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What to do About Complicated Friendships

You have a complicated friendship. You have a friend who only calls when she needs something. She doesn’t respond when you ask for help. Or she will say yes, and then at the last minute, cancel on you. Should you stop being her friend?

Well, this is a good question. First, let me ask you to evaluate your friendship. Has this friend been this way your entire relationship or just recently due to the struggle you mentioned she is going through? What kind of person is this friend? Is she shy? Is she private? Is she scared? Is she insecure? Yes, I know I am asking you to think a lot about her, but she is 50 percent of this relationship, and you seem to have your half down and understood.

Sometimes — women especially — instead of reaching out, shrink back. They get scared and don’t know how to get out of their funk. Their lives are full of things that make them unhappy and if you are a friend, like me, who is a pretty open book, this can be hard for some people to be around. So, go at it softly. Send her a card, just letting her know you are thinking of her. Ask her to go to lunch — it’s less committing, less intrusive and can often ease someone into a good conversation during a “quick break” from work.

When you have had a chance to hear where she is at and what is going on with her, take the chance to tell her how you feel. Tell her that it has hurt your feelings when she skipped out on you and didn’t show up. Tell her that you need her as well and you feel resentful (or whatever words fits the experience) and want to have a loving relationship with her moving forward. This will give her a chance to decide if she can be this friend for you. If she cannot, that is OK. Really. At least now you know you have to invest your energy elsewhere.

You are you worthy of great relationships!

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