Dear Bestie — I Love You But I Feel Like I’m Becoming Your On-Call Therapist

Your constant need for advice has turned me into a bad BFF. Instead of being the supportive friend who always has your back, I’m finding myself resentful during the time we spend together. What was once a productive friendship has become a job I don’t think I’m up to anymore, and it’s because you rely on me too much for emotional support.

  1. I’m Just Not Enjoying Our Time Together Anymore. There was a time when hanging out was fun, now I feel like it’s a chore and carries the expectation that I will sit there for no other reason than being your sounding board. I know a good friend should always be happy to lend an ear when it’s needed but when it’s every damn time, I find myself wanting to call time out.
  2. It’s Tiring. People come with baggage and I get that, but when I’m carrying your load in life plus mine, it makes for a really heavy burden. Of course I want you to come to me in your crisis moments and not be afraid to tell me whats going on, but when every little bump in the road is interpreted as a crisis I find myself switching off. I worry that one day I will switch off when it really is important.
  3. I Don’t Have All The Answers. Despite what drunken me tells everyone, I don’t know it all. I do like to think that maybe there are times when I can add a different perspective to a situation, but I don’t want you taking my word as gospel and following it to the letter. I used to admire you for your independence, but now I worry that you’re relying too much on my advice.
  4. I’m Not Going To Tell You What You Want To Hear. You’re my friend and I want nothing but the best for you, but I refuse to be a “yes” muppet.  I have opinions and I will happily share them with you, but I won’t blindly agree with you for the sake of it. If this is all you want from me, then I’m not the best person to be confiding in.
  5. There Are Only So Many Times I Can Have The Same Conversation. I know that stress and anxiety can cause a person to repeat things over and over as they process it. But if we’re having the same conversation on repeat and never get any closer to a solution, I begin to wonder about the value of that conversation. Are you really looking for a way out of your problem or are you just rehashing it for the sake of stressing over it?
  6. I Feel As Though You’re Taking Advantage of meI consider myself a good friend. I try to be supportive and be there when you need me, but when your phone calls become a matter of urgency over anything that I am doing at the time, I begin to wonder whether you’re taking advantage of our friendship. I’m not saying I don’t find your issue important, I’m saying that in the middle of my meeting or doctors appointment, it doesn’t sit terribly high on my priority scale.
  7. Friendship Should Be A Two-Way Street. When I was a little girl, my mom taught me that a friendship relied on two people who were willing to commit equal amounts of energy to each other. I understand that during stressful times we become self-absorbed and focus only on ourselves, but if our time together always ends in your own personal counseling session and I leave feeling like the life has been drained out of me, then our two-way street has become a one-lane highway.
  8. I Need To Vent Too. I had a crap day last week. I tried to tell you, but you were too busy speaking over me to hear what I was saying. I admit, in that moment I looked at you with new eyes. My friend, who I thought would always have time for me, now only had time for what was happening in her mind and life. Sure, I had noticed moments prior to this, but this was my ‘awakening’.
  9. I’d Rather Make An Excuse To Avoid You Than Listen To You. Lying should have no place in any sort of relationship, but I’ve found myself throwing excuses at you just so I don’t have to sit through another “therapy” session. I’d like to think that a friend wouldn’t do that to me so I’m embarrassed by the fact that I do it to you.
  10. Sometimes Your Carp Is Just Too Heavy. When every mole hill becomes a mountain and your mountains always become my mountains, it’s time I stand up and say “I’m tired, take them back”. Life has difficult times and sometimes they feel like they will never end, but throwing them all onto those around you doesn’t help anybody. In fact, it’s the fastest way to work your way out of the friendship. I’m tired! Please carry your own stuff for a while.
Maggie is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. When she isn't swigging wine straight from the bottle, she is busy procrastinating on her housework. Currently working on her first novel, she is also the creator of The Reverse Housewife and regular contributor to Hub Garden.