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One-Sided Friendship: 15 Clear Signs It’s Time to Cut Them Loose

Friendship should be cherished. But, not all friendships are created equally. If you’re in a one-sided friendship, it’s time to do something about it. 

signs of a one-sided friendship

You know the old saying – relationships are a two-way street. You might be rolling your eyes, but this washed-out phrase is worn out for a reason. We all have shitty friends, even if we don’t see the signs of a one-sided friendship right away.

Chances are, you’ll probably go through many of them before you end up with a solid and trustworthy group of friends. If you’re stressed about a one-sided friendship, knowing what to do next is key.

We all need friends in our lives, but we don’t need bad ones. Friends are supposed to lift you up, support you, and make you laugh for no other reason than they can. But, this needs to be done on both sides. When you have a bad friend, it’s more stressful than fun. What’s the point in that? [Read: 20 signs of a toxic friend to instantly recognize the rotten ones]

Hang on, what is a one-sided friendship?

Before we start talking about the signs of a one-sided friendship, we need to have a definition of what it actually is. Basically, a one-sided friendship is when one of you does all the running, all the giving, and the other just takes. They expect you to do all the work and they sit back and grab the rewards.

It’s a toxic friendship in so many ways, because you’re not getting the perks of the friendship. You’re not being supported, you’re not being encouraged, you’re not laughing.

You’re doing all of this for them, but they’re giving you nothing in return. Or, they might do something occasionally, just to keep you there and stop you from figuring out their laziness and causing you to leave.

Before we start to talk about the signs of a one-sided friendship, maybe you should sit and think carefully about whether or not you have any of these types of friendships in your life. The fact you’re even reading this tells us that you probably do. [Read: Bad friends and 25 types of friends you MUST unfriend from your life]

The major signs of a one-sided friendship

There are times when friendships run their course. It’s a normal evolution of a friendship that was never meant to last for a long time.

However, there are some friends who just stick around because you’re giving them something they need or want. For instance, if someone is sleeping on your couch for free, they’re going to stick around, aren’t they? They’re living with you for nothing! Are they a real friend? What do they do for you?

They can find some other couch to sleep on, you know what we’re saying?! Keep an eye on these signs of a one-sided friendship, and if you do notice them in your own relationships, it’s time to walk away for good! [Read: Am I a bad friend? The bad friendship skills that push people away]

1. It’s always you calling them

They never call you. They reply to your texts, but you don’t see them sending you messages asking how you’re doing. If you call, they answer. If not, nothing happens.

It’s basically you and you alone trying to keep this relationship afloat. Let this baby sink. [Read: Got flaky friends? Here are the reasons to ditch them]

2. They only call when they need something

Ah yes. They do like you when they need something. Maybe they’re short on rent or need cash for a dress, and then there they are, magically appearing. What a great friend.

You probably have quite the tab adding up because all they do is take, take, take.

3. They don’t listen

You might not even have an issue to discuss; maybe you just want to tell a funny story, but they’re busy texting on their phones while at coffee with you.

In a one-sided friendship, they are not genuinely interested in anything you say, unless it’s, “oh, here’s that money you needed.” [Read: Fair-weather friend – 20 signs your friend doesn’t care about you]

4. They’re never on time

Aretha Franklin, my girl, she had it right. R-e-s-p-e-c-t. If they’re never on time, it’s because they don’t respect your time. They don’t care enough to be on time.

Perhaps, they’ve been on time, but were those the times they needed money or some help from you? BINGO. The pieces of the puzzle connect.

5. They control what you do

Whatever they want to do, the two of you do it. There’s no compromise. Maybe you suggested something and they knocked it down.

One of the biggest signs of a one-sided friendship is that they want it their way or the highway because it’s all about them. This isn’t a friendship, it’s a damn dictatorship. [Read: Controlling vs caring – A thin line controlling people love to cross]

6. They have half your closet at their place

It’s alright to borrow an item of clothing, but when they have your whole closet at their place? Come on, just buy your own stuff. The best part, your things are probably lying on the ground or stained with ketchup. We wouldn’t doubt it.

