The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.
Yesterday, I discussed my experience with one-sided friendships. I went into detail about how I always checked up on my friends, made an effort to make them feel loved and supported, and was a shoulder for them to cry on. However, my “friends” never reciprocated these same efforts.
I explained in my last blog post on how hurtful this was and how it took a toll on my self-esteem and ultimately my mental health. In this blog post, I would like to elaborate more on this topic of unreciprocated friendships. More specifically, I would like to discuss what to if you find yourself in a one-sided friendship. My advice is that if you find yourself in a one-sided friendship, then you should communicate with that person on how you feel. Communication is the key to any problem you have in life. Holding in your emotions isn’t healthy and will only make you feel worse.
When you communicate your thoughts to this friend, try to do so in a calm manner. Yelling and screaming at the person will only make them defensive. In addition, don’t hold back on what you are feeling. Lay it all out on the table for them. It may even be beneficial to write out your thoughts in a journal or in the notes section of your phone. In this way, you can read over your feelings to ensure what you are saying will be clear to the friend when you finally express yourself.
Your friend’s reaction to you expressing yourself is just as important as what you say. A real friend will acknowledge what you are saying, talk things out, and will help you find a solution to the problem. However, if this “friend” dismisses your feelings and cannot acknowledge your emotions, then they probably aren’t a real friend to begin with. In the latter case, it probably would be best to completely break off a friendship.
It is also important to note that if a friend suddenly doesn’t seem to be reciprocating energy into the friendship, then it might be because they are going through their own personal struggles. Therefore, before you assume that this friend just doesn’t care, ask them how they are doing. They may need someone to lean on too.
What do you think the best ways to communicate with others are when addressing concerns about the relationship? Have you discussed these ideas with your child?