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How to judge if someone is a good friend?

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  • #402314
    V
    Participant

    Hi you lovely people

    I wrote a post back in August about me struggling with a friend of mine as I felt that she was not reciprocating my effort into the friendship. Things have definitely improved with her since then. I have stopped expecting things from her and also started to depend less on her for the close type of friendship I want. I realized that I don’t want to force things in the relationship and let things take its own course, but I have been thinking about it recently and I thought of this place to let out my emotions and thoughts. I realize this may be a trivial thing, so I am just gonna let out what I feel and I would love your thoughts/advice/feedback/own experiences relating to this topic.

    A little background on her – she is a good person (let’s call her T) and it’s good to have conversations. She usually helps when I reach out. But in the past couple of months, some things have happened that has given me more perspective on who she is as a person. It was graduation week back in early May, and we were all excited. Parents of my and one other friend had come to the United States from far away and were staying with us in our respective apartments. My mom came later as my graduation ceremony was the last one scheduled. A few days before my other friend’s ceremony (let’s call him O), T and her boyfriend had some really big and dramatic fights. Their relationship had been going through some rough waves and they were on and off for a long time. There were many small and big fights and all this drama. We were there to help and support of course, but you know after a point, we can’t even be there every single time. We are just 20/21 year olds and have a life and wanna enjoy our time in college. Anyways, T and her boyfriend had this big emotional outburst just the night before O’s graduation. The rest of us wanted to have fun on the graduation weekend, but it just got ruined. T said she couldn’t make it to the ceremony on the day of the event but she and her boyfriend did end up coming (which was good of them). T also missed my graduation which was in early afternoon because something happened the night before. I went down to her apartment before leaving, but she was sleeping so I thought it was best to let her rest after all she has been through. I was mostly fine, but it did hurt a little at the time. I say all this to show that T has been really self-centered with many things – graduation weekend being one of them. I get that she and her boyfriend were going through stuff, but a close friend could at least put some stuff on hold for a couple of days for the sake of others. She wasn’t even graduating with us on the weekend, so her ceremony wasn’t ruined. She does have some mental health issues and can get really emotional (not able to control her emotions, so that may be a reason). I have absolutely no judgement for this, but to be honest – its gets exhausting to be with a person like this at times.

    Other than this, there are other small things that gives the impression that she is selfish, and I don’t know if I want that in a person who I should consider a close friend. She is honest and has helped me as friend in some good ways, but at the same time she is selfish, you know. There are little things like: not helping a friend clean up after he has made dinner for everyone, not really asking how my day was when I always take interest in her things, not initiating conversations often about others, kind of focusing on her stuff most of the time. I get the feeling that she puts others’ concerns at the backseat and for me, that shouldn’t be the case for your close friends. She constantly puts focus on herself (her achievements and problems) and talks about herself all the time. She is one of the super talkative people (it’s one of her traits), and then I feel like she doesn’t really put focus on others. She only does it when it’s convenient to her. I get the feeling that she will always put herself before (as one should! Self-care is first) and only help others when it’s convenient to her. She has really close/best friends and I just don’t get how they can be that with her when she is like this. I can’t fully become comfortable with a person like this because I am not like that. I tend to be on the quieter side – no need to broadcast my achievements and problems to everyone, just talk about them to a few people I care about and they care about me.

    I just haven’t come across a person with such conflicting values, so I am just confused on how to navigate this relationship. What should my role be in this? How do I deal with a person, who has been good to me and is fun and can help when I reach out, but then also be this self-centered person in little and big things? I am having trouble navigating these emotions.

    I feel like she is a friend for sure, but I am not sure if I want someone like that in my close circle for the long-run. I don’t think I can depend on her or that I should. I am done with college and will be moving across the country for grad school, so we all will be separated and there will be distance among all of us, so I am not gonna be around her. But another question I had was how do you really judge that a friend is a close one/best one? Are there any red flags or traits I look for? I am still developing in the friendship sphere of my life, and would really appreciate any advice in general too.

    (Sorry for the VERY long rant, but really wanted to let my thoughts out and I knew I could do that here 😊)

    #402316
    anita
    Participant

    Dear V:

    Welcome back! I think that it’s amazing that you started two threads today, June 12, 2022;  you started your very first thread on June 12, 2021, exactly a year ago, when you just turned 21. Doing very simple math, you recently turned 22.

    Your friend T reads like a self-centered person and since you are about to move across the country for grad school, away from her, I would let the friendship run its course and try to make friends in grad school who are not self-centered and who care about other people as well as for themselves.

    If you would like to reply to you further, let me know (I will be able to do so in 5-17 hours from now). I will reply to your other thread before being away from the computer.

    anita

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