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June 20, 2014

Ask Amy: Email is bullying, plain and simple

Dear Amy: A group of "frenemies" recently went on a trip together. I wasn't invited and didn't have any expectation of an invitation. During their trip, someone in the group took a picture of them doing their thing with what they considered a funny caption and sent it to my email (knowing that I don't participate in Facebook and would not see it there).

Dear Amy: A group of "frenemies" recently went on a trip together. I wasn't invited and didn't have any expectation of an invitation. During their trip, someone in the group took a picture of them doing their thing with what they considered a funny caption and sent it to my email (knowing that I don't participate in Facebook and would not see it there).

I didn't find it a funny friend share, if you know what I mean.

I think it was a spiteful, mean-spirited thing to do (it's not the first time something like that has happened).

My question is: Am I wrong to interpret this as a kind of bullying?

— Rejected and dejected

Dear Rejected: This is a kind of bullying. It is the obnoxious, exclusionary, passive-aggressive, "Housewives of Atlanta" kind of bullying.

But let me pass along some wisdom gleaned from a decade of writing this column: Sometimes, it's really not you. It's them. Sometimes, people are the worst.

You should move on and up and away from this petty cruelty.

Dear Amy: I met my girlfriend through a club at school, and we clicked right away.

A few months in, she almost committed suicide, and I called the police to intervene.

Since then, I've been helping with her emotional baggage to keep her from returning to that option. Recently, she has gotten very mad, and we've had many arguments because I can't visit her often enough — I can't use my mom's car consistently.

I've tried to ease the tension, but I don't know how much longer I can deal with my girlfriend's pestering and silent treatments, but I am scared that if I leave her, she will attempt suicide again. I'm losing sleep and becoming increasingly depressed. She asks for me to change, but refuses to do so herself.

— Scared and guilty

Dear Scared: Your girlfriend has drawn you into a toxic and manipulative relationship. And now her depression and anxiety have been transferred to you.

You are not equipped to handle her emotional needs and threats of suicide. You have a lot of compassion toward her, but please understand deep in your bones that you are not responsible for her life — she is.

The best thing you could do would be to urge her to get professional help. You simply don't have the education and expertise to help her in a meaningful way.

 

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Amy Dickinson

@AskingAmy

Amy Dickinson is a syndicated columnist. Email: askamy@tribune.com.

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