7. They’re never there when you need them

Did you just break up with your partner, and you’re a crying mess? In a one-sided friendship, they probably weren’t around to comfort you as you cried it out on the couch.

Sure, they may have been around when you wanted to drink the pain away, but that’s not an actual friend. They wanted to be there for the good times, but what about the bad?

8. They never say “thank you”

When you help get their ass out of a jam, do they ever just turn to you and say, “thank you”? Is that even a phrase they understand? Probably not. You always help them out, so why is this time any different? [Read: 23 secret signs of narcissism most friends completely overlook]

9. They don’t care

Let us put it like this, if you had an emergency, would they be the first one you’d call? If you said “no,” you’re already on your way to recognizing the signs of a one-sided friendship with your friend. Actually, if they aren’t in your top five or ten, it’s safe to say they aren’t really your friend.

They couldn’t care less. Don’t get us wrong, they don’t want you dead, probably because they need you for their rent. But other than that, they don’t care. [Read: 18 honest reasons why you don’t have friends that care about you]

10. They don’t meet you halfway

We mean this literally. You drive to them or else you aren’t meeting. Sure, they ‘accidentally’ slept in or they could also not have been bothered to get dressed for you. Just take that in for a minute. [Read: 16 signs your friends are taking advantage of you]

11. High expectations

Well, this one is on you. One of the signs of a one-sided friendship is when they have high expectations of what you put into the friendship because it’s always been you. So, now you have this standard to uphold. When you don’t meet it, they aren’t happy.

12. They put you down

If you attend a new art class or something which distracts you from servicing them, you’re going to hear about it. But, not the conventional upfront way.

They’ll put you down and try to show you that the time you’re not spending on them is being used on something worthless. Keep doing your pottery class and ditch them instead. [Read: How to recognize and stop selfish people from hurting you]

13. They don’t open up

The whole point of a friendship is unloading your feelings and thoughts onto someone who understands and empathizes. But, if you’re the only one dishing out personal information, and they’re sitting there, collecting their next manipulation act, well, run.

14.Manipulation is common in a one-sided friendship

Friendships are relationships. They’re also prone to emotional and mental abuse. You probably won’t even recognize the abuse because you wouldn’t expect it from a friend. But believe us, the manipulation is real. [Read: Emotional manipulation: 14 ways people mess with your mind]

15. They’re resentful when you take a step back

If you decide to take a step back from the friendship, instead of empathizing, they become angry and resentful. That’s a sign they’re not a friend. A friend tries to see what they did wrong and works out how to fix it.

How to handle a one-sided friendship

The first thing to do is sit down and really think about what your friend is doing, or isn’t doing, and how often. We all let things slide occasionally and maybe they’re just having a bad time of things at the moment. In that case, perhaps give them a little time to see if anything changes.

However, in most cases, there is nothing going on and it’s simply that this person is nothing short of a bad friend.

It’s hard to wave goodbye to people sometimes, especially those you thought you could rely upon. However, sometimes we open up to the wrong people and give our time and attention to those who don’t deserve it.

Don’t beat yourself up about it; you were brave enough to be vulnerable around a person and try to build up a special friendship. That fact it didn’t work out isn’t your fault. [Read: How to say goodbye to someone you love – Don’t be afraid to let go]

Your one-sided friendship next steps?

You have two options – you can talk to your friend and explain how you feel, or you can cut your losses and move on. The likelihood of them completely changing their ways is slim, but not completely out of the question.

If you want to give it one last try, sit down, talk things through, and try to be as clear as possible, without using language that totally blames them. You might want to blame them, but knowing how to say things is important. [Read: How to break up with a friend – The respectful steps you must follow]

Use “I” phrases, such as “I feel that …” rather than “you always …”. Keep an open mind and give them a chance. You’ve decided to talk to them about it so you need to see your decision through. However, don’t give them endless amounts of time to do literally nothing about the issues you’ve raised.

If that doesn’t work? Raise your hand in the air, wave it from side to side and bid them goodbye. You can do better.

[Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting friendships]

You probably have a couple of friends that popped into your head while you were reading this. It’s cool. Now that you know all the signs of a one-sided friendship, you must decide if you’re done with them, or not!

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...