How to Handle an Unsupportive Friend

How to Handle an Unsupportive Friend

It's how you might be feeling RIGHT NOW. Someone close to you isn't really there. They don't seem to care, they don't ask questions. No support.

A friendship you've bled for, given everything to. The unrequited love is starting to show its cracks. You're start resenting them. Their self-involvement, their lack of gratitude. You have big news to share but why would they care...because it seems they only really care about...themselves.

Feeling this way SUCKS. It makes you get the ick. And if you don't confront the it, it gets worse and worse...and worse. 

What's a girl to do?

What happens when our friends aren't supporting us the way we need them to? Or when they aren't curious about what's going on? Or they're not happy for us? 

It can take such a toll on your mood, your self-worth, and obviously, your relationship. The best thing about a friendship should be support through the good AND bad times. 

I recently connected with a new friend! She makes me feel so warm and loved. She listens, cares, is so happy for me. I feel comfortable telling her my secrets. And she's so invested in my happiness. It's so refreshing! It made me realize that so many of my relationships were brutally unbalanced, and I wanted to look at that and try and be better myself and expect better, too! 

Of course friendships aren't perfect. They often fall victim to disappointment. So what does one do?

Ask yourself these questions!

  • Is my friend going through a hard time right now?
  • Is my friend good at expressing themselves?
  • Is my friend feeling jealousy?
  • Have I been supporting my friend?
  • Has my friend ever been happy for me?

Hard Times

If your friend is going through something big right now (a loss, sickness in the family, breakup), then it's going to be tough to get the support you want from them. Of course it's frustrating, but sometimes it's important to prioritize their emotions during tough times. Your friend may be happy for you, but they just can't express it right now.

I went through this recently. I had a horrible loss in my life, the worst pain I've ever felt. My close friend asked me to listen to them about something important, and I just couldn't hear it. I felt irritated that they would even come to me with something while I was suffering. In hindsight, I was so overcome with sadness that I couldn't emotionally handle it. Setting boundaries would have helped so much in that situation!

During these time, turn to people who can be there for you, who are more available. Your friend will come around when they are good and ready. 

Ugh Emotions

Some friends are just not great at expressing empathy. Maybe they aren't giving you what you want. Their words aren't flowing the way you need. It can be super frustrating. But take notice to how they are trying to support you. Perhaps they send you flowers, call to check on you, or show you affection? Everyone expresses themselves in different ways.

Jealousy, jealousy

Ohhh the green devil. Let's not pretend we haven't all felt jealous of our friends. Whether they just got off a break-up diet, have a new boo, are expecting... jealousy creeps in to our relationships and it feels downright rotten. The important thing is to acknowledge if it gets out of control. A little jealousy is fine, but toxic.

Approach your friend with love and care. They should share in your joy and support you. Not receiving a positive reaction to your good news SUCKS. And if this behavior is consistent, you need to address it.

Self-reflection may be the answer

If your friend isn't being supportive, it's time to look at yourself first and foremost. Have you been a good friend? Have you listened to what they need?

If you haven't been the best friend lately, let your friend know you recognize that. Tell them you want to do better. Reassure them--let them know you are there for them. 

If things aren't improving...

If there's consistent neglect, things need to change or you need to reconsider the friendship. Some people are there for us when things get really tough, but when things are good, they're not. Or visa versa! 

If your friend's negativity continues with no resolution or acknowledgement from them, it's time to talk to them about it. Tell them how you're feeling! And if things don't improve. Well, it may be time to move on. 

Inspiration from LiveAbout 

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