How to handle a lopsided friendship - Deepstash
How to handle a lopsided friendship

How to handle a lopsided friendship

Curated from: vox.com

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Fewer Friends For All

Fewer Friends For All

As we juggle the demands of this ongoing pandemic, friendships have shifted in all sorts of unexpected ways. Many people now seem to have less stamina for socializing.

People became used to having smaller social circles, and some realized they prefer keeping it that way. As a result, these people might be more choosy about the friendships they do invest time in. That’s mostly a good thing, but it can be painful for the people who are hurt that they are no longer a priority.

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Lopsided Friendships

Lopsided Friendships

A lopsided friendship happens when one friend is more active in maintaining contact and the other friend is more passive about keeping the connection going. It’s understandable to be sad or upset if you’re the one constantly reaching out, sending thoughtful messages and asking if you can schedule brunch or happy hour together.

We live longer if we feel connected and supported. So when someone expresses that they’re perhaps not as interested in being friends with us or they need a break or whatever, that can trigger this innate fear inside of us that we’re going to be alone or unvalued.

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Resist the Urge to Make Assumptions

Resist the Urge to Make Assumptions

It’s easy to jump to conclusions and assume that if we don’t hear from someone as often as we’d like to, that means they don’t like us, or they don’t value our friendship.

More likely: The other person is just busy — it’s not that deep.

The solution for baseless assumptions? Challenge these beliefs, which are likely way off-base. Are these negative thoughts based in reality, or is this your insecurity speaking? 

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Invite, Don’t Accuse

Invite, Don’t Accuse

People often wait to alert their friend to an issue until it’s boiled over from annoyance to full-on anger. The best time to address the issue is when you begin feeling that distance or imbalance in the relationship.

You might be tempted to blurt out, “Hey, I haven’t heard from you in a while. What gives?” But that could put your friend on the defence. Instead, let them know you’re reaching out to them out of a desire for their company, and not accusing them of what they’re failing to do.

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Be Flexible

Be Flexible

Your friend may be feeling like this is more of a logistics problem, and isn’t aware that you’re open to changing your established routine. So the next time you reach out, you could say something like:

  • Would you want to try something different the next time we meet? Maybe we can grab tea instead of cocktails?
  • Instead of meeting up for brunch, maybe we could grab a coffee or go for a walk in the park?
  • Maybe we can go on a double date so we can include our significant others?

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209 reads

Changing The Medium

Changing The Medium

Your friend also might prefer to change the mode and frequency of communication. Maybe texting is better for them instead of taking phone calls. Or they might want to talk on the phone once a week instead of exchanging DMs on a social platform they’re no longer using. Ask!

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If You’re the One Who Can’t Prioritize Your Friendships, Be Upfront About It

If You’re the One Who Can’t Prioritize Your Friendships, Be Upfront About It

Lots of people may find themselves on the opposite side of the spectrum: They’re the ones who are too snowed under to invest in their friendships. In this case, it is your responsibility, as a friend, to let the other person know about what they can expect from you for the foreseeable future.

It saves a lot of heartache for everyone if you tell them the truth about what is going on with you.

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Giving The Signal

Giving The Signal

If you need to let a friend know you won’t be as available in the future try saying this:

  • I know we tend to talk on the phone for hours, but I probably have an hour max on Sundays before I have to prepare for the week.
  • It’s been really hard for me to talk on the phone lately, so texting is the best way to reach me these next few weeks.
  • Hey, I know we usually talk every week. In this season of work, I’m swamped. I’ll drop you a line when things calm down.

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sarahmoren

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