25 signs of a one-sided friendship (+ what to do about it)

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pexels tima miroshnichenko 5804997 25 signs of a one-sided friendship (+ what to do about it)

Is your best friend giving you the cold shoulder?

Maybe they’ve been ignoring you for some time, but this time it feels different.

Sometimes, a friendship can feel really amazing at first. But after some time, you start to notice that the other person isn’t reciprocating the amount of effort that you’re putting in.

Do you wonder if they’re just blowing you off, or if something else is going on?

If so, here are 25 signs of a one-sided friendship, and what you can do about it.

25 sure signs of a one-sided friendship

1) Your friend only calls whenever they need something

When was the last time your friend called you?

Do they ever ask you how you feel? Or do they only contact you whenever they need something?

Think about it. If your friend only calls when they need something, it might be a sign of a one-sided friendship. Why?

Because it means that they’re not interested in you as a person. However unfortunate it may sound, that’s just the truth and you need to do something about it to avoid disappointment.

2) They only talk about themselves

Your friend constantly tells you about your problems. They’re always telling you about their latest adventure or how their day went. And in the middle of the conversation, you notice that there’s no space for you to talk.

Does that sound familiar?

I know the feeling. And also, I’m certain that it’s a sign of a one-sided friendship.

Why?

Because if you’re a friend, you should be interested in people and their problems. The reason is that talking about our problems helps so much. But if your friend only talks about themselves, it could be a sign that they don’t want to hear about your problems.

3) They never invite you to hang out

Who is the one of you two who tends to initiate your hangouts?

I bet it’s not your friend.

If that’s the case, then it might be a sign of a one-sided friendship, and the reason is simple: your friend doesn’t want to hang out with you.

Sadly, such things often happen in friendships. But it doesn’t mean that your only option is to pull away. Instead, you need to take matters into your own hands.

4) They don’t care about your problems

Let me take a wild guess.

You’re always there for your best friend whenever they need you. But sometimes, they don’t offer support when you need them the most.

Maybe they’re too busy with their own problems, or they’re not interested in hearing about yours.

Whatever the problem is, you need to find a way to approach it. Otherwise, it’s not going to work. Why?

Because the main purpose of friendship is to care for one another and help each other through tough times. No pressure there, but if you want to keep your friendship alive, you should make your friend realize that they need to make an effort.

5) They don’t seem to care about you or your well-being

Does it feel like you’re not important to your friend?

Is it possible that they only see you as a source of help and nothing more?

It’s sad but true. If the answer is yes, then it might be a sign of a one-sided friendship. Why?

Because friendship is supposed to be a two-way street where both parties have equal rights and equal obligations. At least, that’s what one of my favorite cliche sayings is about.

The truth is that friendship is not only about helping each other; it’s about caring for each other. And if one person doesn’t seem to care about the well-being of their friend, then they might as well be called a friend of convenience.

6) They only keep you as a friend to receive benefits

pexels mike jones 9052324 25 signs of a one-sided friendship (+ what to do about it)

What is your advantage towards your friend?

Are you more popular? Are you smarter? Do you have more money?

Think about it.

In fact, people often tend to keep the people they like as friends simply because of their benefits.

Sometimes, you might think that you’re wrong and that your friend is genuinely interested in being your friend. But deep down, it’s possible that they only want to use you.

Think I’m exaggerating? Let’s then put it another way.

For example, maybe your friend only keeps you as a friend because he feels like he owes you something or because he thinks it makes him look better. That’s not the kind of friendship I’m talking about here.

Real friends are there for each other, no matter what, even if they don’t have to be there for each other at that moment. If your friend isn’t willing to do this, then I’m sure you’d be disappointed and feel embarrassed about it.

But don’t worry; it doesn’t mean that your only option is to move on from there.

7) They never call if they have a bad day

If you’re a good friend, why would you be upset if they didn’t call?

It’s sad but true: sometimes, we tend to forget that our friends are people too. We don’t think about them when they’re having a bad day and we don’t take the time to ask how they are doing.

Maybe your friend is having a bad day because some of the things that have happened lately haven’t been the best. Or maybe something’s bothering them more than what they want to tell you about.

