Are your friendships one-sided and always about the other person? It’s up to you to call time on selfish friends and look out for number one!
Friendships are wonderful things; they have the power to turn a bad day into a good one and give you someone to lean on during difficult times. However, not all friendships are healthy and equal. Cue the selfish friends.
Look at the friendships you have in your life for a second and ask yourself honestly whether you feel they’re all on an equal footing. Do you give as much as you receive, or do you find that a lot of the time a friend, or maybe more than one friend, is taking, taking, taking and not really giving much back?
If so, I’m sorry to say, but you have a few selfish friends in your midst!
Now, we can all be selfish from time to time, that’s a certainty, but if you find someone you’re close to is all about themselves and never about those around them, you might want to start wondering why you’re spending so much time and investing so much effort in this so-called friendship.
When you think about it, it’s not a friendship, it’s an arrangement. A true friendship is a two-way, equally beneficial situation that allows people to grow, be happy, and feel supported. You’re supposed to give back what you receive, and if that’s not happening, you have selfish friends. It’s as simple as that.
For someone who is quite sensitive or someone who values friendship, it can be very difficult to look at a person who you feel is your friend and accept that they’re acting in a way which doesn’t particularly uphold the values of true friendship. It can be painful and it’s true that parting ways with someone you classed as a friend can actually be more painful than a romantic breakup.
I know, because I’ve been through it and it was extremely painful to me.
I had a friend who I actually lived with for a short time. Her family lived overseas so she didn’t really have any other close relatives or friends around her. We did most things together for quite a long time and I classed her as a true friend, almost part of our family. However, things changed when she started to expand her social circle.
She got a job, she started going to college, and she met new people. I had no problem with it, I thought it was great that she was meeting new people and getting out and about. However, she seemed to think that it meant she could wave goodbye to the person who was with her from the very start, i.e. me.
She started to put her own needs ahead of our friendship time and time again. When we met up, she would talk about herself constantly and she was never interested in anything that was going on in my life. The final straw came when she met a guy and they started dating. At that point she was basically a constant stream of ‘me, me, me’ and I figured she was no longer the girl I met a few years before.
She had turned into one of those infamously selfish friends and I realized that I simply didn’t have the time or energy to tolerate it.
The reason you shouldn’t put up with selfishness from so-called friends over the long-term is because when this is happening, it’s no longer friendship. I want to give you this pep talk because it can be easy to keep people in your life because you feel like you have a connection, or you feel bad for being the one to apparently ‘make a problem’. It’s not making a problem if you’re no longer engaging in a two way friendship!
For that reason, I urge you to identify selfish friends and rid your life of the toxicity.
A word of warning …
We can all be selfish sometimes; I can, you can, everyone can. For that reason, you need to be careful about what you label as selfish and what is simply a one-off thing. If a friend is showing signs of selfishness but it’s totally out of character, perhaps have a chat and find out if anything is bothering them. It could be that they’re going through a stressful time and as a result they’re not really aware of how they’re acting.
In that case, forgive, move on, and find out how you can support them.
Does this make you selfish? Not at all. If you’re always the one who a so-called friend hasn’t got time for, if they’re only ever interested in talking about themselves or what you can do for them, and if they’re happy to use and abuse you in this way, why should you feel guilty for ridding your life of such a toxic friendship? Because that’s what it is.
Do not stay in a toxic friendship because you’re worried that by saying something about their behavior or trying to distance yourself, it’s going to make you a selfish person instead. It’s not; there is nothing selfish about helping yourself when someone you’re close to isn’t giving you what you need. [Read: How to pull back in a relationship when you’re giving too much]
You can only give so much at the end of the day, and it’s downright exhausting to be the one doing all the giving. If you’re sat there listening to your friend’s day all the time, their dramas, their problems, their successes, and whenever you try and raise something of your own, you find yourself shot down in flames, how is that a fair and even friendship?
If you find yourself in the middle of a stressful period of life or you’re upset about something and your friend isn’t there, because they’re too busy focusing on their own business, do you think that’s fair? Sure, nobody expects them to drop everything and come running but a little concern would be nice, right?
There isn’t anything selfish in ridding yourself of a friendship which doesn’t serve its purpose. However, you need to be careful that the friendship you’re cutting ties with is genuinely in the selfish camp and that it’s not just a temporary issue as a result of life’s ups and downs. [Read: 15 signs of a lack of respect in a relationship you shouldn’t ignore]
With all this being said, I’m not going to pretend that ridding your life of selfish friends is easy. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves, and that means when you realize you were wrong about someone, and you have to move away from them, it can be quite difficult. It’s a true break up of sorts and you wonder why you made such a huge misjudgment of character.
It’s vital that you understand you were not to blame. Some people are just selfish naturally, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. Don’t be the person who keeps selfish friends in their life because they’re worried they’ll end up lonely or they’re worried they’re going to upset people. Turn your attention to yourself and look out for number one.
Selfish friends will steal your time, your attention, and in some ways, your self worth. It’s time to move away from any friendships which aren’t equal and are all about the other person. When you think about it, they’re not real friendships in the first place!
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Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...