I have had this close friend for 15 years almost. I feel that I have always been a very good friend to her and wish no ill for her. I am generally an upbeat and people-oriented person. My problem is that many times when we spend time together, sometimes when I say things to her somehow she finds some "hidden" negative meaning to it, and then I get an verbally aggressive response to it. I withhold my true thoughts when I respond to her because I feel that she suffers extremely low self-esteem and I don't want to make her feel worse, but at the same time I feel that her behaviour is emotionally abusive. I try to explain what I said, which really meant no malice at all, but she feels that I am personally attacking her in some way. The other day, for example, she asked me if I could see the gray hairs on top of her head, I was hesitant to answer but I said yes, and then continued that I don't say talk about things like that because I don't want to be accused of insulting her. She responded that "well yeah if you tell me that I have gray hair showing it is insulting". This is just one silly example, there are many more that are worse! She always seems to be on the defensive, looking for hidden meanings behind words which don't exist. My question, is a person who reacts this way just overly sensitive, esteem-deficient, or is it possible that there is some more psychological problems present? She is the kind of person who will tell you that she doesn't want to be like you (eg. certain situations and the way you deal with people) but then she will be asking for your advice on how to deal with people to the point where it is step-by-step instructions.