Money Talk Ruining Friendship

Q: I have a really good friend who is always talking about how financially stable she is. Every time we go out, she wants to go someplace 'swanky' and talks about all of us going on a vacation to her time share. I feel like I'm competing with her as I don't have such a high-profile job but also do well for myself. I'm about ready to explode on her every time she comes up with another suggestion that seems to be more about her 'living the high life' than us having a nice time. How do I inform her that I am doing well for myself but don't want to go on a vacation where I feel like I owe her something? -Jenna, 53

Dr. Anna: It sounds like not saying anything at all is getting very frustrating—if you keep letting it slide you risk damaging the friendship. Try to find a time when you are feeling calm and compassionate to talk to her about this. You might say something like, "I am feeling like when you bring up activities, it seems more focused on spending money than on having a good experience." If you like her, make sure to emphasize the good parts you enjoy about your friendship. Then make a request. Tell her you appreciate her invitations, but you'd rather focus less on expenses and more on having fun experiences together.

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