Teenage Problems/Friendship Problems
Is it fair in a friendship for one person to be pulling all the weight in the friendship? I feel like recently that in my friendship with my friend she seems to be sort of acting like she doesn't want to be my friend, and it is really confusing. It happens kind of a lot but this always seem to become more apparent happens more when ever her ex or any other guy comes into the picture, she begins to start ignoring me and like always whenever something goes wrong she always turns to me in tears and I'm always there to console her... I feel like I'm being used sort of by her...in our "friendship" It is always that me that starts conversations that goes up and talks to her or texts her...she has never once come up and talk to me or texted me first even when I do there are many times where she doesn't respond and the one time I don't respond she yells at me yet I never say a word when she doesn't respond to me...she says i mean the world to her but am I not important enough to her that she won't even care to ever text me/talk to me even when we do talk it feels like she doesn't want to engage in conversation and talk to me there are times when I ask her how her day was and all she would say is something like fine or another one word answer and thats it most of the time she never asks me how my day was back...I always compliment her and cheer her up and make her feel good and yet she has never complimented or said something nice back to me once...she even says that I'm like her best friend and I seriously doubt that because that isn't the way you treat your friends especially your "best" friend... It got really bad over the past couple of days so two days ago after first period (we've been walking to 2nd together for a while and if I am ahead of her i always wait for her and whenever shes ahead she never waits for me) so she didn't wait for me again and when i asked her why she didn't wait for me she said that she walks fast which make me feels like she doesn't even care enough about me to wait about 30 seconds and then less than an hour later came to me crying about Evan and her parents finding out and so today I asked her if she was feeling better and she told me that she said that she told me that never wants to talk about it and I'm annoying (which really hurt me because i was trying to seeing how she was doing with all good intentions and then she responded with an insult which ruined the rest of my day) and now I'm really confuse...she's been a really bad friend lately and it's really hurting me...the kicker is that two days ago I also asked her about being a bad friend and didn't use her name about it and she couldn't get that I was talking about her and she said that I should not be friends with that person anymore and she then went on to do the same things I was complaining about a couple hours later...I don't really know how to handle this situation... At times she can be a great friend and person to be around but there are many times where this friendship causes me more harm (stress) than good and I don't know where to go from here...what do I do?
Hi there Alex,
Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.
Firstly, friendship is supposed to be balanced and the whole point of having a friendship is that there are times in life when we need someone to talk to and someone to listen to us to help us cope. Friends are supposed to be there to tell you that everything is going to be OK and to support you in the decisions that you make. If friendship is one-way, then it is normal to feel like you are the one doing all of the nice things and being there but when you need someone, you cannot guarantee that the other person would do the same for you; and this is not fair! Good friendships are based on loyalty, trust and respect and if one of these is missing then the friendship will not stand the test of time because the people involved cannot rely on each other. From what you have described, you have given everything you can to this girl to be a good friend to her and she has given you nothing back. You have been there to listen to her and comfort her but when you need someone to talk to or just ask how your day was, she is too preoccupied in her own life to even show you the same courtesy. I am not surprised that you must be feeling confused, a little angry and not sure what to do.
Secondly, it is common that when friends start relationships that they appear to be not interested in anybody else other than their partner. The couple tend to go in to a bubble where they only associate with each other and friends and family get pushed away. They stop spending time with other friends or bothering to do things without each other and this is because of insecurity about whether or not the relationship would last if they did spend time with other people. It is common and I have personally seen long-term friendships nearly ruined for the same reason, where good friends won't find time for each other because they think they need to dedicate all of their time to their partner...and the only thing that ends up happening is they end up fighting because they are spending too much time together but they have pushed everyone else away and so are left with nobody but each other.
It is understandable that within a new relationship you do want to spend time with a partner to get to know them but if people are not careful and they push too many people away, if it all goes wrong, they have lost everyone because there will come a point (and maybe it is now, with your situation) where people refuse to be pushed away when things are going well and pulled near when things are going wrong. Your friend needs to understand that you have emotions as well and it is not fair to keep on relying on you when she needs you but then just tossing you to one side when she doesn't. Calling you 'annoying' because you were asking her how she was and saying mean things to you when you have only ever said positive things to her is not nice. She may say nice things about how much you mean to her, but if that was true, would you really be feeling the way that you are? Friendships exist when you know that you are friends and don't have to talk about it. If you are having to tell her that she is making you unhappy and she is still not changing, then maybe it is time that she learned to live and cope without you.
It is easy to be angry with someone when they are mean to us but then we tend to forget how mean they have been when they flatter us by saying how much they care about us and so, we tend to forgive them until the next time it happens. The problem is though, if you continually allow yourself to be sweet-talked into a friendship that the majority of the time is one-sided, you will end up getting hurt and feeling bad about yourself. Nobody should have that kind of power over you that you never know what to say or do for the best. I think it might be time for you to put some distance between you and her to make her realize that you will not keeping running when she needs you and that she has to respect you. The easiest way of doing this is to stop sending her text messages and wait for her to contact you. Adopt the attitude that she has and if she does text you, text vague and short answers and see how she likes it. If you can make her feel how you feel, then she may begin to understand why you are so disappointed in her and hopefully she will change her attitude towards you...and if she doesn't bother making contact first, then you should consider putting permanent distance between you.
It is not unfair of you to expect your friend to be there for you and to be nice; that is what friendship is about. It is unfair or her to only want a friend when she needs one without returning the favor. You are in a school with hundreds of other people, you don't need her to be your friend...but she needs you to be hers and because of that, she should be trying to keep you happy and close, not pushing you away.
I hope that helps.
In terms of how do you handle this?