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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Friend Used Me and Now She Avoids Me

Dear Stavroula,

I am a very introverted person and find it difficult to make friends. However, I managed to have a best friend for about two years. But there is something in her behavior that concerns me and I would like your opinion. My friend was a very sociable person and did a lot of socializing. But when she lost her father, she kept to herself and shunned everyone. Then we started hanging out and we became very close because I also lost my mother and I could understand how she felt. We shared a lot of things together and I can say that for the first time I felt I could trust someone outside of my family.

But lately, I’m feeling that something is wrong with our relationship. She almost never seeks to meet up and when I ask her, most of the time she has something to do. She makes plans with friends she knew before she met me and when I ask her why she did not invite me along, she answers with some funny excuses like “I did not know you like this…” or “you do not like her.” I think she used me when she needed me and now that she is better I no longer fit into her life. This hurts me a lot and I do not know what to do. Do you think it makes sense for me to keep trying to hold onto this relationship?

Konstantina

 

Dear Konstantina,

Friendship is a very important part of our lives and our friends are sometimes the people closest to us, the ones with whom we share happy and sad moments, our most hidden thoughts, our deepest feelings.

However, friendships, as well as love affairs, change over time. Sometimes they become stronger and other times they weaken until they are lost.

This has to do with many factors, one of which is the criteria by which we choose to get closer to a person. Sometimes we choose friends with whom we share common interests, common perceptions of life and the world, and common values. Other times we become close to someone else because we share common paths and experiences. Still other relationships are purely a matter of chance and perhaps necessity. In these cases, the friendship may be superficial and may not last.

The latter may have happened in your case as well. What may have united you with your friend was initially the shared experience of losing a parent and what that entails. But this alone may not have been enough for this relationship to evolve and stabilize over time. If you do not have common interests or common activities with your friend, if you have different values ​​or philosophies of life, it is difficult for your friendship to endure over time.

So, I would not say that she necessarily took advantage of you. There was a give and take in this relationship for both of you. You supported her in a difficult phase of her life and she also met a need of yours – she became the person with whom you could share moments and thoughts.

In addition, the fact that she is social in nature and seeks to hang out with other people does not mean that she has no place in her life for your own relationship. However, if you are looking for exclusivity in your friendship, it may not be possible with her. Some people need more people in their friendly environment.

What might help is to have an honest and calm conversation with her and express your feelings to her without blaming her. Focus on how you feel, not what she’s doing wrong. Explain to her that you miss the time you spent together and ask her if there is anything that bothered her about your behavior. Misunderstandings often arise in our relationships because of our personal interpretations of events and poor communication. This way you will better understand what is happening and you will decide whether or not you want your friendship to continue.

It seems that at this moment the conditions that brought you close have changed. You may both need to see whether or not you can accept each other as you change over time, and continue a friendship based on respect, love, and understanding.

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