Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My friend, the mosquito

I have this friend who always says I'm his best friend, but he doesn't treat me like it. He has been having problems with this girl for a long time now and I always help him with it. I listen to everything he says and give him advice. He listens to all of his other friends' problems except mine. Whenever I say I have a problem, he just tells me to shut up and stop whining.

I'm kind of sick of this. I feel like he's draining me, like I use up so much of my energy to cheer him up that I can' t make myself happy. What can I do?

Drained Friend

Dear Friend,

I have definitely had friends like this. The most recent one was in college, except instead of telling me to shut up, she would counter with something worse that had happened to her recently. This sort of one-upmanship is why we are no longer in touch.

Her actions remind me of your friend's. He's telling you his problems endlessly, and you're solving them because you want to be a good friend. Good friends are there for each other and help each other out when there are problems. Good friends reciprocate. This is why your friend is not a good friend, and you know it.

What I find particularly troubling is that your friend isn't just talking over you, but he's talking at you to tell you he doesn't want to hear it. He only wants to hear you when you're talking sweet to him. I think he is using you as a de facto shrink, and you clearly aren't enjoying it.

You may decide it's time to let this friendship go, because talking about it won't really help. Besides, he has stopped listening already when it counts.

Aunt Amy

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