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Best friend problems

Hello lovely people, 

I am hoping you can provide me with a little bit of advice about a situation I’m currently going through with my best friend. 

I have been best friends with S for 11 years now and we’ve always had a really strong friendship but as we’ve gotten older and we’re growing into our adult lives I have noticed a change in our friendship and her attitude. Of course as we grow up we all naturally change but my friend doesn’t seem okay with the changes that I am making in my life to better myself. 

I have noticed, especially in the last year, a major shift in our friendship. I think one of the biggest things contributing to this is the fact that we are both in relationships now. Before meeting my partner, S and I used to spend a lot of time together - we would hang out at least a couple of times a week. We also had a lot more time on our hands to spend this time together. Now I am a full time student and I work part time as well as trying to spend time with my partner, family and friends so I have a lot less time to spend S. I understand that it’s a bit of an adjustment (for the both of us) but I also understand she has a lot going on in her life too and I’m fully supportive of her doing her thing. I loved when we did get to catch up though, if it was once a week or every two weeks. However, S becomes bitter and cold towards me if I do not see or message her every few days. Then when I do send her a message, she flat out ignores me. For example, I got a really great opportunity at work the other day and I was excited to tell my friends about it and get some advice so I sent some messages and I still haven’t heard anything from S (this was 3 days ago). This has started to become a bit of a regular occurrence from her, over text and in person. 

I have started to realise the very different reactions I get from my other friends in comparison to S. At first I thought I was overreacting but after seeing how happy and supportive my other friends are for me, I’m thinking maybe I’m not. 

When we have hung out recently, it’s been a lot different to what it used to be and I have felt unfulfilled by our time together. We have had a few sleepovers in the last year where she has made me feel pretty terrible. I have felt pressured to drink and she has called me things like a “piece of shit” or ugly. She has apologised for these things, almost instantly or after I brought them up and I sincerely believe her apology but it still doesn’t feel nice. I just don’t think these are the type of things a friend should say to you. 

I also know her boyfriend can play a bit of a role in what she thinks about me. She turns to her boyfriend to talk about me a lot (which I wouldn’t have a major problem with if it were done in a nice way and was to seek advice) but I once saw a message where he called me a bitch and she did nothing to defend me or disagree. No matter what, if my partner called S that I would be very upset.

 

The very last thing is about our mutual friendships (or lack thereof). S doesn’t have too many friends so a couple of years ago I introduced her to some of my closest high school friends. They really liked S and everyone seemed to get on quite well until maybe a year ago. When we would all hang S would kind of ignore them, choosing to only talk to me or would just constantly be on her phone. This has become a lot more evident in recent times. I recently had a party and S knew at least 75% of the people at this party, however, for the entire night she chose only to speak to me or her family. She did not say a single hello to any of my friends that she has spent a big chunk of time with. This has rather annoyed me and made me upset. 

S just hasn’t seemed willing to make any effort (sometimes with me) but especially with my loved ones. She has a very weird attitude towards our friendship and has tried to refer to herself as my “one and only friend”. Other people have mentioned that she has seemed a bit possessive over me and only wants to be friends when it benefits her. I’m not too sure what to do - is confronting her and having a conversation about all of this the way to go or maybe just deciding that it’s time to let the friendship go with the amount of stress and unhappiness this has been causing me. 11 years is a really long time and I’ve got lots of incredible memories with her but lately it has felt very hard to want to be friends with her. 

I’m sorry for the long ramble and giving you my whole life story. I’d really appreciate any advice or if you've been in a similar situation and what you did. Thank you in advance! 

Re: Best friend problems

Hey @MayMay31,

 

Sorry to hear that you had to endure all of this. It is not in my place to give you advice on what to do, but I can help further unpack what is going on for you right now so that you can come to a decision on what you might do next.

 

What do you value in a friendship? And does your friendship with S add value to your life?

Re: Best friend problems

Hi @MayMay31 

 

Welcome to our forums and thank you for sharing Smiley Happy

 

Friendships are tricky. It can be hard to know what to do when a friendship goes downhill, especially when you have been friends for such a long time. @hunginc has asked you some really thought-provoking questions - hopefully having a think about and answering those questions makes things clearer or you.

 

I am personally quite honest and open so I will usually tell someone if/why I am upset. However, that does not mean that I have never regretted expressing how I feel. Also, I've found that unless the person is somewhat reasonable or understanding to begin with, that it does not always get through to the person or achieve much. Sometimes it can be best to not say anything but to distance yourself, while keeping things open - i.e., taking some time or space apart without actually officially ending the friendship. This leaves open the chance of rekindling things in the future. It also means there won't be an "bad blood."

 

I do have 1 motto that I live by (or try to at least). You can't choose your family but you can choose your friends, so choose your friends wisely. By wisely, I mean choose to be around the people that make you happy. Smiley Happy

 

Hope this helps!

Re: Best friend problems

Hey @MayMay31, sorry to hear that you are in a tough situation with your friend. I'm not sure whether this is the reason, but I just wanna say I notice that there are many girls around me are really contributing all their energy, time and efforts in their relationship and at the same time, they would not like to contact with friends. And I am also thinking whether her boyfriend is influencing her thoughts because as one of the most intimate people, partner can really influence a lot. This came from my personal experience, I was kind of emotionally and cognitively controlled by my ex and that made me stay far away from many friends. I think it would be good to have a deep conversation with her.

Re: Best friend problems

Thank you for offering your help @hunginc! I really do appreciate it!

In my friendships I value:
Trust
Honesty
Kindness
Laughter
Understanding
Support
Non judgemental
Fun

Reflecting on my values of friendship and then our friendship is helping to bring some memories flooding back in.

I used to trust S wholeheartedly, now I only trust her with some things. Always rather worried about the judgement I will receive.

