Hi there and welcome to Ask Alex,
You have explained that a good friend of yours is refusing to go with you to the cinema because she is on a diet and is trying to avoid popcorn. You have also mentioned that you think she doesn’t need to be on a diet. You have tried to talk with your other friends to change the cinema day, but they aren’t willing to change because of your other friend’s diet.
Thanks for your question, or questions, because you have touched on more than one thing without realizing! Let’s go in bits…
Your friend has decided to go on a diet. This is not about what she should be eating and when, what is correct to eat and when. She has made a choice for her own reasons, be it for her health, for prevention, or because it is making her feel in control of her well-being. Whichever the reason is, it is still something that we cannot quite change, as it is not ours to change. You are free to let her know how you feel about the fact she is on a diet and how that is affecting you somehow, but it doesn’t mean that she would change her mind. If you were starting something to take care of yourself, what would you like your friends to do? What would you need from them? In general, we believe we would be expecting respect for our decisions, acceptance, and patience.
You have tried to talk with the rest of the group whom you go with to the cinema, but they like to go on Fridays and are refusing to change the day. We can see how that can feel as if they were being mean, and at the same time, it is your friend who has decided not to join you on Fridays to avoid popcorn. The group seems to be accepting of that (leaving aside the fact that they called the diet “stupid”), and they are probably waiting for her to change her mind and come, with or without popcorn.
Now, let’s talk about the position you are in. You have decided to try and deal in between two parties that seem to be communicating poorly. You, are in the middle of a triangle, trying to cover what is not said in between them because this situation is making you feel uncomfortable, sad that one of your best friends is missing out, etc. As we said before, they are deciding on the matter, which is something we cannot change because it is not ours. The only thing we can do is decide what we want to do with it. Do we want to go to the cinema on Fridays despite the fact that our friend is not there? Do we want to skip Fridays and have an alternative plan with that friend? Would that make us happier? Do we like the fact that the group is not being supportive of that other friend? Are we willing to speak our mind about it? All of these matters are indeed ours; they are our decision-making. We cannot change what is happening around us, but we can change what happens within ourselves, dealing with how to approach what is happening to us.
If you would like to chat further with us about this situation or any other situation, you can get to us by phone on 1800 66 66 66 or LiveChat on our website www.childline.ie. Both these services are open 24/7, and are free, non-judgemental and confidential.
We hope this helps!
Best of luck,