Feeling Left Out?
Don't worry, this is not a cry for help, I'm fine. I will admit that just a few years ago, I did have these moments. Fortunately, I decided to change course in my friend-ships (see how I did that?) and I am still pleasantly surprised who stayed on the ship and who needed to walk the plank.
But do you feel unsatisfied in your friendships? Do you feel left out?
Maybe you're giving it all away. Maybe you're in the friend version of "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free" where you are giving way more than you're getting. This tends to happen to those of us who are more of the caretaker type. People tend to take their most dependable friends for granted.
Here is a list of a few things you might be giving away to easily to your girlfriends, while staying miserable in the process:
1. Always the listener - Do you have that friend that talks, talks, talks about their problems and doesn't even bother to ask how you're doing? Maybe you need to cut in and give up some info on how you're doing. There's a good chance that your friend doesn't even realize they are always monopolizing the conversation. Cutting in may be the subtle hint that they need, may even help them stop obsessing over their own stuff and find some interest in what's going on with you.
2. Too Available- Are you the dependable one that always shows up at the party on time with the perfect treat, even if you don't feel like going. People can pick-up on your moodiness, and it might be best if you just stay home and have a date with the Real Housewives of Orange County and a bowl of guacamole.
3. Never ask for help - Yeah, my friends actually hated that. Here I was, not wanting to be the weak whiny burden, and all that did was make my friends more self-conscious about coming to me with their worries. Not only that but who did I get to talk to about my junk? Well, guess what? It turns out that you friends want every and any opportunity to nurture you just as much as you nurture them. Oh, and if one of your friends does call you needy, reconsider that one.
4. Let resentments fester- Guilty as charged....I've done it and I regret it. Learn from me, better to just deal with it as soon possible than let if fester. Wait until you're calm, ask your friend to go out for a coffee, and tell her how you feel . You may or may not get the response you want at first, but things may eventually smooth out.
5. Never initiate getting together- You don't have to start with a big bash, just start with dinner with a friend, or drinks with a couple of the girls. Move on to a game night or a pot-luck. Then you can work your way up to full party madness. The more plans you make, the more events you will get invited to.
Leana Sykes is a Relationship Counselor and the owner of Leana Sykes Relationship Counseling in Oaklyn, NJ.
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