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Amaliah Agony Aunt: Am I a Needy Friend?

by in Relationships on 7th December, 2022

We know that Amaliah is like a Big Sis and sometimes our DMs have been filled with requests for advice on a range of life issues including relationships, friendships or work troubles.

We have started a new segment where we field dilemmas from the community and answer them as frankly as we can with love, truth and honesty.

Need some advice on a dilemma? Send them all here!

Assalamu alykom. 

I have a best friend of 7 years. I believe we truly care for each other but lately things have been very difficult and our friendship is deteriorating. We don’t communicate often like we used to. It pains me because as I was assessing the situation, it dawned on me that our friendship is somehow one-sided. Like I can go a mile and an ocean for her, but she can’t do the same for me. 

I realized all through these years I have only been her “convenient” friend, her therapy friend, and someone whom she expects to solve her personal problems. There were days when I needed her to be by my side but I only received hurtful remarks. There were days she just casually cancels our plans just because she doesn’t feel like going out. There were days when I had to beg her to spare me her time and accompany me. The deterioration in our friendship started when I started pointing out to her how she treats me and that I think I deserve to be treated better. I get upset because she treats her other friends better than she treats me. Every time I tell her this, she gets mad and tells me I should just be grateful for the time she has for me. She hates me now because she feels I don’t accept her. Am I too demanding? Am I too needy? I am really really sad because I really treat her as my best friend.

Maya Areem Responds:

Walaikumasalaam, I hope you are well and in a good place insha’Allah.

Realising that a relationship is not matching up to your expectations can be a hurtful experience. Our relationships with others shouldn’t make us feel bad about ourselves, and if you feel crap in a friendship, the first step is to have an introspection of your role and the second is to examine the reality of how you are being treated.

You say this is something that has happened lately, rather than something that has always existed in this way. However, you also say that the deterioration is significant since you pointed out a mismatch in what your expectations are vs how she is treating you. I can’t judge you on if you are being needy, however what I would say is, it is okay to have needs and expectations of how others around you can meet those needs.

Maya Angelou said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves better than you do, that’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.”

You are allowed to have needs, but who do you approach to have your needs met? And when someone shows you several times who they are – in their unwillingness to meet your needs or to show up for you in a friendship as you would like, why return to the person?

Overburdening yourself and then feeling resentful towards the relationship may be a sign that you need to have clearer boundaries for yourself, alongside ensuring that the relationships you engage with are nourishing and allow mutual respect and care.

You should feel valued and listened to in your relationships, but this person has made it clear that they are not interested in doing that for you or in taking accountability for how their actions are making you feel. So, it feels like, if not a friendship breakup, perhaps you might benefit from distancing yourself from here and reviewing the expectations you have of her. I think deep down you know your friend hasn’t treated you well but you don’t want it to be true.

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. 

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.