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DearSugar Needs Your Help: My BFF Is an Egomaniac!

DearSugar and Over Her Heather need your help. Her best friend's ego is out of control, and Heather is fed up! Their conversations are now all one-sided, and she's starting to resent her. How can she break the cycle before her friendship is ruined?

Dear Sugar,

My best friend and I have been, well, best friends since we met in college seven years ago. We've been through a lot together – everything BFFs do. In the past few years she's had a fairly tough time financially and emotionally (let's just say she's had a lot of bad luck), and I have been fortunate enough to be in a position where I can help her — whether it's with gas money, offering her a place to stay, or simply giving her emotional support. She's not just my best friend, she's like my sister.

At the beginning of this year, I moved back to my hometown, and life has been fairly quiet. I'm actually very content for the moment, but I don't do anything social during the week, as all my friends live in the city – I only see them on the weekends. I speak to my best friend a couple of times a week, but we're usually together every weekend. I find myself going to visit her far more than she comes to visit me, and when I do see her (or even just speak to her on the phone) she is always talking about herself! Maybe it's something that I've just started to notice, but it's really starting to get to me. She'll do the obligatory, “So how was your week?” and then as soon as my two minutes are up, she'll tell me about her week blow-by-blow.

I feel like she thinks I don't have any problems or maybe my life isn't interesting enough, but I'm really starting to resent her for it, and I find myself not wanting to talk to her or see her at all. On top of this, she recently got a new boyfriend so you can imagine what most of our (or rather, her) conversations are about. I feel myself closing her off more and more, and when we do speak, I don't even bother to tell her about my day anymore — it's like I'm just there to listen to her. I don't want things to continue this way, but I'm angry with her. I don't know how to handle this, so I would greatly appreciate any views you might have.

