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Is this friendship worth it?

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I really need help right now. My best friend and I have been arguing a lot lately. He's always had a bit of a controlling streak, but lately, it's just been getting freaky. He likes to make things happen, but he barks out orders in a way that's very disrespectful, he flirts with girls that I'm trying to talk to (right in front of his girlfriend), and whenever I try to talk to him about it, he gets defensive and angry. He says that he's only doing it because he thinks it's disrespectful when I don't do what he tells me to do.


Here's an example: We were all drinking at his place, and we ran out of beer. Everyone was too drunk to drive, so he had everyone draw straws to see who drove to the gas station, which was right on the corner. Not a particularly dangerous drive, but also within walking distance. When I refused to draw a straw and told him that I would not drive drunk, he got angry and said that I was rocking the boat and being a jerk. This is just the latest in a series of incidents. Here's another one: He pulled a piece of cheese from my mouth because "it wasn't time to eat the cheese yet," and tried to forbid me from eating cheese the rest of the night. He got very angry, offended, and hurt when I shot back by joking about it and eating the cheese anyway. He also got into an argument with his girlfriend because she wanted to get pizza and he told her that she couldn't get some because she "didn't need to be eating anymore." She's nowhere near fat.


These are all pretty * * * things to me. His sister, his girlfriend, and me are all trying to call him on all this, but he just gets defensive and tries to shift the blame. If you try to shrug it off in the moment with humor or defy his commands, he punishes you with public ridicule, anger, guilt trips, or all of the above.


It's driving me crazy and really hurting me, because I love this kid like a brother. He's been my best friend for nearly 4 years and he's usually an awesome, fun and charismatic person who makes things happen and is a natural leader. But things are changing. I'm finally pulling myself out of a 5 year long depression and beginning to develop myself and my self esteem so that I can finally get over the girl issues that have been plaguing me for years, and he just keeps knocking me down.


After the drunk driving incident, his sister came to me and told me that he was pissed at me for refusing to drive and being defiant. She told me that he wants to save our friendship as much as I do, but it's seeming to me like he wants to make me choose between his friendship and my own will and self esteem.


Allowing myself to be disrespected and ordered around for the past few years (by him and others) has cost me a girl I cared deeply about, and nearly driven me to suicide, and I just can't take it anymore. He's the only one who continually treats me badly, but for the most part, he's perfectly fine. We usually relate to each other better than anyone else I've come accross, but he can't handle it when we disagree and will not compromise. What should I do? How can I save this friendship and myself at the same time?

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You don't need to make an enemy out of the guy by pulling a dramatic ending, but you can certainly pull yourself away from the guy and let him figure out that nobody likes a bully.


Confronting someone who must win at all costs means positioning yourself as a casualty. What's in that for you, exactly? Allow silence and absence to say what your words can't penetrate, and embrace the relief. If this guy ever wants to be your friend again, it's up to him to recognize what he did wrong, and it's up to him to decide whether he can offer a friendship that doesn't mistreat people. Frankly, that may be beyond his reach for at least a few years. Fighting with him about his fighting will get you nowhere.

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I don't care how long you've been friends or how deep the "friendship" is, this guy is toxic and I would get away ASAP. He sounds very controlling and manipulative. I wouldn't be surprised if this "friendship" is partly responsible for your previous depression and I wouldn't be surprised at all if he was abusive to his girlfriend.


Drop him as a friend and make new friends. Good for you for refusing to drive drunk, stand up for yourself and stick to your principals.

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