Friendships are necessary for us – after all, we are social animals. But there can be a lot of different friendship problems, which sometimes can make us wonder why we bother.
The various friendship problems we may have to depend on the type of relationship with our friends, which also means that each requires a different fix. Every friendship is different, and every friendship has value: we just need to find how to address our problems in a coherent manner, and by using our communication skills.
Since some of the more common friendship problems are universal, this article is aiming to look at them in some detail, including exploring the ways in which people can fix them.
So you have a friend in your life who breaks his/her promises – maybe it’s as small as remembering that you were going to exchange cupcakes, or as big as not coming to a funeral. Broken promises, no matter how large or small, can hurt – everyone deserves to have someone in their lives they can rely on and trust.
Broken promises are bad enough in themselves, but they can also lead to reduced trust, feelings of isolation (especially if a promise has been broken in lieu of another engagement with friends), and anger.
Communication is the key to getting to the bottom of broken promises, it is also a key to solving many other friendship problems. It may be a simple matter of reminding people that they have broken their promise – it is always best to assume the best of people – and they will instantly remember what they were going to do, and most likely be apologetic.
Without proper communication, you might not be able to get across just how hurt you are with the broken promises; you might also miss crucial information on why the promises were broken. It might be the case that the friend who didn’t come to your funeral, missed it because they couldn’t handle another funeral or churchyard again – not because they deliberately wanted to spite you.
Good friendships should be an equal match, with everybody giving fifty percent on either side. That makes things fair and equal and ensures that you aren’t burning yourself out because you took too much on, and also ensures the same of your friends.
This doesn’t always work though – some people don’t give back as much as they take, and this can feel unfair, particularly if you are taking time out of your life to help them and they aren’t reciprocating in any tangible way.
Unbalanced sharing can lead to resentment and anger, both over the take, take, take nature of the friendship, and over the time which is now perceived as being wasted on an ungrateful subject. Our time is limited, and generally, we prefer to spend it on things which we feel are worth it – an unbalanced sharing friendship may end up not being one of them.
Many people may decide to simply end the friendship right there because to them it is no longer worth it. Perhaps you have already reached this stage, but if you haven’t, then here are some ways to try and remedy the situation, and keep your friendship.
Try and talk to your friend on neutral territory – don’t directly accuse them of anything, as this may cause them to be angry and not open to hearing what you have to say. Instead, say what you have been feeling in terms which don’t cast blame, but lay out the problem in terms which are easier to take. Say that you have been feeling (keep the focus on what YOU feel, rather than what you think they have done) a little unappreciated lately.
Maybe ask them if there is anything that has been happening recently, which might have been taking a toll on them and making them reach out for more support than usual. This is an explanation which might clarify why they need more support, while at the same time withdrawing their own support, and leaving you in the position you find yourself addressing.
The results of this will depend on your friendship – if you can, try and get some other friends to help as well, especially if they have noticed the balance of friendship changing. Some people will explain what has been happening, and agree to work on things. Other people will refuse to believe you, and then all that is left to decide is what you are going to do.
Being ghosted is never fun, and it happens more often than most people would like to admit, particularly in this day and age of internet friends and meetings. Many people just shrug and move on, but you might try and save the friendship before doing so.
It can be difficult to know where to start, but if you want to reach out and try to re-establish contact, don’t give up quite yet.
As always, communication is the key. It is entirely possible that they simply forgot to get back to you – it can happen – and will be grateful for any attempt to re-establish contact. If this is the case, a simple email or telephone call can be enough to get the ball rolling.
If it has been a long time, consider that the person who ghosted you (if they did it unintentionally) may be too embarrassed to initiate contact themselves. Maybe, if you reach out, that will let them do so as well.
The conversation you have after you have been ghosted is up to you, of course, but it is best to avoid being too confrontational. Confrontation can make even the most well-meaning of people clam up, and that is not conducive to any kind of talk, let alone one which focuses on patching up a friendship.
There can be a number of reasons why someone might ghost on you, and it is good to find out what reasons people might have for what they do.
There are obviously a lot more friendship problems than the ones which appear in this article, but hopefully, it should get you started, and help motivate you to find out more about friendship problems and how to solve them from other places.
Friends are precious, and it is good to try and hold onto them – hopefully, our advice will help some people find out what they need in order to stay friends. There are times when it is best to let the friendship go, but most problems can be solved if people resolve to try and tackle their issues before they become too much.