Warning Signs Your Friend Doesn't Care About You (4 Key Patterns)
Is this person really my friend?
I've had this thought before.
Because, after investing so much time in a relationship, you expect it to be a certain way.
But that's not always the case.
Sometimes the writing is on the wall, and you think:
"This person doesn't seem to care about me very much."
A real friend would never--or rarely--engage in the patterns listed below.
It's time to learn if you have a true friend or...one of those fake friends who are, unfortunately, much more common than we might like to admit.
Signs Your Friend Doesn't Care About You (True Friend or One-Sided Friendship?)
They're a Fair-Weather Friend
This is one of the biggest signs that your friend doesn't care.
If your friend only wants to hang out during the good times, buyer beware.
A real friend is one who will support you through good and bad. Especially through good and bad.
A fair-weather friend only solves half of that equation.
This type of friend wants life with you to be easy and comfortable.
As a result, they only show up when it's convenient for them.
So, in a way, they aren't really a friend at all.
It's a Very One-Sided Friendship
Built into the word and idea of "friendship" is that it's two-sided.
When someone doesn't care about another person, it quickly becomes all about the one who doesn't care.
Where to hang out.
When to meet up.
What to do.
Who to involve.
All of these decisions come to be made by the other person. It's aggravating.
All good relationships involve a healthy give and take.
If you suspect that your friendship is becoming one-sided, it's time to collect some data.
How often is this happening?
Is there something that is triggering this behavior, or is it just the norm now?
Data drives decisions.
You need to collect as much as you can so you can make good decisions within the relationship--and, if it requires it, the fateful decision that you need to leave.
They're Not Happy For You When Things Go Well
This is especially insidious.
When you do well, when things are going swimmingly, you want someone with whom you can share those good feelings.
And you would think that any friend would be willing to do that, right?
Because not all people are truly your friends.
Not being happy for you is a tell-tale sign of a bad friend and of someone who might have other motives.
Healthy friendships involve two people who are committed to the relationship, and in that relationship is the implicit agreement that you will be happy for each other when success enters the picture.
Fake friends don't get this memo.
The next time something good happens to you, and you share it with your friends, ask yourself these questions:
- Do they seem happy for me?
- What is their body language telling me?
- Are they plastering on a fake smile?
- What kinds of comments do they make after I share my news?
Again, it all comes back to collecting data so that you can make informed decisions.
A Bad Friend is a Friend Who Doesn't Respect Your Mental Health
Good friends recognize the importance of emotional health / mental health.
This means they respect your boundaries.
More specifically, they respect your need for time apart. They listen to you when you're sharing difficult news. They don't belittle you or back-talk you. They treat you like any reasonable person would want to be treated.
Toxic friends are another story. They do more than make it all about them.
They manipulate and confuse. They get joy from making your life harder.
The more damaging the behavior, the greater the likelihood you might be in a toxic friendship.
It's hard to consider these friendships at all, but it can be hard to identify what's going on when you've been immersed in it for so long.
It's like a fish identifying that he's swimming through water.
He's more likely to say, "What's that?"
It's just part of life and is the way it's always been.
What to Do About a Friend (or Anyone) Who Doesn't Care About You
Ok, so all of this information is great, but I'm sure you didn't come here to read all this garbage about how bad people can be to each other.
I bet you want to do something about it.
If you recognize your life in any of the above statements, it's time to do something.
Let's address the common one-sided friendship scenarios.
The Fair-Weather Friend
With this kind of friendship, you need to figure out if this is really what's going on.
Don't draw conclusions from one incident.
Give your friend chances to come through.
Invite them out a number of times.
Tell them about the good and the bad.
Remember, you need to collect information to know if what you're seeing is actually a behavioral pattern.
If it's a true friendship, your friend will come through in bad times as well as good.
They may not be there all the time, but they will be there for you enough to have a good feeling about it.
And if you're still worried that this friend only wants to be there during good times, maybe it's time you have a conversation about it.
It could be that your friend has emotional baggage around difficult situations.
Be the friend you would want them to be, and talk to them about it!
Strong friendships are made stronger by tough conversations.
But if after several chances your friend still doesn't come through, it's probably time to move on.
The One-Sided Friendship
A healthy friendship has many sides. It's not all one thing.
But all relationships are one-sided from time to time.
What you're looking for are patterns of behavior to determine if you are in a healthy relationship or not.
Friends who don't care show it with their behaviors. Always follow what they do--not what they say.
It's easy to trick someone with words, but actions tell the whole story.
The next time you have some friend time, turn on your friend-analysis radar.
How much of each conversation is focused on your friend and their problems?
Does your friend ask you any questions?
Do they only want to hang out if they can dictate the terms?
The answers you get in response to questions like these will help you understand if you need to change something.
The Friend Who Isn't Happy For You
This is when bad behavior goes from bad to worse.
Some friends aren't malicious.
They just might be lazy or oblivious.
But then there are friends who willfully want you to fail.
This is never OK.
If you think your friend is treating you this way, you immediately need to decide if the relationship is worth it.
Life is too short to be in a damaging friendship.
It's much better to have a small circle of friends--or even a single point on that circle--than it is to have people in your life who want to see you struggle.
If you suspect that your friend is out to get you, you need to address it.
Find a calm, neutral location to meet up, and have the tough conversation.
If things still don't change after that, you need to choose yourself and your own mental health.
The Toxic Friend Who Hurts Your Mental Health
Because mental health is everything.
Study after study shows that relationships are vitally important to living a long and healthy life.
Why waste your one precious life on people who don't care about you?
If you have a disrespectful friend, you might have a toxic friend.
Toxic behavior can be:
If you're feeling any of these feelings coming from your "friend," then you're probably better off walking away.
You wouldn't tolerate this if it happened to other people, so why tolerate it when it happens to you?
At the end of the day, you have to clearly define the type of relationship you want, and then seek it out.
A one-sided friendship is not a fulfilling friendship.
And it might be one step away from a toxic friendship.
If you're having a tough time deciding what kind of friendship you're in, then you're probably in a one-sided friendship / unhealthy friendship.
You deserve to be happy.
And you deserve to have friends who are happy for you.