9 Crushing Signs You're On The Sad Side Of A One-Sided Friendship

Once you know what to look out for, you can start finding friends who truly appreciate you.

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I recently witnessed a 30-year friendship go sour within weeks. While I can’t say I was surprised looking from the outside in, my friend who experienced the fallout was significantly challenged by the turn of events.

It’s been several months now, and my friend and I had an open and honest discussion about their relationship. It seems the space created by the friendship ending really opened her eyes to the various signs she ignored or let slide throughout their relationship.


In the end, she’s feeling relief — even joy — now that the friendship is likely over, not realizing she was being held back by relying on what she now sees as what was a one-sided friendship.

In case you’re wondering what that might look like, here are some of the experiences my friend had that helped her realize the friendship meant more to her than it did to her now-former friend.

RELATED: 21 Bad Attitudes & Behaviors That Make Your Friends Dislike You


Here are nine signs that you're on the sad side of a one-sided friendship

1. You always initiate contact

If you’re the one always calling or texting to check in with them or make plans, it’s likely that you’re doing more than your part in a one-sided friendship. While there are many people who are not good at staying in contact or making social plans, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to send a quick hello or "thinking-of-you" text.

If you find yourself always reaching out and they never make the first contact you may very well be part of a one-sided relationship. 

2. They ignore your texts or calls or have a super-delayed response time

People show you exactly where you stand with them when they take days to respond or when they ignore your texts or calls. The quality of their return communication is a tell-tale sign too. Yes, people are busy and take business trips or are going through their own stuff. But if someone usually takes a long time to respond and they respond with one-word answers or messages, it may be time to seek friendship elsewhere.

3. They give bad gifts

When your so-called friend with more than enough means gives gifts that are used or broken or they tell you they didn’t pay a lot for the gift or got it for free, these gestures can be a sign they really don’t care about your friendship. This fact hits home further when you see this same friend spend lavishly on gifts for other friends.


Buying second-hand can be full of neat treasures depending upon the person. But if the friend continues to make it a point to give gifts of lower value or thought behind them, you may want to re-evaluate your friendship.

On the flip side, these people generally also don’t respect the gifts you give them — whether well thought out, researched, paid for, or hand-crafted — they simply don’t appreciate what you give them, even the gift of your time. 

RELATED: 31 Bad Habits Of People Who Can't Seem To Make True Friends

4. They minimize your emotions

Sometimes you’re in a one-sided friendship if the friend doesn’t support your emotions or concerns. They may tend to minimize what you feel passionate about without trying to understand your perspective and diminish whatever situation you may be going through. 


Instead, these people may likely redirect the focus of the conversation to themselves or something completely different to avoid talking about your feelings and helping you through a tough spot. 

5. They make their problems and insecurities yours

Even though these friends pass on being in your corner when you need encouragement, they insist on making their problems and insecurities your problems too. They expect you to help them through whatever they’re going through, or make sure you accommodate their concerns or insecurities, without ever giving credence to your state of mind or emotion.

6. They bring up your past failures

Possibly due to their own insecurities, or inability to nurture you, these individuals bring up your past failures. They let you know that you could fail again rather than lift you up in any given scenario. These friends are unlikely to tell you good things about yourself or even compliment you on a job well done, and if they do, they follow up with a but statement, just to keep you feeling less than. They take opportunities to put you down directly or indirectly on a fairly consistent basis. 

There are some instances where friends help cut you back down to size to keep you humble, but if you’re feeling ill-intent behind these comments, it may be time to have a conversation with them or find a more fulfilling friendship elsewhere.


RELATED: 10 Bad Habits That Get In The Way Of Grown-Adult Friendships

7. They talk at you rather than with you

Friends who care less about the relationship than you will tend to talk at you. Conversations with these individuals maintain some level of superficiality. Although they may ask your opinion on certain topics, they’re really more interested in telling you what they know and how they feel rather than engaging in an informative, growth-inducing conversation with you.

8. They don’t invite you to social events

If you notice that a friend is hosting or coordinating social events, parties, get-togethers, vacations, etc. with other friends and never rotating you into those experiences, you may not be as important to them as you think. Or whatever times you have with them never seem to stack up to the good times they make with other friends or friend groups, and they let you know that.

Even if you may have requested to not be invited due to social anxiety or other reasons, friends will make time to talk or hang out if mutually desired.


9. They only call you when they need something

If you feel you’re low on the list for social calls yet are on speed dial for emotional support, borrowing your truck, or asking for your help in some way, you can bet you’re only of value when you’re giving them something. Lots of friends call on each other for help – and it’s usually reciprocated rather than the only times they interact with you. 

Sometimes you might do what you can to maintain a friendship that has spanned decades even if you know it’s not working well. There are many reasons for friendships to end — and often the reasons are valid.

People grow in different directions and in different ways. As my friend learned, nostalgia is not a reason to keep a friendship — especially one that doesn’t value your participation.


If you appreciate your time and what you bring to a friendship, you’ll attract more friends in kind and decrease the potential of developing a one-sided friendship.

RELATED: To All The Fake Friends You Will Encounter In Your Lifetime

Pamela Aloia is a certified grief coach, intuitive/medium, and author of inspirational books. Pamela supports people through change and helps them enhance their lives and experiences via energy awareness, meditation, and mindfulness.