I wouldn’t say that she would lie to me but I actually do remember asking her all about her day and she lied about what she had been doing - I’d driven past her with her boyfriend, she insisted she was at home by herself all day. I thought that was an odd thing to not be honest about. She doesn’t create lies as entertainment though, she just isn’t always completely honest with me about things (which also makes trusting hard).

I believe that my friend is a kind person deep down. Out off all the not so nice things shes said to me during our friendship there’s probably been a lot more nice things. However, I do not enjoy the judgement and mean things she has to say about others sometimes. Some conversations go from a harmless chat to just being rude.

Laughter and fun have always come really easy and naturally when we’re together. S is a person I feel the most comfortable around. It never used to matter if we’d been together for days or were only just seeing each other for the first time in weeks, we always managed to make some kind of fun and could always be found laughing. We definitely do still have some laughs when we’re together, I’m not sure about as much fun (for me anyway). The last time I saw her I was just kind of ready to go home - hanging out with her that day was just a lot of work.

S is understanding and supportive but only about certain things. This is very clear as of late. It’s very strange how she chooses select things to be supportive about. Recently, more often than not she has chosen to not be supportive and has stayed silent on a lot of things that I wanted to talk to her about. As for understanding, I had tried to talk to her mid last year when I was feeling very similar about our friendship but not a whole lot of change has occurred since then. As @Maddy-RO said if they are not reasonable or understanding, it will not get through to the person or achieve much. S is pretty much that person.

My friendship with S definitely once added value to my life. She was my go to person, I trusted her more than anyone in the world and felt comfortable telling her everything. I never feared being judged by her and felt a sense of support. I loved spending lots of my time with her and she would add positivity to my life. Now I am not so sure if she adds the same value to my life. After reflecting on my values of friendship I’d think not. It’s hard to think about the positive things she does add to my life. I think the two biggest things that are still there for me is the fun and laughter that we have together but it doesn’t happen nearly as often and I find a lot of it comes from reminiscing on things we’ve done in the past. Maybe that is the only value that this friendship adds to my life now. A lot of what I said is about how S USED to add value and now how it has changed and I’m struggling to see if there is even any value that our friendship really adds to my life.

Re: Best friend problems

@MayMay31 Thanks for the elaborate post. People change over time, and so do we. Sometimes, friendships come with expiry dates and that is ok. 

 

With all of this in mind, what might you do next? Whatever decision you make, we are here for you

 

 

 

Re: Best friend problems

@hunginc I have researched and talked so much of our friendship over with different people and I have been given the same two answers: Stop being friends with her or take some space/time apart. I understand how I’ve been treated, however, I don’t think I am willing to just end the friendship. 11 years is a really long time and I think I’d like to try have a conversation with her about how I’ve been feeling (even if it scares me a lot). I worry it will make no difference though. Regardless, I think I need to take some space from our friendship as it just takes up too much of my energy and produces negative energy. I guess if she sees that as the end of our friendship, then it shows how she truly feels and that’s okay.

Re: Best friend problems

@MayMay31  it can be a hard decision on how to progress with friendships, particularly the ones that we have a lot of history with. I can imagine that you may be thinking about all the good times you had with your friend and this can be hard to let go of. I appreciate that you would need to take some time to make this decision and not take this decision lightly. Take the time that you need and let us know how you go with things Heart

Re: Best friend problems

hi @MayMay31 it's been a little while so I thought I would check in and ask how you are going? I wanted to let you know I had a friend of 11 years too and for the past 4ish years we went through this weird phase where we drifted quite a bit but now we are finding back to each other. Despite our distance in our friendship and some things that happened that were disappointing, probably on both sides, something in me could never let her go. I understand that your friend has said some seriously hurtful things about you, has not defended you and is acting strange, but I think after all these years of friendship, if it were me, I would try to talk to her/confront her and listen to what she had to say, if not for her sake but for your own to get closure. If that doesn't work, maybe giving it some time/distance and seeing what happens and whether she still adds the same value to your life as she used to, if you're meant to be friends I believe you'll come back together again no matter if it's in days, months or years. I have found that to be the case for me in the past. But if you feel like it's still not right, then (no matter how much we don't want to) sometimes we outgrow friends and have to let them go for our own happiness. In saying that, I think it's important for you to do whatever you feel is best for you and your confidence/self-esteem/happiness, because you don't want to be feeling bad every time after hanging out with her. As I was finishing writing this post I scrolled to the bottom and saw your most recent post about having a chat with her because your 11 years of friendship has been a big part of your life and I think if that's what your gut is telling you to do then definitely go for it. Let me know how you are going and if you end up having a chat with her Heart

Re: Best friend problems

Hi @celestialdreamer, firstly, thank you for checking in! I have actually been doing well - a lot better than when I had written my previous posts. Secondly, thank you for sharing your experience with me. I really appreciate it!

 

I did end up having a rather big chat with my friend earlier this month and she firstly apologised for if she had made things feel weird between the two of us. We both expressed how we had been feeling but didn’t really come to a solution. I believe my friend really did mean her apology but I also found it difficult to express some other things I would’ve like to/she just wasn’t completely understanding of it all. She did tell me if I had outgrown our friendship to just let her know. I didn’t exactly love that the decision to end our friendship was placed on my shoulders. I explained that I don’t want to stop being friends with her but that I need some space.

 

Since that chat we’ve sent each other a few things here and there but for the most part have not seen or really had a good chat/catch up. I haven’t been too upset over this as I’m enjoying taking some space and the peace that comes with not stressing over our friendship. I know that we’re still friends and I do believe that if I really need her, she will be there for me and vice versa. I agree with how you said if we’re meant to be, we’ll come back together. It could take months or years but I’m okay with that.