Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have this friend who is great. She's funny, smart and really kind. But the problem is—she is always ON. Like she seems like she is always doing a comedy routine when we are together. We have only been friends for about six months so maybe she will take it down a notch soon? I keep waiting. It is sort of exhausting me.
Just Be Real
By Pdpics (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Dear Just Be Real,
Let’s see, you have a friend who’s funny, smart and really kind. I was thinking that you were going to ask how to get her to cosign a loan for you, so this whole “always ON” thing came out of nowhere for me. But okay, I accept the challenge. I’m here to help. (She doesn't have an OFF button, does she?)
Like you, I find people who are always on extremely draining. And the thing is, they sort of lure us in. Because at first, they are just funny and adorable and it’s so fun and pleasant to be around them. But after a while, you start feeling like a laugh track. And if you don’t laugh, some will repeat the joke, pronouncing each word slowly to make sure it doesn’t fly over your head. In what is supposed to be a friendship between two equals, I don’t blame you for not wanting to be an audience member.
I don’t know why she does it—perhaps she has a bit of a Class Clown Complex, or she may know that humor is her strength and she leads with it. Every damn time. But after all the laughter and the levity, you want the real person. You want a friend who can empathize, commiserate and at certain times, just sit with you in silence. Friendship is about sharing, not performing and it seems like your relationship is lacking in that category.
Of course, as you’ve pointed out, you’ve known each other for only six months, so maybe it is something that will pass. Perhaps the two of you haven’t gone through a rough patch that you’ve shared with each other in your lives. You can wait for a while longer, or you can bring up a subject that you would like to discuss. If she goes into her shtick, tell her that you really love her sense of humor, but that you’d appreciate a nonhumorous take from her on the situation, as well.
She may surprise you by becoming a friend that you cherish for many qualities. Or she may insist on the stand-up routine.
In which case I definitely recommend the two-drink minimum.
More from parenting