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You Asked: My Feelings or Hers?

Dear Sugar--

Your re post of the friendship question had me thinking about my own current situation with someone that I consider to be one of my best friends. We met through school and automatically clicked with similar senses of humor and outlooks on life. I think that she is a good person and I am
always hoping that things in her life work out well. Lately she has had a lot of bad luck with school and men. Rather than working on improving her life she is doing a lot of wallowing and she has kind of "checked out" of the world. She doesn't leave the house much and she just spends all day watching TV or talking on the phone.

I don't think it's healthy for her but I don't know how to approach the subject. She has been getting some counseling, but hasn't been doing much else. I want her to get well so I have been taking a hands-off approach to everything. But I feel like I am being neglected. I always invite her to do things and she declines and I am always the one calling her. Is it too much for me to ask that she invest a little bit in our friendship, or should I just back off and let her come out of her slump on her own? Is she is trying to tell me something and I'm not getting the hints? --Sensitive Sally

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Sensitive Sally--
From the sounds of it, your friend could be suffering from a mild case of depression so I am glad to hear she is seeking professional help. While your hands off approach gives her the space she might need, support of a best friend could be just what the doctor ordered. If she is closing herself off to her friends and family, I am sure she is completely unaware that you are feeling neglected.

Has she confided in you and told you what is bothering her? She could be declining your invitations because she isn't feeling very social, so make an effort to come into her life, where she feels safe and secure. Suggest a walk, or a cup of coffee, anything that will give you some quality time together.

You're right, excluding herself from the outside world and turning to the TV as an escape is not a healthy way of life, so you might have to put your hurt feelings to the side for the time being and support your friend during her time of need. Once she starts to pick up the pieces in her life, hopefully she will realize what an amazing friend you are and you can get back to the equal friendship you had before.

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andaman andaman 9 years
Tell her to go for a long walk with happy music on her headphone or for a swim at least once a day. If she wants to go home and spend all day in bed after that it is entirely up to her (however i don't think she will). Tell her that is all you ask for. I think you will see the difference. If she finds it hard to get out of the house tell her walking or swimming for an hour will make the rest of the day better. Go before she turns on the telly in the morning. Go with her if you wish. Good luck girl.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 9 years
I definitely agree with DearSugar that your friend has become depressed. She must realize it to some extent if she is getting help for it. I think you are being and amazing friend by continuing to extend yourself to someone who doesn't have the ability to reciprocate right now. Withdrawing is a common symptom of depression, so just hang in there and try to be patient with her. Hopfully in a few months this will pass and I'm sure when it does she will thank you for your support and friendship.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Sometimes people push away the closest people to them when they are sad and it sounds like she's pushing you away a little. If you have a boyfriend it might be worse, because being around you might be a reminder of what you have and she doesn't. I think that continuing to try to spend time with her is a good idea, and also letting her know that you are willing to talk with her if she feels like she needs a friend to lean on. Since she's already seeking counseling, I think that's about as much as you can do!
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