There are many things in life that go one way. Time itself is a one-way street, after all. However, one part of life that many will agree shouldn’t go both ways is a friendship. One sign that your good friend may not be as good as you thought is if you’re the one who has to put all the effort into it. This is known as a one-sided friendship. In this post, we’ll look at what a one-sided friendship is, why it happens, and what you can do about it.
What is a One-Sided Friendship?
In the simplest terms, a one-sided friendship is a friendship (this can apply to intimate relationships as well,) where one person seems to put most of the effort into. While a close friendship doesn’t always have to be fully 50/50, a one-sided friendship is so skewed to the other side, then something is up.
Signs of a one-sided friendship include:
- Only one person initiates the conversation. For example, you always have to be the one who texts you, and they never, or rarely, message you first. If you never messaged them, the friendship is as good as dead.
- You always have to go to them to hang out. This especially applies if they have a method of transportation to see you. If they don’t have the means to see you, this is more forgivable.
- You help them out, but they’re never there to help you when you need it.
- They may only initiate contact with you if they need something.
Odds are, you’ve had this type of relationship in your life, and you may have believed that this person secretly doesn’t like you. However, this is not always true. Let’s look at some reasons why a person may behave this way.
Reasons Why a Person Who Likes You May Be One-Sided
They Have an Expectation Based on Past Experiences
Sometimes, a one-sided friendship occurs because you always were the one to initiate contact or visit them, and because of this, a person may expect that the burden of communication is on you. Think about your friendships. If they mostly started with you doing all the work, this may be a reason.
They’re Awkward With Initiating First Contact
Sometimes, the person you talk to is a little socially awkward with texting first. This could be due to past experiences, or because they’re naturally awkward. Some people may not want to text someone first because they feel like they’re being annoying, or think you’re always busy. This is something a person should work on, but instead many just expect their friend to do most of the work.
They Live a Busy Life
Let’s face it: some people are busy. Friendships, where one person works more, may end up with the less busy one initiating contact. While everyone has a phone in their pockets, some people may be too exhausted or distracted to make first contact.
They’re More of An Acquaintance
With everyone being connected, the line between friendship and acquaintance starts to blur. An acquaintance used to be your coworker or classmate. Now, they can be someone you’re Facebook friends with, who you hung out with a few times, but isn’t quite your friend yet. If that person doesn’t have a deep connection with you, they may be more of an acquaintance. There’s always a chance that relationship will evolve, however, and that person may still like you.
Bad Reasons Why Someone May Be One-Sided
They Don’t Like You
When it comes to a one-sided friendship, this is the conclusion most people jump to. In many cases, you may just be overthinking things, and people actually like you.
However, some people don’t. There are some people who will talk to you, and who may even hang out with you, but they don’t like you. This can especially apply if this person is someone you meet through another friend. If they always lie to you, this can be another sign that they don’t like you. Find someone who does.
They Want to Use You
Some people use others for money, social interaction, or other reasons. If a person only contacts you when they need something, it may be due to this. Some rely on others without anything in return, and this can be a toxic dynamic.
What Can You Do About it?
Many people have a zero-tolerance policy against this behavior, and they’ll say that if someone is being one-sided, they have the worst intentions and that you should cut out that friendship ASAP. However, you do have to remember that some people do like you, but are awkward.
Here’s what you can do about it.
Talk to Them About it
Talking about it to them is the first solution. However, don’t be aggressive or too confrontational. Meet in person if you can, and have a civil conversation about it. Instead of using accusatory language, explain how the one-sided friendship makes yourself feel. Perhaps mention you’ve had it in the past.
A good friend may explain why they’ve been one-sided and will try to improve themselves any way they can. If the friend is toxic, they may get hostile, or they may even start to gaslight you, saying that you’re overreacting or that they don’t do this.
In the case of the latter, it may be time to stop contacting them altogether. Life is too short for friends who are one-sided. The good thing about ending a one-sided friendship is that it doesn’t take too much to end it. Just don’t talk to them anymore, and that’s usually the end of that.
One-sided friendships can be quite frustrating, and you may feel many different emotions if you’re in the middle of one. It’s important to think critically about the friendship, try to make changes, and if the friendship feels toxic, then it’s time to end the relationship.
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