Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 42° Clear
News >  Features

Your efforts never will be enough

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: I am a 23-year-old girl, and my best friend, “Natalie,” is my roommate. We have been best friends since childhood and have a strong bond. We went to the same high school, now attend the same college and even studied abroad together.

The problem is, Natalie has a tendency to be a storm cloud of negativity. Even though she has a great boyfriend, lots of good friends, plenty of money and a terrific family, her ability to always focus on the negative is beginning to wear on me.

For 10 years, I have fought my hardest to make her smile no matter what it took. Two months ago, I threw a surprise birthday party for her. She’d been telling me for nearly a year that she couldn’t wait to have a great birthday with her friends away from home. I did my best to prepare everything perfectly and spent a lot of money and energy. But I felt it was worth it for my best friend. Everything seemed to be going perfectly until she began crying at the party. Afterward, I asked her what was going on. She said she wasn’t getting enough attention at the party.

Annie, everyone was fawning all over her the entire night, but somehow it wasn’t sufficient for Natalie. After this, I started to withdraw from her. No matter how hard I try to please her, it’s never good enough. Right now, I don’t want to do anything more for her because it’s too painful. Am I out of line to feel this way? What can I do to make her happy? – Best Friend Forever

Dear BFF: Nothing. Natalie isn’t simply a “storm cloud of negativity,” dear. She’s a bottomless pit of emotional need and sounds a bit self-absorbed, as well. Your efforts will never be good enough. The best thing you can do for her is recommend she get therapy to find out why she is unable to appreciate the good things in her life.

Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.