Do your friends take advantage of you? One-sided friendships include bad friends, friends who talk behind your back, and friends who never call or make an effort to hang with you.
Here’s what one of my readers says about a one-sided friendship:
“I wanted to be friends with her so badly that I compromised myself to try and win her over,” says Amber on Getting Over an Addictive Relationship. “Needless to say, it hasn’t worked. I’m sick of being the only one contributing to this friendship, but I can’t let go of her or the memories of last year. I know for a fact that it doesn’t bother her at all, but it’s killing me to know that I lost a friend that I may have never had in the first place. I wasted my time, but I’m not going to waste anymore. A part of me hopes that if I focus on me instead of trying to appease her, she’ll notice that I stopped talking to her and come back. Another part of me says, ‘Good Riddance.’ Am I foolish for feeling this way? If she does come back, do you think she’ll change or it’ll be last year all over again?”
I don’t think Amber is foolish for feeling that way – it’s easy to get swept up in a one-sided friendship! But, I do wonder why she can’t let go of her friend. Amber knows her friend is a bad one, and she knows that her friend may never have been a real friend in the first place. So why is she so upset about losing such a one-sided friendship?
That’s the first step you need to take, if you want to stop a bad friendship from getting worse. Figure out why you can’t let that friend go.
One-Sided Friendships – Tips for Setting Bad Friends Free
Would you recognize a good friend if she walked up to you and handed you the keys to her car? Do you know how to make friends?
My mom gave me How To Win Friends and Influence People when I was 12 years old. It was one of the best gifts she ever gave me, even though I was confused why she was giving me a book about friendships! If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to get it today. If you know how to win friends and influence people, you’ll be less likely to fall into a one-sided, bad friendship.
Take stock of your friendships
How many close friends do you have? Do you reach out to them, do they contact you, or is it mutual? How do you feel when you’re with your friends – are you drained or happy after you spend time with them?
What about your interests and hobbies – do you and your friends like to do the same things? Do you have the same life goals, personalities, values? You don’t have to be clones of each other to be good friends, but you should have similar interests and values. That said, however, I think it’s important to be friends with people who are different than you, who give you a fresh, new perspective on life!
Be honest with yourself about one-sided friendships
Amber was honest with herself about her “bad” friend, but she couldn’t stop herself from wanting to keep that friend. It’s one thing to know your friends are taking advantage of you, but it’s a whole different ballgame to actually end a friendship.
One of the best ways to stop a bad friendship from getting worse is to be honest. You can tell your friend how you feel – but most bad friends don’t care. That’s what makes them bad friends! Instead of trying to change your friend, put your time and effort towards being honest with yourself.
If you really, really want a certain person to be your friend, read Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Text or Call? How to Pique His Interest. I wrote it for a reader who felt neglected by her boyfriend, and know that those tips will also work in one-sided friendships.
Remember that different friends offer different benefits
One of the most important life tips I ever learned is that different relationships offer different perks. For instance, my friend Ann is my best friend when it comes to talking about careers, personalities, psychology, relationship, and business. My friend Gayle is my best friend when it comes to travel, giving to others, and going on awesome adventures. My husband Bruce is my life companion, and my best friend when it comes to achieving life goals, planning the future, doing everyday activities, sex, and much much more.
One friend can’t be everything to you – and either can one boyfriend or husband. Which is why you need to…
Cultivate other friendships
Here’s some friendship advice from the financial world: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Diversify your portfolio! If you want to stop bad friendships from getting worse, you need to start making new friends. Make friends for working out or exercising, friends for music and concert-going, friends for serious discussions about life, and friends for business and networking.
There’s nothing wrong with having one “best friend” – but it’s not realistic to expect one person to fulfill all your friendship needs. I remember having best friends in grade and high school, but as I get older I realize that it’s important to have different friends for different parts of life.
Remember that your friends have a huge effect on your life. For instance, you can achieve your financial goals faster by choosing the right friends!
What do you think – can you stop a bad, one-sided friendship from getting worse?
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.