One of my friends has always liked this guy. They started hanging out like a month ago and now i never see her. She’s always with him now and he’s cool and everything but i never get to hang out with her like just the 2 of us any more. We have been friends 4 a long time, so i don’t wanna drop her. But what do i do?
It sounds like you’re happy for your friend, but wishing she would make time for you too. Have you tried talking to her? Try writing her a note or an email. That way, she has time to think about what you have thoughtfully expressed without having to respond right away. Though it’s tempting (and so easy), avoid texting her about it. Texting is sometimes done too quickly without fully thinking it through. When we read text messages, it’s often while we’re doing other things. We’re distracted and possibly in a hurry, increasing our chances of misinterpreting the way something is written. Texting abbreviations and whether or not someone responds right away can cause misunderstandings. We also don’t know their tone of voice, or how they’re saying things since we can’t see or hear them, so this can create added drama. It also pushes for the other person to respond right away, and your friend may need a little more time to think about what you’re saying.
If you decide to write a note/email to your friend:
- Start out with the fact that you’re happy for her (which it sounds like you are). Explain how you’ve been feeling down, ignored sometimes, forgotten about on some weekends, etc. Say why, pointing to a few instances of what recently happened and how it made you feel.
- Avoid using words like “always” and “never”. Phrases like “you never do X with me anymore” or “you always say Y, but then you…” tend to come off as harsh and can be hurtful statements that aren’t necessarily true.
- Admit to ways that you could have communicated better with her or made more of an effort yourself. Maybe you’ve had some other issues going on lately that have made you feel like you need her a little more than usual. By admitting your part in how things have gotten to where they are, both of you see that there are always two sides to every story. I’m sure you’ve heard that line before, but it’s often used because it’s so true. If you honestly feel like you’ve done nothing wrong in any instance, then try to dig a little deeper. Maybe you’re feeling a little jealous if she’s in a relationship and you’re not. That’s okay. Everyone goes through times like this. The important thing is to recognize it, admit it, and try to focus on the fact that she’s happy and you just want a little more time with her.
- Suggest something specific that both of you can work on. You may admit that you need to be more clear when you’re expecting to have lunch with her alone. Maybe there was a time in which you thought you made it obvious that you expected to hang out with her alone, but you didn’t actually say that or explain how important that was to you. If we don’t actually say what we expect or how we’re feeling, we can’t assume the other person knows. Unfortunately, a gadget to enable mind-reading between friends hasn’t been invented by Apple…at least not yet.
- Make a plan for a specific day when you two can have lunch together alone and talk things over/catch up. Or, invite her to hang out sometime during the weekend. Tell her that you know she’s busy trying to balance everything and everyone, but that it would mean a lot to you if the two of you could catch up over Frappucinos or something.
- Tell her what you appreciate about your friendship, how she’s helped/supported you, the fun times you’ve had together, etc. This will get your message across without her feeling attacked because you’re showing how much she means to you and that you want to solve this problem.
If writing a note or email to her really isn’t your thing, then try talking to her in person. But, try to plan out some of what you’re going to say so that it doesn’t come out as a wave of emotion and you end up saying things you wish you could delete. Whatever you decide, don’t give up just yet. From what you’ve said, it sounds like you’re not ready to call it quits on your friendship. We all make mistakes and sometimes we’re oblivious to how we’re affecting others. Try really talking to her, and let me know if that doesn’t work.
Now that I’ve given my suggestions, what do others think? Any other ideas or related experiences to share?