8 Signs You’re In a One-Sided Friendship

A girl who's in a one-sided friendship talking to her friend who isn't paying much attention.

Friendships are a lot of work, and it takes two to make it happen. You both have to make time for the other person, be in tune with their needs, and know what makes them tick. When you both balance the duties, a friendship can be wonderfully fun and fulfilling. But unfortunately, not all friendships are like this. Sometimes, you may find yourself in a one-sided friendship.

Suspecting or realizing you’re in a one-sided friendship is not a good feeling. You might feel used, unimportant, and/or betrayed by someone you thought was your friend. It hurts to realize that someone doesn’t care to put the same amount of time or effort into a relationship as you do. If you suspect you might be in a one-sided friendship, look for these signs.

1. They don’t listen to you.
One of the most important qualities of a friendship is that both people are good listeners. If you feel like your friend isn’t listening to you—or if you don’t bother telling them things, because you don’t feel like they’d care or hear you—that’s a big friendship red flag.

2. They don’t treat you with respect.
We all have bad days and can be temperamental. But if every interaction with your friend is negative, or if they’re constantly putting you down, that’s a pretty big sign that something isn’t right.

3. You always make the plans.
Does it feel like you’re always the one calling and texting to make plans? That’s not a good feeling. Both people should make an effort to keep in touch and make plans to see each other. It shouldn’t always be just you.

4. They only contact you when they need something.
Alternatively, maybe they do contact you to make plans. But if you notice that every time they call or text, it’s because they want something, then that’s not a good sign. It’s okay to ask friends for help, but it’s not okay to take advantage of them.

5. They cancel on you. A lot.
Canceling and/or rescheduling plans happens. But if it happens a lot, or if it keeps happening at the last minute, or if they cancel without any remorse, or if they cancel without making an effort to reschedule, then they’re not being a good friend. Good friends respect each other’s time and genuinely want to spend it together.

6. They always make it about them.
Does your friend never let you get a word in edgewise in your conversations? Do they only talk about themselves, and then never ask about your life? Do they only want to do things that they want to do? All are signs of a one-sided friendship.

7. Your friendship doesn’t feel consistent.
Good friendships don’t have good days and bad days. Sure, we all have bad days. But if your bad days significantly outweigh the good days, or if your friend is oblivious to the fact that they’re being inconsistent, it’s not a great sign.

8. You feel it in your gut.
Is there something about this person and your friendship that just makes you question it? As if you can’t explain it, but something just feels off about it all? Don’t ignore that feeling. Trust your gut, because it’s usually right.

If you feel comfortable bringing it up, you can tell your friend you’d like your friendship to be more two-sided. There might be something going on with them, or they might not realize they’re doing it. But if it’s time to spend less time with them or end the friendship entirely, do what you need to do. We all deserve to be surrounded by loving, supportive people.

Elizabeth Entenman

Freelance Writer

Elizabeth is a freelance writer, editor, and advertising copywriter in Brooklyn. Right now, she’s probably somewhere Instagramming her dogs.

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