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Dear Richard Madeley: 'What should I do about my fair-weather friends?' 

Our agony uncle answers your questions each week. Write to him at dearrichard@wrpcnnpcng.com

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Dear Richard Madeley: 'What should I do about my fair-weather friends?' 
"Yes, it’s always a shock when we see people we considered as friends in their true colours, isn’t it?"  Credit: Rii Schroer/Getty Images

Dear Richard

A couple of my oldest friends and some of my family have cut me out of their lives since the onset of our daughter’s mental illness (she has been diagnosed with schizophrenia).

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appI know that, with so much to cope with, I should just accept this, concentrating on those who do want me in their lives, but I grapple with it daily. It churns me up inside: I don’t understand how anyone can be so unkind and unsupportive. How can I learn to move on?

Kitty, via email

Dear Kitty

Yes, it’s always a shock when we see people we considered as friends in their true colours, isn’t it? We’ve all been there, Kitty. Of course you can’t understand how they can be so unkind and unsupportive – that’s because you’re not like them. Their cold withdrawal has confounded you; you’re a good person and you judge people by your own standards. But the well of human heartlessness can be bottomless, as you’ve just discovered.

But who cares? Do you really want people like this in your life, let alone your daughter’s? Aren’t you better off without them? If they can’t cope with a mental health issue as common as schizophrenia, what else would they find impossible to deal with? After you’ve got over the shock of rejection, you should be glad you discovered that these “friends” are ignorant, inward-looking and judgmental.

Good riddance to them. Focus on those who’ve stood by you and your daughter and will be there for you in the future (as you will for them). Better a handful of true friends than a roomful of fair-weather ones.

Dear Richard Madeley: 'What should I do about my fair-weather friends?'