Foul-Weather Friends

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Coping with Gray Skies

So how do you deal with this? Katz says that the first step is to try to calm her feelings of insecurity by treating her with compassion and respect. "Take care to show her that you care for her regardless of her looks, possessions, social contacts, etc. This person's worst fear is that she is, at her core, worthless and unlovable, so highlight her good points," says Katz.

You should also check your own behavior. Are you giving her the impression that she's not needed when you're doing well? Do you only call her when you're feeling blue? Do you only schedule dinner with her when you and your man are fighting? "I have one friend who only calls me when she is depressed about her boyfriend," says Diane, 46, from Long Island, New York. "In June, I was on a business trip to Canada and ended up talking to her on my cell phone for more than two hours, going over and over his abuse of her. I spent hundreds of dollars on my phone bill that month giving her therapy, only to be ignored by her when things got better."

Indeed, even the most secure, self-possessed woman can find her thoughts turning sour when good fortune makes a friend arrogant or self-centered. Sills says that new brides are frequently guilty of this. "We are most mentally ill when we are engaged. It's worse than being pregnant. It's the only time we buy the idea that we are the princess and our friends are all supposed to be circling us and ecstatic for us. And if they're not, there is trouble."

Continued on page 4:  Flee or Fix?


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