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Published on 12/14/2000

SMCHUNTER7@aol.com asks:
how do i deal with a friend who is only a real friend when it is good for her?

It's hard isn't it? To have someone whom you believe to be a close friend, a confidant, the one to whom you tell all of your deepest and darkest secrets. Someone to stay up all night with, telling ghost stories and tales of lust and debauchery. And all of a sudden, to have that person turn on a whim when you want to make a run to Taco Bell, claiming to have "other things to do."

"Better things" is what you hear, and all of a sudden, this person, your friend, is no longer a real friend, but merely someone who passes you by in the hall, stopping to say hello only when she breaks up with her boyfriend du jour or needs to know the twentieth decimal place of pi (6) or something equally banal.

So what to do in this situation? It is indeed tough, to watch someone you care about slip away like that. I can only recommend one thing in this situation. Before getting upset. Before getting angry, and certainly before writing off the relationship as a mere casualty of life, I would recommend communication. The simple act of talking can mean the difference between a friend for life and a bad memory.

Perhaps said friend is spreading herself too thin in life. Perhaps she has taken on too many activities and does not know how to handle it all. Perhaps she is not putting in as much effort as you would like because she puts so much faith in the relationship that she knows that it can ride out this storm. That while you may be separated by time, your bond will last long into the future. Perhaps she is taking some time to herself, being intentionally selfish to ensure her own well-being. This is allowed and I encourage it. But not to the detriment of a friendship. And this is where you come in.

I don't mean to say that anyone is at fault in this situation. Oh no! It is entirely possible that you friend is not the friend you had once believed her to be. That she really is not interested in a real friendship and is just what we call a "fair weather friend." This also does happen. But the important thing to remember is that you will not know what the situation actually is without confronting her.

And don't let her deny it either. "What?!" she might say. "You're nuts."

"Then why are you the one in the straight jacket?!" you will want to shout back through the double-thick glass, and laugh openly.

Resist the urge! Instead, approach her again. "I really feel like we're not as close as we were. As I feel like we could be. I feel like you're just don't care about me."

Use your own words, but speak from the heart. If you do so, she will have no choice but to answer in kind, and soon a dialog will be open and the words will flow freely. And after you have finished your conversation it should become aparent what is happening with the friendship.

Best of luck, and remember. Talk it out. That normally works.

If not, then it might be time for some new friends.

thanks. but i don't want to talk to her, she'll get mad. or maybe she'll get sad, and then get mad. either way...
Posted by smchunter7 on 01-02-1998 15:58

hey, after 4 months of not speaking to my friend at all, i spent a week with her in canada. everything is great, you were right talking is good. everything was misunderstood and it's all good now. but my last comment wasn't posted in 1998, so i don't know how that got on there.
Posted by smchunter7 on 07-29-2001 01:26

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