Dear Harlan: My friend Cheryl has become friends with a couple I’ll call “Jack and Jill.” They are very obnoxious and think it’s funny to insult people and verbally “poke them” to get a reaction. I can’t stand socializing with them. They are rude 100 percent of the time and also are extreme extroverts who never shut up. I have told Cheryl how I feel, and her response was that she enjoys their company. Do I have to dump Cheryl as a friend, or is there some other alternative?
Dear Bad Friend: Put away the badge. You’re not the friend police. Your friend has a right to have obnoxious, irritating, and annoying friends. Perhaps she knows a different side of them. You aren’t in charge of her choice of friends. Leave Cheryl alone. Avoid spending time with her when she’s with the obnoxious couple. If your friend insists on a group outing with the annoying couple, tell Cheryl that you would rather not hang out with them. Feel free to explain the issue. Let’s be honest— this isn’t about obnoxious friends. You’re done with Cheryl and this is the perfect excuse to dump her.