Northampton Press

Monday, February 17, 2020

Respectfully Yours: Friend’s criticism

Friday, August 2, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST Special to The Press in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I have a friend I’ve known for a couple of years, who seems to criticize me as much as she can. She says things like “You look tired today” when I’m actually having a good day. She always starts these criticisms with “no offense.” I haven’t confronted her about this but it is really upsetting me. Is there a polite way to handle her criticism?

Dear Reader,

A person who is so critical toward you might be dealing with her own insecurities.

When you are hit with criticism and it’s preceded by “no offense,” you can be sure she is about to rain on your parade.

The important thing is how you respond. So far, you’ve been the better person rising above the petty insults. It’s unfortunate you have someone like this in your life, but how you respond is what really matters.

It can be very tempting to give her a taste of her own medicine by being rude back to her. Think about what you’d like to say to your friend and then reach out to her to meet up at a later date.

It’s going to be hard but don’t stoop to her level of rudeness. You’ve let some critical comments slide but now you have to stand up for yourself.

It’s time for a heart-to-heart conversation. Gently remind her that good friends should focus on what they appreciate in each other.

If you feel as if you’ve done everything you can to make her understand but things don’t seem to be getting better, it might be time to move on from the friendship.

Sometimes people reach a point where being friends doesn’t make a ton of sense anymore, and that’s alright.

Talking to friends about awkward subjects is hard, but we all deserve to be treated right by those who matter most to us.

Respectfully Yours,


Have a question? Email: Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation.

All Rights Reserved © 2019 Jacquelyn Youst