In any case, it’s important to take care of your friends as if they’re human beings and not just as people who need help. That’s probably why I’m saying this now.

8) They try to control your actions

Have you ever been friends with a person who tries to control your actions?

Maybe your friend has never asked you what you want to do and they always seem to have the answer before you can do anything. Or maybe they’re constantly telling you that doing this or doing that would be better for everyone.

I know it’s difficult to say no, especially when someone cares about you, but it’s important not to let them control your life or even your thoughts all the time.

9) They often make you feel guilty

Maybe your friend has always been making you feel bad about things that have happened in the past and they’re always pointing out how terrible it is.

I know this might sound harsh. I’m not saying that people should keep their thoughts to themselves, but it’s important to remember that everyone has their own opinion.

If we all listened to each other and our friends didn’t tell us what they thought, we wouldn’t learn anything new or grow as people.

Do you see where we’re going with this?

I hope you do, because if it sounds familiar to you, then chances are high that you’re in a one-sided friendship and this needs to stop!

10) They try to get you to do things for them

Let’s be honest. You don’t have to be a saint to know that it’s easy to get someone to do something for you.

We’re all human, and we’re all going to make mistakes. But that doesn’t mean that we should be taken advantage of by our friends.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t help your friends if they ask for it, but it’s important to remember that they’ll always have the power over you because they know what will make you feel happy and what will make them feel better.

11) They always want to be the center of attention

Ever noticed how hard your friend tries to be the center of attention?

Maybe they’re always talking about themselves and trying to impress others. Or maybe they’re always trying to make sure everyone knows who they are.

Either way, you must know that your friend is only doing this because they want you to like them and feel good about them.

They don’t really care about you or what you think of them. And if you find yourself saying yes to everything because of this, then it might be time for a change in your friendship!

I know that sometimes we might feel like we need our friends’ attention, but it’s important not to let them get away with it.

Sometimes we’re too busy worrying about ourselves, so we forget that our friends are also human beings, and they need their own time just as much as we do. But accepting this will only harm your friendship, and that’s why you need to tell your friend to stop seeking attention.

12) They never pay attention to what you’re saying or doing

Let me guess. You’re talking to your friend, and they sit there and look at their phone.

They’re not paying attention to what you’re saying because they don’t care.

But I think that’s the most hurtful thing about this situation.

When you talk to someone, it’s important that you listen and respond because it’s a sign of respect. But when your friend doesn’t pay attention to anything you do or say, then the only thing that will come out of this is a bad feeling.

And if you feel bad, it’ll only make things worse for both of you!

13) You always invite them to your parties, but they never ask you to

When was the last time you were invited to your friend’s party?

Do they ever invite you to their own events? Are they always inviting you over for a party, but never inviting you anywhere else?

If your friend never invites you anywhere else, it might be a sign of a one-sided friendship. Why?

Because it means that they’re not interested in getting to know you better. They prefer to hang out with others. But if your friend is constantly inviting you everywhere else, then it means that they’re interested in getting to know you better.

14) They never express their feelings to you – ever!

Did you know that expressing feelings is a sign of sincerity?

And friends do need to be sincere with each other, right?

Well, when someone doesn’t express their feelings to you, it means that they don’t care about your feelings.

That said, it’s also a sign of a one-sided friendship when your friend never expresses their emotions to you.

Why? Because it’s always important that friends express their feelings to each other!

Fact: if your friend doesn’t care about your feelings, then it will only make things worse for both of you. And if this continues, then it might be time for a change in your friendship!

15) They always have an excuse for everything they do wrong

pexels cottonbro 4778622 25 signs of a one-sided friendship (+ what to do about it)

Every time you ask your friend why they did something, they always have an excuse. They didn’t go to your birthday party because they were sick. They never did their homework because they were too busy. They didn’t call you because they didn’t have the time.

But when you ask them why they did something wrong, they always have an excuse!

Sounds familiar, right?

The simple truth is that this is a sign of a one-sided friendship when your friend always has an excuse for everything they do wrong.

Why? Because it shows that they don’t care about their actions and that they’re not serious about their friendships.

What’s the point of having friends if you can’t trust them? If your friend doesn’t trust you, then it means that they don’t care about your feelings at all! And if this continues, then it might be time to change your friendship!

