Nothing is worse than being called a “bad friend”. Particularly when it’s by those who are close to us, or by those who don’t even know us. The idea of being judged by someone based on our relationship with them or with others is quite daunting, made even worse, when we are labelled as being “bad”. But beware: A lot of people will use this to manipulate you into doing things you do not want to do.
A couple of years ago, I was in a bad place. I had a friendship that wasn’t working at all, and I was severely unhappy. My emotional state and my grades were heavily affected. While I was fully ready to devote my time to a healthy friendship, the girl in question was only focused on… boys. Yup! Not so good, right? But it was one of my first close relationships with a person, and in all honesty, I didn’t really want to let it go. So, desperately, I clung onto the notion that if I just stuck around, said friend would just magically be interested in me again.
Yeah, I was wrong.
In this instance, who was being a worse friend? Was it her, for not even giving me the time of day? Perhaps. Or, was it me? Was my behaviour labelling me as a bad friend, because I was stubbornly trying to enforce a friendship that she didn’t want? It’s actually harder to tell, the deeper you think about it. In its most basic form, however: we both could have improved. In her case, she could have let me know that she didn’t care, rather than play with my emotions and leave me guessing.
In my case, I could have let it go.
It’s hard, yeah, but it’s for the best sometimes. If someone doesn’t think you’re worth their time, and you’ve tried at least three times to repair your relationship, then just let it go. You’re not being a bad friend. As far as they’re concerned, the friendship’s over, anyways.
As for the manipulation game: Don’t play it, and don’t be played. Don’t call someone a bad friend because they don’t do every little thing that you want them to. That’s called being a “control freak”, and it’s rude. People have their own minds, and their right to do whatever they want. On the flip side, if you think you’re being played, you’ve got to speak up. There’s no point in being upset about something that you have the power to change, if you don’t even try to change it.
As always, if you have any issues, TWE is here to help. Comment below; I’m interested to see what people think about this.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.