!

I would suggest just accepting her help as long as it is given without hesitation and dislike. And just keep to your own circle of real friends.

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I'm not sure if anyone can help you with that. It has everything to do with your feelings. Explore them, discuss it with your friend. "2-faced" is kind of natural human political behaviour, and you'll see it commonly with adults, not just kids. The only thing that matters is how it makes you feel. Some people hate political games; some hate associating with people playing; some find it merely annoying or entirely meaningless. Figure out where you stand on the matter :)

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    @AbhigyanChattopadhyay Well, deciding based on how useful your friend is is again just a political decision. If you don't like that, don't use it as part of your decision-making. Focus on what kind of relationship you have; do you like working/being with her? Does it really bother you that much when she's dealing with her "cool" friends? What do those friends think of you? Are you "uncool" because you're not smoking, not wearing trendy clothes, or because you're not socialising much in general? I've had plenty of "2-faced" friends, most of which changed their behaviour over time. – Luaan Jul 27 '17 at 7:19
  • I decided to let it be... I'm going to continue to be friends with her, and I don't care if she doesn't consider me as good a friend as her cool ones, but I've definitely had a lot of great and fun times with her, as well as her 'cool' friends. Her behaviour towards me is not worth me losing contact with her. I guess I'll just deal with it. I'm deleting my earlier comment, as I've changed my mind – Abhigyan Chattopadhyay Jul 27 '17 at 15:54
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Stay friends with her.

There are good and bad sides to every person.

She often helps you in a time of need - good.

She ignores you when she's around her so-called cool friends - bad.

Just learn to navigate through this. You already have a good start - realizing where you stand. If a convenient time arrives, do mention your concern, and leave it up to her whether to change her behaviour.

You stay optimistic. Maybe one day she'll find you cooler. Maybe she'll change her ways as well. Who knows. Unlike her, you shouldn't give up on people.

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    The priorities that people have in 11th grade don't last (thank God). It's entirely possible that your friendship will grow back once you all mature, and it's also possible that it'll fade away even further. There's never any reason to burn any bridges, though. Just be friendly and open, so that if you do grow into people who should be good friends, it won't have any obstacles. – Ask About Monica Dec 18 '17 at 21:15
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In your shoes, I would remain "friends" with her but not "good friends."

"Not good friends" for the reasons you've mentioned. You might not be able to trust her in a "pinch."

On the other hand, I wouldn't throw away a relationship that appears to be productive, that's been going on for quite a while.

I wouldn't go out of my way to make "friends" with someone like this that I just met, but the fact that you've known each other since second grade counts for something (at least to me). And there's a chance that she might "change" later on in life, after she's had a few setbacks.

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