A good friend is hard to find and even harder to keep.
And to be honest, I don’t know a single individual who hasn’t had a hard time with toxic friendships and wondering how to deal with them.
One-sided friendships are just the worst, right?
You’re so sure that you’ve got a good friend by your side who knows how to make you feel good about yourself and the amount of time you spend together is truly a sign of a real friendship.
I mean, who spends five days a week with each other without getting bored? Only best friends can do this and still miss each other!
But when difficult times arise and you don’t have as much time for a decent social life, you start seeing a lot of people for who they truly are.
Unbalanced friendships start becoming evident and true friends become but a rarity.
When you pay attention to the red flags you’d love to be able to ignore (but shouldn’t!) you see bad friends from good friends.
You see who’s able to get together last-minute because they miss you and who starts having less and less time for a healthy friendship that you seek.
Friendships are a two-way street! They are supposed to increase your self-esteem, help you on your journey to self-love and be there for you from high-school to your last breath.
But that’s easier said than done. Even people with whom we have forged the strongest bonds tend to disappear on us during our difficult times.
The closest people tend to become but mere strangers, as if you never shared your lives together.
One of the most excruciating things in the world is watching somebody who meant the world to you become cold or aloof.
Signs Of A One-Sided Friendship
One-sided friendships usually become that way due to new friends who people start spending more time with, in order to find a better friend than you.
Posting photos on social media of their new adventures with people they had just met, completely leaving you behind, becomes the new norm.
One-sided friendships tend to make you feel alone, unheard, unimportant and unlovable.
They mess up your mental health and give you such a hard time dealing with the simplest tasks.
All you can think about is what happened. Where has your good friend gone and how did it become this complicated?
Are their new friends really there to replace the bond you’ve shared for so long or are there other factors playing a role?
Here, I’ll delve deeper into the intricacies of one-sided friendships and help you gain a better understanding of your issues in order to help you find a solution.
Perhaps your problem can be salvaged and the toxic friendship that has started messing with your mental health isn’t as one-sided as it seems.
True friends are always worth the bother.
Let’s find out if your unbalanced friendship has any characteristics of a one-sided friendship and if there’s a way to move forward to a healthier place with your once good friend.
1. They only call when it suits them
A major sign of a one-sided friendship is when your friend calls only when they need something from you.
Pay attention to this because it will tell you a lot. Toxic friendships are characterized by a lack of interest and only calling when in need of a favor.
Sometimes, there comes a time in any good friendship when one friend goes through a troubling time which manifests in them calling and leaning on you much more often than normal.
And that’s a major difference from a one-sided friendship.
When this is the norm and you never get called by them unless it’s for their own selfish purposes, you know you’re in a toxic friendship.
A good friend makes sure to call and check in on you no matter what they’re going through.
Recognize this toxic pattern and don’t let them give you a hard time if they never make an effort around you apart from when they have an agenda.
2. They don’t respect your time
Good friends value your time. They make sure to stick to your plans and show up on time.
When you have plans to get together, they don’t show up last minute or even worse, hours late, because they respect you as a person and know your time is valuable.
Bad friends, on the other hand, don’t give a rat’s ass about your time.
They show up whenever they want and if you have an issue with them being late, they just brush it off.
Your social life has become a shambles because you can never count on your friend to show up on time, if at all!
Unbalanced friendships start out exactly like this.
A complete disregard of one’s time, not caring to show up at a designated hour and making difficult times that much more difficult.
They just don’t care that real friendships are a two-way street.
When they find a better friend, they spend less time worrying about you and more time on their new best friend.
3. They barely let you speak
Lately, you’ve been feeling muzzled around them. Whether in a group of friends or just the two of you, it’s always their turn to speak.
A person who used to be such a good friend to you has now started shutting you off in more ways than one.
You’re having a hard time getting your voice heard and you don’t really know how to deal with that.
Do you let them know you’ve been feeling left out? Do you express your worries or do you silently hope for a better turn of events?
I can’t speak about your particular situation but I do know a little bit about one-sided friendships and this issue.
When you’re being denied your voice and made feel unheard, you speak up and you fight for your place in your friendship. Never let toxic friendships win.
