5 Tiny Signs You're Not Taking Good Care Of A Friendship

Don't let your friendships stagnate.

woman looking down while on the phone, feeling guilty yang miao | Unsplash

You could have sworn you were best friends for life, friends forever, and friends to the end until...

Here are 5 tiny signs you're not taking good care of a friendship, according to YourTango experts:

1. Your interactions fade

A sign of neglecting a friendship is when conversations and interactions start to fade. It's in the moments you realize you haven't reached out in a while, forgotten important dates, or missed celebrating big moments together. This growing silence indicates that the friendship isn't getting the attention it needs to stay strong and vibrant.


Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II Waismann Method and Domus Retreat Founder

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close friends time together

Photo: Peopleimages.com Yuriaa via Shutterstock

2. It's all about you.

Do the topics of conversation always focus on me — on my worries, my celebrations, my distractions? Or is there space in our relationship for my friend to share what is happening in her life? There are different seasons in life, where the focus may be more on one or the other - for example, when my mother was dying, I was the recipient of much love and care. However, over time, if the focus continued to be on me — that would eventually be tiresome. So, it's important in a close friendship to make sure there is time for both people to be the focus of attention.


Jennifer Hargrave, Owner & Divorce Attorney, Hargrave Family Law

3. You notice these 2 things.

  1. Not being an active listener: Regularly being distracted during chats or not remembering what your friend tells you.
  2. Not celebrating the success of your friend.

Sidhharrth S Kumaar, Astro Numerologist

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4. It's a one-way-only street.

One sign you're not taking good care of a friendship is when it's a one-way street: the other person provides most of the support, material, and emotional, and you do very little.


Ruth Schimel, PhD, Career & Life Mgt. Consultant, Author

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5. You play the "It's your turn to contact" game.

Many of us expect that once we've called a friend, it's their "turn" to call the next time. Even when we think it's strange that they haven't called or get worried something may be wrong, we still wait for them to contact us. But what is stopping you from reaching out to someone you care about?? In friendship, as in love, it's good to check in with them to ask how they're doing. It shows you care. Sometimes, life gets in the way of return calls, or people forget who called who the last time. If you want to be a good friend, periodically check in on the friends you care about and don't play the "but I called you, so now it's your turn to call me" game. A good friend will appreciate you checking up on them — especially if they are going through a rough time and need to hear a friendly, concerned voice.

Dr. Gloria Brame, Therapist


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When your friendship becomes all about you whether by intent or by inattention, you need to take some time to maintain your connection and keep the friendship from becoming a one-way street or a stagnant forgotten memory. Go ahead and call your friend to say, "Hey, I love you," and ask, "How are you doing?" if not anything else.


Will Curtis is a writer and editor for YourTango. He's been featured on the Good Men Project and taught English abroad for ten years.