Ask James: How do I get rid of friends who don’t put any effort into our friendship?


Photo Courtesy of Joelk75 on OpenVerse, licensed under C.C. by 2.0

This doormat could symbolize a friend that allows someone else to walk all over them the way everyone might trample this gentle, straw mat on their way through the door. Don’t be a doormat in your friendships.

James Newman, Advice Columnist

How do I get rid of friends who don’t put any effort into our friendship and are using me?


Dear Doormat,

It can be hard to recognize that people are using you, especially your friends, but it is important to look and see what’s going on in the friendship. And it’s important when inspecting your friendship, to ask yourself questions like:

“Do you always have to initiate everything?” “Have they been showing that they care about me or my interests?” “Are they only asking me to hang out with them, to use something that I have?” “Do I even want to hang out with them or be their friend?”

These may help you gain an understanding of the relationship. And also it’s important to confide in a trusted person, to see an outside perspective on the friendship you are a part of.
After gaining a new perspective on your friendship, if you still feel there’s something worth saving and even if you don’t you still need to have a conversation with your friend on the treatment of you in the friendship. You need to express to them how you were feeling, and please remember your feelings are always valid, but by opening room for conversation. You allow room for growth for both parties.

But either way, look objectively: What is the quality of your friendship? Does it kindle joy? Do you enjoy being friends with this person? And if the answers are no or negative in some sort of way then you have your answer.

You shouldn’t be friends with someone who isn’t a good friend, and a few good friends are better than many mediocre friends. Once you have your answer, talk to your friend to speak on the issue, either hash it out or go your separate ways, and continue to grow and evolve with your life.

I hope this helps you. See you again, XOXO,