If this person wants to make you feel unworthy of having an opinion, show them just how loud and proud you can be.
It can result in them realizing the error of their ways or in you realizing that they’ve never truly appreciated you. Either way, it’s a win for you.
4. They don’t listen to you either
A real friend is a good listener. Real friendships thrive on good, honest communication and transparency.
But in a one-sided friendship, one friend never bothers to actually listen.
They pretend to hear what you’re saying but they’re really just waiting for their turn to talk.
Even when you do get to speak (which is rare, as mentioned above) it’s as if you’re talking to a wall.
There’s no rapport between you anymore. Even if they’ve always been a chatterbox and you not so much, that still doesn’t give them the right to be so cold.
A good friend will always make you feel heard and understood.
When you’re having a hard time being heard by someone you used to consider one of your best friends, ask yourself what went wrong.
Why are they icing you out like this? There’s no point sticking around with someone who keeps giving you the cold shoulder.
5. They keep ‘borrowing’ your belongings
Friends borrow things from each other, that’s a given. I’ve lent things to my best friends millions of times and vice versa.
But in a one-sided friendship, you rarely ever get your stuff back. And you feel kind of bad asking for it back as well.
How many times has your friend borrowed something and then accidentally forgotten to give it back? Pay attention to this as it’s a huge red flag.
You know better than anyone what you let your friends borrow and how often they let you borrow something of theirs.
It’s only fair that you get to borrow something from them if you keep letting them wear your stuff. But does it happen?
When was the last time you borrowed something from this friend? Think about it.
It needs to go both ways or it’s nothing but a one-sided friendship where you keep getting used.
6. They’re deeply ungrateful
Real friends never take each other for granted! Being grateful in a friendship is a must and you should never feel like you’re being used or taken advantage of.
But in a one-sided friendship, you never hear, ”Thank you.”
Your efforts are never appreciated and it’s as if they keep expecting your kindness without ever reciprocating being appreciative.
It doesn’t even have to be anything big but if you keep paying for drinks or if you’re always the one hosting your get-togethers, you never hear a word out of them.
It is expected that you’ll be at their beck and call and anytime you suggest someone else take your place, they make you feel guilty about it, as if hosting them should be some kind of privilege.
It’s important to be thankful at all times. What would your family members say if they knew how you were being treated?
Just think about your mom and how disappointed she would be if she knew that you let people take your kindness for granted.
She raised you to be better than that, so stop offering your best to someone who keeps showing you their worst and close the door to one-sided friendships once and for all.
7. If you don’t make plans, you don’t get invited anywhere
The sad truth is that if you think that you’d never get invited anywhere unless you took the initiative, you’re probably in a one-sided friendship.
Friends who love you and enjoy spending time with you make sure to include you in their plans.
No new friends could ever make them forget about you.
If you love someone, you make an effort to be around them whenever it’s possible but in a toxic friendship, you’ll often feel like the black sheep of the group, as you never get invited unless you ask if there are plans to meet up.
I know it’s really difficult admitting this to yourself (I’ve been there and I honestly know the pain of realizing this tough truth) but when a person keeps proving to you that you mean so little to them, believe them!
You’re better off without them anyway.
There are so many kind people in this world and you’re stuck on this toxic friend who keeps disregarding your feelings.
Move away from them and open your eyes to a life without them. Soon, you’ll see how colorful life can be when you weed out a bad friend.
8. They’re apathetic toward you
In an unbalanced friendship, one friend is steering the wheel while the other one is much less interested in staying on the road.
Basically, they just don’t care about you anymore. You’re the one keeping things going while they’re dragging you down.
Sometimes, there’s not much to do other than accept this brutal reality.
If you keep trying to salvage something that’s no longer there, you’re hurting yourself in the long run.
I know the pain of being shut off from somebody you considered a best friend. I never got my closure and I never got any answers.
I was simply left without a word and I had to make my peace after shedding so many tears.
Life moves on, shitty friends break you and you learn how to piece yourself back together.
It’s tough, it’s inexplicably sad but you pull through because that’s your only choice. Life will be okay at some point again. Not today but someday.
