Dear Abby: I had good reason to cut off friend but still feel guilty

Once a trusted confidante, the friend lately has taken to putting people down and weaponizing secrets.

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DEAR ABBY: I had a close friend, “Kayleigh,” for about 10 years. She helped me through tough times and was always there for me. Now I feel like she has turned into someone else. For the last six months, she has been putting down everyone I love, even in front of my daughter. She sees no problem with it, nor does she have any remorse.

Kayleigh doesn’t have a healthy relationship with her family or in her love life. I believe I’m her only friend. When she does this, I feel like she’s disrespecting me. I have talked to her about it, but she never apologizes. She gets defensive and says it’s “just her opinion, it shouldn’t matter and I shouldn’t stay mad.”

I have told Kayleigh things in confidence, but she’s thrown them in my face, which made me feel insecure and small. I no longer talk to her about these issues because sometimes she brings it up with a jab. I can’t be friends with someone who acts this way. I have stopped talking to her, but now I’m having a hard time not feeling guilty. Advice? — FRIENDLESS IN MISSOURI

DEAR FRIENDLESS: Why would you continue to confide in someone who might use the information to make you feel bad? Backing away from a relationship like that is healthy. I have said before that not all friendships last forever, and this appears to be one of them. Kayleigh’s refusal to apologize if you tell her she has made you feel disrespected indicates she doesn’t care about the effect her comment had on you. Quit flogging yourself and get on with your life.

DEAR ABBY: Some friends of ours agreed to housesit for my wife and me recently while we were on a weeklong cruise. They live in a small condo. We have a large house in a golf course community, so they welcomed the opportunity. To show our appreciation, we gave them a $200 gift card to use at the golf course (they are golfers).

When we returned, we learned they had invited four of their family members to spend several nights at our house, and used our bedroom and my office as sleeping quarters. It was apparent the guests had departed shortly before our return because there were piles of wet towels in the laundry room, and our beds still had their slept-in linens.

My wife and I feel betrayed and hurt by what our friends did, and we told them how we felt. Their reaction was that they thought they didn’t “have” to wash their dirty linens. Were we at fault for not doing a better job explaining our expectations when we asked them to housesit? — INVADED IN WASHINGTON

DEAR INVADED: This couple may be friends, but their manners are atrocious. They should not have invited anyone to spend the night in your home without first receiving permission. That you returned to find dirty linens on your beds and soiled towels is disgusting. None of what transpired is your fault. You should not have had to leave a list of rules for these presumptuous people. Find other housesitters and don’t invite them again.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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