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My friends don’t care

I listen to them talk about their love lives but they never listen to me. 

Good listeners deserve to be heard too, says our elder. Here’s how you can change the conversation.

 

Dear EWC

Sometimes I feel like my friends don’t give a crap about me. I’m surrounded by boy drama because of them and every day they have to tell me about their crushes and boyfriends and in return for me listening to them always, they never hear me out. I am just so sick and bored of it and I told them three times already about how I feel and they don’t realize that I am right. They are so dramatic and I am sick of it. I have my own problems and nobody to talk to. 

For example, there’s this boy I like. For the past seven years I’ve liked him, and we have been friends, but stopped talking two years ago. We occasionally meet on the street and still are friendly, but he is such a jerk. He hits on every girl, but her sister zones me every time we meet. One time we were outside and with the other girls he was all fuccboyish and with me he was all friendly and never hit on me. Not even once. He was nice and we were like, “Remember that time when we…”, since, like I’ve said, we were once great friends and he was funny, and we have so many things in common, same taste in music, same jokes (literally, we were finishing each other’s jokes) And we get along nice when we meet and that’s very rarely, and it crushes me. I like him so, so so much and we’d be perfect for each other, but he likes girls after their booty and boobs. 

And my friends have to tell me every day about their boyfriends and how amazing they are. I am happy for them, really, but I feel like crap and it hurts me to hear them sometimes. I am sick of talking about boys right now, but they don’t get it. I told them so many times about how I feel, but it feels like I am talking to the walls.

 

GranJan replies

My goodness, you are in such a grumpy, uncomfortable place! It can’t be much fun to be so disappointed in your world, to feel like you’re not being given enough attention and respect. Let’s see if we can sort some of it out. But remember, I don’t know you or your friends – all I have to go on is your letter – so I may be missing some important stuff. With that said, here goes:

It sounds like you’re not so much sick of talking about boys as you are sick of talking about your friends’ boys, and wishing that you had a boy of your own to talk about. But would they even listen to you then? Probably not – my guess is that you are a good listener, and they’ve gotten so used to you being there to hear all their drama, that they think you like it that way. I know you’ve told them that you don’t like it but it doesn’t sound like just saying that is very effective.

Did you know that it’s almost impossible to stop doing something? Especially when the something has been going on so long that it’s become a habit? Your friends can’t stop talking about their love life – but they can start talking about something else. The only reason they might have for doing that, of course, is that the something else is interesting to them. And that’s where you come in: your job is to find interesting somethings to talk about, so that when you get tired of all the boy-talk you can say, “Did you know that (insert name here) just won $5000 in the lottery?” or, “My folks are letting me choose where we go for summer vacation – what places do you think would be fun?”

And if you can’t find things to talk about that are interesting to both you and your friends, you probably need to find some new friends – friends who share your own interests and values.

And, about the boy you like. I know you said that you get along well, but – really? Do you really want to be with a guy who only cares about booty and boobs? You know, even if the two of you became a couple, he’d be looking for better boobs or cuter booty whenever you weren’t around; is that the kind of relationship you’d like? I think you deserve better.

Bottom line: choose your friends (and boyfriends) carefully. While it’s important to be civil to everyone, it makes sense to be close with people who respect and value you, who care about what you have to say, and who share your interests. Good listeners also deserve to be listened to; healthy friendships are between folks who can both listen and be heard. If the people you’ve been hanging with don’t want that kind of friendship with you, don’t expect them to change; you’re the one who wants something different, and you’re the one who will have to go looking for it.

Article #: 403067

Category: Friendship

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