There are those selfish friends who only know how to take from a relationship instead of giving. These are the kind of people who only think about themselves. Everything has to be about them. Everything has to be centered around themselves. So basically, you find yourself spending more time, energy, attention, even money on their needs. Unfortunately, all that is never reciprocal.
So how is one meant to handle inconsiderate friends? Scroll on as we tackle this head-on!
Dealing with a self centred friend
A lot of people don’t know how to spot a selfish friendship. Well, it usually isn’t easy especially when the friend is manipulative. Initially, most such friends seem genuinely interested in your life. You might even believe that they are good friends. Then the moment you start talking about your life, they immediately go on and on about their lives. They might even call you and ask how you are only to turn the whole conversation around and talk about how they are instead. There are times you could be needing something but instead they talk about what they need instead.
What makes some people selfish?
It all boils down to emotional intelligence. Some people have it, some don’t. Some people have more of it, others have less of it. Its a spectrum. Being self-absorbed is one of the signs of low emotional intelligence. That is one of the signs of a selfish friend – they care less about other people’s desires, feelings, thoughts or needs.
On the other hand, people who are empathetic are those whose feelings and thoughts were valued and respected since childhood. So selfish friends are are not born, they’re made. Compassionate and thoughtful people are made too. So if people around you cared less about you, you kind of grow up having to take care of you.
Well, let’s talk about dealing with a self centred friend
1. Avoid calling out their selfishness
Trying to change a selfish friend can really backfire on you. Now, it makes sense that the easiest way to deal with selfishness is to raise this up with your friend. One thing you need to understand and accept is that after someone has lived lie that since childhood until adulthood, changing them can be really hard. They can only change if they realize their own behavior and choose to consciously change. Much as you can tell them how their behavior makes you feel, turning them isn’t something you can do. We are who we are or who we are raised to be.
Half the time, those people who constantly talk about themselves don’t even realize how annoying they are. They only think about themselves. So how do we even expect them to be in a position to pick up other people’s social cues? This means, talking about their self-centeredness wont be taken well. Selfish people tend o feel victimized when they are called out on… especially if its the first time they are hearing of it for the first time. So if you are thinking my friend is selfish, keep it to yourself. Directly confronting their selfish behavior will just stir up unproductive conflict.
2. Set boundaries
Wondering how to deal with selfish friends? Well, one thing people never realize is that you can’t control other people’s actions. But you can have control of your own. So set boundaries for yourself as opposed to reacting to the actions of inconsiderate friends.
For instance, if a friend is not showing up or being there for you, ask for some balance. That said, you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that they won’t really meet you half-way. So check yourself. If someone isn’t able or willing to meet your needs, don’t force things.
3. Sometimes silence does the trick
There are those times when radio silence is the answer you need to how to deal with bad friends. Now, much as being ghosted in a relationship isn’t sound relationship advice sometimes its the best way to deal with a selfish friend. When you stop giving them all your time and energy, after a while, they will get it. It might not happen overnight but if you keep at it, some change might happen… only if they want it to. That is why I used the word ‘sometimes’. It is not a given solution.
When you have a selfish person as a friend, people will understand why you might not want to spend time with them. So it will make sense if you don’t want to spend too much time with a self-centered, poor listener. One thing is that after a while, they will realize that somehow, they either don’t have as many friends, or that they are losing friends. They might start wondering why all that is happening. Anyway, let’s hope your ghosting will make them feel lonely and seek help to change their ways.
4. Break things off if you feel its too much
If you are lucky and you notice some selfish behavior early in a friendship, you need to take it seriously especially if its bothering you. Sometimes, being optimistic about it isn’t going to be helpful at all. Some behaviors are hard to just change. So if you can’t stand it, its better to just let the relationship go before you invest too much.
If the relationship has been going on for a while and you suddenly start picking up on things that are selfish about your friend, if you are the emotionally intelligent one, try being accepting and compassionate about your friend.
5. Stop being a people pleaser
There are those instances where we are the ones who enable the behavior of our selfish friends. Now much as you cannot be blamed for your friends’ selfish behavior you need to check yourself and make sure that you are not the one fueling that behavior. You need to check the urge to please people. So if you find that you are stuck in give-give-give relationship dynamic, then you need to ask yourself what you are getting out of the relationship.
Is it love that you are trying to love by giving and pleasing people? If you are going out of your way to give and its draining you, then you are enabling the other person become a taker. In a healthy relationship, you should be able to also get what you need. There are instances where its not that your friend is selfish. You are probably just afraid to ask.
But if your friend is really a taker, try and set some boundaries. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Sometimes saying “no” is just all that is needed. Check your self and only say “yes” to things that you really want to do. If you are saying “yes” out of fear of resentment, then your answer needs to be a “no”.
For more friendship articles, visit Love is All Colors.