16) They never listen to your advice

Let me guess – when you’re trying to help your friend, they never listen to you.

They always find excuses for not doing what you ask them to do. They don’t listen when you try to give them advice. They don’t take your advice into consideration at all!

But when you ask your friend for advice, they will always have an excuse!

Why? Because it’s a sign of a one-sided friendship when your friend never listens to any of your advice.

Why should they listen to you if they have everything already? If they feel that they don’t need anyone’s help with anything, then it means that they don’t care about their friendships! And that’s not cool at all!

17) They never offer help

Your friend never offers to help you clean up after a party when anyone else would do it happily. They never offer to help you with your homework or do anything for you because they don’t want to be a burden.

But let’s be honest again.

What’s the point of having friends if they don’t care about helping each other? Personally, I believe that whenever you’re in trouble, you should ask your friends for help. But when you do this, your one-sided friends will most likely have an excuse!

18) They always turn down your invitations

“Why?” You’ll ask, “I invited them to come over to my house for dinner. Why wouldn’t they want to come over?”

Well, because they’re probably busy right now or because they don’t want to hang out with you anymore.

But the most common reason is that they just don’t want to hang out with you anymore! They don’t want to be friends anymore. It’s not that they don’t like you or anything, it’s just that they’re tired of you and your friends being around.

And that’s a good thing! If they don’t want to hang out with you, then maybe it’s time for you to go to them!

19) They never appreciate anything you do for them

Like everything else, when you’re trying to help your friend, they never appreciate it. They always find an excuse not to say thank you. They always find ways to make you feel bad because of something that happened in the past.

But if they don’t appreciate everything you do for them, then what’s the point of being friends?

Let me say this straight.

If you’re trying to help your friend and they don’t appreciate it, then it’s time for them to go. Why?

Because otherwise, you’ll just end up doing everything for your one-sided friend anyway, and they won’t appreciate it.

20) They never give you a compliment

Now I’m going to stop you right there and let you think about it.

When was the last time you’re friend said something nice to you? Maybe about your appearance, or your personality, or your skills?

Surprisingly enough, now you realize that it’s been so long, they never said anything nice to you.

However, compliments do make us feel good. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but it’s true.

They don’t say anything nice to you because they don’t want to be your friend anymore! They don’t want to be friends with someone who isn’t good enough for them.

If that’s all true, then why would anyone want to be friends with someone like that?

21) They always put themselves before you

Perhaps unsurprisingly, friendships are for sacrifices. At least, that’s what I believe in personally.

This means that if you’re a good friend, you’ll have to sacrifice your time and energy for their sake.

It’s not because they don’t like you or anything, it’s just that they’re selfish. They have their own needs and desires. And if they don’t get what they want, then they’ll start putting their needs before those of their friends.

To make matters worse, chances are that you’ll start to feel bad about yourself.

You’ll start to feel like you aren’t a good friend, and you don’t deserve to be one. You’ll start to think that maybe they’re right and that maybe you should just go away and leave them alone.

But if you do that, then you’re going to have a rough time in life.

Because what friends do for each other is important, whether they say it or not. When things get tough, they are there for each other. When the going gets tough, so does their friendship.

You can’t just abandon your friends when the going gets tough; in fact, the only thing that can keep you going is your friendship.

So don’t let them put themselves before you. And instead of feeling about yourself, try to start loving yourself!

22) They always talk about you behind your back

Now this is something that I’ve seen a lot of people do. And I’m going to say this straight: if someone is talking about you behind your back, then it means that they probably don’t want to be your friend anymore.

Did you know that only fake people talk about you behind your back? That’s because they don’t want to be the ones who have to tell you the truth.

And if they don’t want to do that, then there’s a good chance that they just don’t care about you anymore.

They’re not really your friends, so why should you put up with them? Why should you put up with someone who doesn’t even care about you? They’re just talking about themselves and their problems and how great they are when in reality, they’re probably horrible people.

So if someone is talking about you behind your back, then it means that you’re in a one-sided friendship.

23)  Your friend seems embarrassed around you

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What is your friend’s reaction when they see your picture on social media? What do they do when they see you with your friends?