Source

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PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 7 years
I've had a friend like this for the last 20 years. She does all of the things that you described. I've learned that she is just not someone I can rely on for support. I love her to death, but I finally stopped identifying her as a "best" friend & it is what it is. I've also found that caller id helps a lot. I don't pick up the phone as often now (we are talking 5-9 calls a day) & it has been such a nice break! It's tough when some people don't treat you as well as you treat them, but that's how life is. You just have to acknowledge it for what it is & move on.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 7 years
Just talk to her about it. I'm sure she doesn't even know she's doing it. If you talk to her and she doesn't change than it's a problem but right now I'm sure it's just an oversight. I'm sure she'll make a better effort to ask you about your life. Eventually down the road you might have to remind her but this will help for a little while if she's a good friend.
italianblonde italianblonde 7 years
I have a friend exactly like this! We used to have 50/50 conversations, but now she doesn't even ask me how I am, etc. Right after I say hello on the telephone or we meet up in person, she runs through the list of boys she's into, and how her job is going. As soon as she's finished talking about herself, she'll hang up or say she has to go somewhere. I had to take some time to think about if I really care for her and if she is a good friend that would help me out if I needed it. In my case, it was best that we parted ways, but take some time to think about the relationship as a whole-if you still know she is a valuable friend you love and who cares for you, let her in on your dilemma.
asjs5 asjs5 7 years
I think everyone can relate to this for one reason: people grow apart. Some people are worth keeping in touch with but as time goes by your relationships change as you go into different stages of your life at different times. Take a step back and make friends you have more in common with now. Keep in touch and maybe in the future you'll go back to what you were.
jJuliet jJuliet 7 years
I agree with K is for Kait. Don't feel shy about interrupting her (in a polite way) to change the subject or interject your own thoughts into the conversation. Since she does it to you, she probably won't get offended if you do it to her.
Bearwoman Bearwoman 7 years
I'm sorry, but who says "BFF" years after college? No offense.
Bearwoman Bearwoman 7 years
I agree with the people here saying that maybe a little bit of time apart can do you good. Also: That maybe she is just a chatterbox and you need to assert yourself more in the conversation. If that doesn't work, voicing your opinion should be acceptable seeing as she is your "BFF".
cubadog cubadog 7 years
While I agree this is annoying some of the fault lies with you. When you don't speak up and let people know that they are doing something that bothers you they will keep doing it. This happened to me when I went away to college years ago when I would call my best friend on the phone I couldn't figure out why she was so quiet it was because I wouldn't shut up about me. She finally told me it would be nice if you asked about me every once in a while.
Meike Meike 7 years
How about instead of resenting her for talking too much, you speak up a little more and actually communicate to her that you'd like to talk about YOUR day? If you simply gave up on talking, what do you expect her to do? Ask you questions constantly about your life? I can see why the conversation is one-sided if you don't even reciprocate. Or does she really actively interrupt you with every single thought that crosses her mind? Furthermore, if you say you are content at the moment and life is fairly quiet, I can't imagine you are having many problems to report. And, if you are content, you probably give off a neutral to positive vibe. However, if you are, indeed, having problems, why do you expect her to read your mind? Do you expect her to prod you for more details about your life? Boo hoo, start communicating like a grown up.
Jesi_Oh Jesi_Oh 7 years
I'm with Ster, I have also been in this situation with my BFF and had to back off for a while and just call and see her less (without being rude etc) and it all seemed to even out once we got some space. I think your problem probably stems from you being the 'giver' in the relationship for the last year and she's stopped acting like friendship is a two way street.
aeschere aeschere 7 years
auuugh i know how this is. good luck - she's only a friend. my mother is like this.... :|
bbvFAN112 bbvFAN112 7 years
I have a friend just like that! But i only talk to her when im at school so right now im FREE!!! But anyway she always talks about her boyfriend!!! and it is so anoying and i can tell it bothers my other friends that sit at the table....but we sit there and nod as she goes on and on untill the bell rings. So..........i guess you could take some space.
blooditsnotfunny blooditsnotfunny 7 years
I think she maybe just thinks about telling you stuff during the week so when she sees you she remembers all that stuff that she wanted to tell you! Actually thats kind of sweet :) You should do the same so that you guys have equal time talking, if that's what you want.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 7 years
it could be that, sinceyou don't see each other as often, she's just trying to compensate and keep the two of you as close together as you were. if you're just now noticing it, she might not even realize that she's being rude. just turn the conversation back to yourself from time to time.
BeautiJunki BeautiJunki 7 years
This is your test, are you her best friend? We can all be a pain from time to time. Your BFF is a relationship similar in a marriage and needs nurturing from time to time.
Ster Ster 7 years
I think everyone recognises this situation ... I had this problem about two months back with a friend whom I love dearly, but I just got the feeling she didn't care about me at all. I got the perfunctory "so how are you doing?", but noticed she became really uninterested if my responds took over 2 minutes and she often rudely cut me off in the middle of a sentence to start blabbing about herself. I took some distance, stopped hanging out with her on a daily basis and realised that friendship with some people is just about getting the dosage right. She's great fun, a blast to hang out with and can be really nice in her own way. By turning down the intensity of our friendship, she came round as well and started showing some sincere interest in me again. Not every friend needs to be a BFF, some people you just need to appreciate for their merits, be aware of their flaws and don't allow yourself to get hurt by their imperfections. I suggest you take some distance (you don't need to be mean about it, just don't talk to her every day on the phone, you could be busy with other things right?), cool down a bit, think about what you really like about this girl and then try to have a conversation with her again. Probably by this time she'll have picked something up and if she cares about you, will be trying to invest a little more in your friendship. If not, you can just tell her what you expect of her and why you're struggling. Good luck!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Ugh, I had a couple of friends like that. The operative word is "had." Needless to say, they're not in my life anymore. Good riddance. Self-absorbed people are toxic. These days, I quickly recognize overly self-absorbed people, and I walk away.
karlotta karlotta 7 years
Oh I had a friend like this! She was my best friend for a very long time... but as time went by, she would spend more and more of our conversations just rambling on about her problems. And it was always the same problems. For hours. She was hung up on a guy who'd dumped her, and would NOT get passed it, and would just talk about him for fucking DAYS ON END. She was in her early thirties, but acting like a teenager, stalking him on MySpace and listening to his voice mails... etc. It was exhausting, but the more hung up she was, the more friends would diss her, and I felt like my duty as a "best friend" was to stick around and give her the ear she needed so she would finally move on and be happy. Our friendship ended when my (now current again) boyfriend broke up with me a couple of years ago, while I was away on holiday with her and a group of her friends. The break up (over the phone) was probably a little loud, and I was crying a bunch, but hey - shit happens, right, and I tried to stay at the other side of the yard so that I wouldn't inconvenience anyone too much. It's not like I spent the whole week wailing on the couch, it was just maybe an hour. Then I stayed quiet until we left the next day, and at the farewell dinner, I excused myself (quietly) because I was too sad to be good company and I didn't want to put a damper on the evening. Well, she had the balls to call me the next day and tell me that I was a total egomaniac who embarrassed her in front of everyone, that I had no self-control and needed to get over myself, and that I was a terrible friend. When I look back on that day, I'm still seething with resentment. I can't believe she made me feel so bad when I was going through such a rough moment - she kicked me while I was down, after I spent a year and a half listening to her whine for hours every day. I may not have handled that moment with grace and dignity, but she was supposed to be my best friend, and she did not have one word of comfort for me - it was all about HER and HER feelings and HER social image. So these people don't deserve our time and attention. I wish I'd sent her packing like the rest of her so-called friends, and didn't devote so much time to her when SHE was down. Friendship is about give and take, not take and take and then take some more. I understand that you care about your friend, but it's possible that she's just too much into herself to actually care back as much as you do. Or maybe she doesn't realize what she's doing, and she needs a wake-up call. Maybe you could tell her gently - "listen, I feel like our friendship is very one-sided lately. I understand you're happy with Roger, but that's all you can talk and hear about. Please think about that, I'm not placing judgement, but I need you as much as you need me." If she's smart, and nice, she'll sleep on it, and hopefully say sorry the next day, and make an effort in the future. Friends are supposed to be able to say this kind of stuff to each other. You'd want to be called on your nasty behavior, right? Preferably by the person you know loves you most, right? So... be that person for her! Good luck!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 7 years
Ugh, what an annoying situation. I'm going to be very open here and mention that I have ADD, and with that a tendency to chat a lot, and about myself (can you tell!?) and it's hard to explain why that happens, there is just a lot going on up there. Sometimes after talking to my friends I would be like, "ahrhfg I totally forgot to ask Sara how her test went!" It's really frustrating. I just am going to agree with K is for Kait, she COULD just be a chatterbox and it might have nothing to do with how much she cares about you. Honestly, I would say something to her about it. Don't attack her, just let her know how you feel. It's very possible she doesn't even realize she's doing it! However, if you think she really doesn't care about you, stop spending so much time with her, make some new friends who WILL show an interest in your life.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 7 years
A lot of people, including myself, have friends who can just sit there and talk about their own lives all day. However, you have to learn to implement a "cut off point" of sorts at which you stop listening to what she has to say and start talking. Take her story, relate it back to something in your life, and tell your own story.. even if you have to interrupt her in order to do it. Or if she just won't stop talking, saying something like "Remind me to talk you about this" or "So did you hear about that?" Just try to move the subject away from her. It's quite possible that your friend is just a chatterbox and she doesn't think she's really dominating the conversation. Try to drive some of your own stories and opinions in there. If that doesn't work, tell her about the issues you're having with your one-sided conversations in the nicest way you can.
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