9. They expect too much from you
Your kind head and unselfish nature often lead to you doing stuff for people without expecting anything in return.
It’s simply in your nature to be there for your friends, be that emotionally, physically or even financially.
One-sided friendships are a whole other ball game.
If there was ever an instance where you offered to cover the tab or pay for your friend’s dinner because they were tight in the money department, now, it’s become the norm.
When the check comes, all eyes are on you.
They are always in a worse situation than you, so it’s expected that you’ll keep paying. That’s called emotional manipulation.
You’re made to feel obligated to keep doing things of this nature because they think you have it better than them.
Even if this was the case, this is wrong on so many levels. You are not responsible for your friend.
You do not have to keep being there for them in whichever capacity they need you to if you’re made to feel obliged to do it.
That is not a friendship; it’s a toxic environment where you’re being manipulated and used.
10. They’re flaky and undependable
At this point, you cannot depend on your friend even for the littlest things.
They are completely unreliable and have bailed on you on so many occasions thus far.
You cannot rely on them to be prompt or genuine anymore.
The key quality of a balanced friendship is consistency. Saying something and knowing your friend is good for it.
Promising to pick you up at the airport and knowing they’ll be there.
Walking your dog when they say they would and not forgetting to show up after your doctor’s appointment.
When consistency stops being a factor, it is highly likely that you’re in an unbalanced friendship.
Pay attention to who flakes on you and who shows up even in difficult times. That will tell you more than words ever will.
One-sided friendships are difficult to deal with but the sooner you rip off the Band-Aid, the sooner it’ll stop hurting.
11. You’re always the designated driver
This pertains to those with a driver’s license. With good friends, you’re never made to feel like you’re nothing but a chauffeur.
Even if you’re one of the few in your group who can actually drive, they know better than to keep expecting you to drive them everywhere.
But in one-sided friendships, you’re basically their own personal Uber.
Be that a night out or a groceries run, they’ll always happily point out how lucky they are to have you to drive them.
But they’ll never stop to see how selfish it is to keep expecting you to just stop your life and be their driver as if your time is not important.
Even worse is when they make you drive on nights out; you never get to have a single drink while they happily keep drinking their butts off.
Don’t be anyone’s doormat! Just because you drive, it doesn’t mean you always have to!
Good friends will find a way in which you get to participate on drunken adventures without being their designated sober chauffeur.
Real friends care more to actually spend time with you than to have your driving services.
12. They make you feel exhausted
This is the saddest part.
No matter how much you want to save this friendship or how close you once were, now, after being around them, all you feel is deep exhaustion.
That’s what an unbalanced friendship does to a person.
Being around someone who keeps using you, taking advantage of you and being selfishly unkind to you drains you and destroys your mental health.
After getting home, all you can think about is how peaceful and nice it is to be not surrounded by them and as horrible as it may sound, you’re kind of glad they’re no longer there, at least for the remainder of the day.
My advice is listen to your gut. If someone makes you feel drained and used, they’re not your friend.
They probably never were. It may have taken you a bit longer to see it but now you get to decide that it’s time to say your goodbyes.
After discarding toxic, bad friends from your life, for a while, you’ll be feeling lost and a little bit broken.
But one day, you’ll simply wake up with a brand new perspective that will help you turn over a new leaf.
You start seeing things for how they really are as opposed to how you wanted them to be.
Bad friends start to show themselves and you realize how rare and priceless good friends really are.
You get a brand new outlook on life and you choose to discard your one-sided friendship for the sake of your mental health.
No more fake friends and wasted time. Unbalanced friendships are a toxic waste of time and yours is simply too valuable for anyone who doesn’t see the value of being around you.
Knowing your worth is the key to finding people whose company will make you feel good about yourself. It isn’t selfish putting yourself first.
It isn’t wrong to want to find a deep, genuine connection with somebody who will appreciate what you bring to the table.
You deserve to be loved for your intellect and your kindness.
Moving on is never easy but when you know it’s the right thing to do, you never look back.
You decide to leave the bad in the past and focus on the good in your present.
And before you know it, it starts to feel so damn good after being so bad for far too long.