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Selfish Friends?

I am having a party and need my friends to help. But they keep making excuses, even though I do stuff for them a lot. I just wanted to get treated the way I treat others. How do you handle it when a friendship starts to feel one-sided?

- 16 year old female

I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with this difficult situation, and it’s definitely something I can relate to – it’s really frustrating when the people you care about don’t understand or respect your needs.

This might sound a little silly, but my best advice is to write them a letter explaining how you feel. I often find it difficult to speak my mind in person because I feel overwhelmed with the emotions of the situation. If you write it all down in a letter (or a text or whatever other written form), you can clearly state to them what you’re feeling and what you need and give them the space and time to comprehend that and decide how to react.

It’s possible the friendship will stay one-sided after the letter, but knowing you said your peace and gave them the opportunity to change will make growing past that friendship easier. But I think it’s very likely that your friends will be surprised to learn you feel this way, and they will work on and change their actions to make the friendship stronger. I hope this is helpful!


About The Author: Laura Silverman is an author and editor and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. Her books include Girl Out of Water, You Asked for Perfect, and It’s a Whole Spiel. Girl Out of Water was a Junior Library Guild Selection. You can contact Laura on Twitter or through her website.


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A final note: We are strong believers in the power of therapy. We know that this isn't a realistic option for every teenager, since some of you might not have the parental support or extra income necessary to make this happen. But, if possible, please consider therapy. Many of the adults you respect most have benefited from therapy, and it's likely that you will too. There's no shame in getting support. You deserve it.

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