Having a fight with your best friend can be make or break. But if you two fight and nothing changes because of it, that can be so much worse.
I’ve spent the last couple of months having a strained relationship with my current best friend. It started when she moved in with my family for a month while she made arrangements to move from Denver to Pueblo. We fought a lot during that time; mostly about me. She accused me of never spending time with her anymore and opting for my boyfriend and of being pathetic about my life situation. So I tried to be a better friend, of course.
I stopped bringing my boyfriend around as much out of respect for her and her feelings and I tried to quit complaining about my problems.
But it wasn’t enough.
I stepped and was almost constantly bailing her out of situations she put herself into; I maxed out my credit card to fly her back from a bad road trip to Texas, I pulled all the savings I had so she could get a down payment on an old truck she wanted… The list goes on.
But it gets tiring when you feel like you’re the only one making an effort in the relationship.
Here are some warning signs that could mean your friendship is rocky:
- You feel tense when you plan to hang out, like anxious or nervous
- You dread their phone calls or texts
- When you do hang out, it’s more often then not an activity they wanted to do and they picked out/arranged
- When you fight, they make no effort to resolve the problems brought up during the fight
- Sometimes they get jealous of you talk to mutual friends or people you both know that they no longer talk to
- They don’t want you to spend time with anyone but them, but it’s okay if they have other friends/significant others in their life
- You’re not allowed to ‘complain’ or can’t about a tough situation in your life, cause they have to talk about their life and the bad situations they turned good
- You can’t really talk about anything anymore without them turning it into an argument about you (we literally had a fight about car engines one time cause all I said was that I know that a certain one was cheap which is why everyone used it in restorations and she blew up because she thought I was disagreeing with her claim that no one should use them)
- You can’t talk about your own significant other, especially if they just had a break up, as they will get jealous that you are in a relationship and in a relationship that doesn’t involve them
- They have no accountability for their actions
- They put you into bad situations, either purposefully or through negligence (she left me alone to walk 3 blocks downtown on a Friday night at 1 in the morning so she could go hang out with her new friends and didn’t bother to offer me a ride to my ride or even call/text me to see if I made it all right)
- You get so annoyed with them that you complain to your other friends/significant other about them
My friend was great to me until I started my job and started dating my boyfriend. She became more controlling and demanding of me, but because she was my friend I felt I needed to oblige. However, this caused me to quit talking to several of my friends she had a separate falling out with, and it caused me to slack at work since she would call me during my shifts to help her out with a scary adult task. However, I hope this is just because she is a stupid kid still, and will grow up eventually.
I put my foot down and finally accused her what I had been seeing. I told her we need to take a break from being friends, because we were both going through high stress situations with school and working and our other relationships, so we needed to focus on ourselves instead of trying to be good friends to each other and neglecting our other responsibilities. She of course changed her tube when I said this, saying she was sorry and that she could see how she effected my life, in an attempt to placate me; but I held firm.
Here’s what I wish I could’ve done instead:
- Sit down just the two of you in a quiet environment and actually talk about the tension you feel
- Tell them everything: when they frustrate you, when you feel underappreciated by them, when you have other obligations and you need to give them more attention first… Just communicate openly
- Be firm, don’t back down after bringing up a topic about their character. Don’t try to justify it, just tell them how you feel when they act like that or treat you like that
- Don’t let them treat you anyway you don’t want to be; don’t be treated as a secondary friend of you’re out in a group, don’t let yourself be their back up emergency contact if they can’t figure out how to do something, don’t be the only thing stable in the lives and don’t let them drag you into uncomfortable situations
A relationship of any kind needs a solid foundation of communication and understanding. But if you’re the only one pouring the relationship cement while they sit there and throw sticks and rocks into it, then how stable and healthy is your relationship (any kind of relationship) going to be?