Smarter than the average bear

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Dear Kali,



I need some advice with my boyfriend, or should I say boyfriends! Because sometimes he acts like two different people. When we are alone he loves me and I love him a lot. When his friends are around, he changes he tries to be cool and acts mean to me. He makes me mad and we get into fights. Not real fights just yelling. I think it’s over all the time then he comes back and we’re cool again. I love him. I just want him to be like he is when we’re alone. He can be so sweet. What do you think Kali? How what can I do to make him stop being mean to me in front of his friends?



C. C,

This is a common problem with us men. I also have been accused of this. Before answering the question, you have to understand the problem. Men are simpletons; there aren’t many things outside of our own ego that we hold in high esteem. Our friends are one of those things. Men are definitely prisoners to “herd behavior” or “pack mentality.” Explained in layman’s terms, it is the need to belong to a group of likeminded individuals. This mentality can be even stronger if your boyfriend considers himself an alpha male. Which means your boyfriend can’t be perceived as weak or soft at any time, lest he loses his position in the hierarchy. Though, keep in mind that this does not mean that he loves them more than you.

Now for the solution. The first line of defense for a women in this situation is to firmly voice how you feel about his actions towards you when you accompany him around his friends. When I say firm I mean be serious. Sometimes men gauge problems to low and not take them serious enough because it didn’t bleep on our emotional radar. So make sure he understands how serious this is to you.

If he still doesn’t come around, the second tip is a hard truth. Time to strip away privileges. After all, it is a blessing and a privilege to have companionship. Put more separation between you and his friends. Also let him know that his awful actions caused this separation. You also want to assure your man that this is not a “them or me thing.” Often men missed the point and think you are just being needy.

Lastly, comes limiting your boyfriends time with you. Respect goes along way, and it is very disrespectful to belittle someone in front of others. If he can’t respect that, then he can’t respect you. One or two things will happen; either he’ll shape up or ship out. So be ready for both good and bad consequences. I hope these tips will help to strengthen your relationship, and thank you for writing in C. Lots of luck to you!