They ask you if they can tag along and what are they doing? They always seem to be hanging around you, and I’m going to say this straight: they don’t care about you.

They might not have said anything, but their actions speak louder than words.

The only reason why they hang around is that it’s easier for them to run away from their problems when they’re with you. But the truth is that it doesn’t make them feel better about themselves or their problems.

When things get tough, then so does their friendship. So if your friend is uncomfortable around you, then it means that the relationship is unhealthy and that your friendship isn’t going to last.

24) They accuse you of acting selfishly

When you’re having a conversation with your friend, and they start to accuse you of acting selfishly, it’s usually because they want something from you.

But wait a minute and ask yourself: are you really that selfish?

Or maybe, you think your friend is more selfish than you, and you’re probably right!

There are many reasons why you might think your friend is more selfish than you. Maybe they’re a little too focused on themselves and their own needs, or maybe they don’t care about the needs of others as much as you do.

But whatever it is that makes them seem like less of an altruist than you, there’s no doubt in our minds that this person has been making bad choices for quite some time now!

They don’t really care about your problems or what’s going on in your life. They’re only interested in what makes them look good in front of their friends.

It doesn’t matter if it’s something small or big – they’ll always accuse you of acting selfishly.

But the truth is that when someone accuses you of being selfish, they’re probably jealous and afraid that they might lose their friendship as well.

So if someone accuses you of being selfish, then it means that they don’t care about you.

25) You feel physically uncomfortable when they’re around

If most of these signs seem familiar to you, then don’t even try to deny it – you’ve noticed it too.

You might feel physically uncomfortable when your friend is around, and this can range from a mild case of butterflies in your stomach to the feeling that you want to run away from them at lightning speed.

Deep down, you know it’s true.

You might feel this way if you don’t like the way that they treat you, or maybe you don’t like the way that they speak to you.

Whatever it is that makes you uncomfortable around them, there’s no doubt in our minds that there’s something wrong with this person.

They’re not your friends and never will be! Don’t ever let yourself be taken advantage of by someone who doesn’t care about you!

I’m in a one-sided friendship. What should I do?

If you’re in a one-sided friendship, the best way to avoid being taken advantage of is by not getting involved with people who don’t care about you. It’s hard, but it’s the only thing that will keep you safe from their schemes and manipulations.

You don’t want to keep going back and forth with the same person, do you?

Then, it’s obviously better for you to stay away from them and avoid being hurt, and here’s how:

  • Tell them directly what you think – The best way to get through to someone is by telling them directly what you think. We should always be honest with our opinions and thoughts, even if we are unsure of how others will react.
  • Stop communicating with them – If you want to avoid a one-sided friendship, all you have to do is tell them that you won’t be communicating with them anymore. Ignoring them will help you get through this difficult time.
  • Block them on social media – You can’t avoid them forever, but you can at least block the person from your social media accounts. This will prevent them from contacting you or trying to contact you in any way.
  • Change your phone number – You can also change your phone number, which will make it difficult for them to contact you in any way.
  • Get support from your family – If you’re in a one-sided friendship and have no support, then it’s best to get your family involved. They can be very helpful in this situation. Your parents and siblings are usually the ones that understand what you go through better than anyone else, so they should definitely help out!
  • Gain new friends – It’s always best to make new friends. They might not understand how you feel, but they’ll be able to help you feel better and give you a shoulder to lean on. That way, you can finally start moving forward and forget about the one-sided friendship that you went through.

Final words

All in all, one-sided friendships are often the result of different personalities. You may feel like you cannot connect with a friend on a deep level because they are introverted, overly competitive, or insecure.

It can be frustrating when your only option is to pull away from them without addressing the issue.

However, the best thing to do is to tell them that you cannot continue being friends and that you want to be more than just good friends.

Remember, if they were really your friend, they wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings by breaking up with you – they would do it out of their own good intentions. So, you should be able to move on and forget about the one-sided friendship.

Nato Lagidze

Nato is a writer and a researcher with an academic background in psychology. She investigates self-compassion, emotional intelligence, psychological well-being, and the ways people make decisions. Writing about recent trends in the movie industry is her other hobby, alongside music, art, culture, and social influences. She dreams to create an uplifting documentary one day, inspired by her experiences with strangers.

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