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4 signs your friendship is one-sided, even if you really love them

Two women hugging
There are steps you can take to move on, a therapist said.Getty Images
  • All friendships are give-and-take, and not always perfectly 50/50.

  • But if you feel invisible in a friendship, it might be one-sided.

  • A psychologist said feelings of resentment or guilt can indicate you're in a one-sided friendship.

Maybe you've known your friend all your life, but suddenly feel like your dynamic is really uneven — they're always asking you for emotional support without offering the same. Or maybe you've gone to therapy and realized how your upbringing influenced your attraction to energy vampires.

Whatever the case may be, reckoning with one-sided friendships is "very, very common," according to Jill Weber, a psychologist in Washington, DC, whol told Business Insider that she hears complaints of them a lot in her practice.

While Weber said it's unfair to label a friend's specific time of need as "one-sided," there are signs a friendship isn't reciprocal in the long run.

1. You feel small or invisible around them

In a one-sided friendship, you often leave feeling insignificant and invisible around them, according to Weber. "You're feeling like you're more the listener, that there aren't a lot of questions about you or a lot of follow-up about things that you've brought up," she said.

Some friends can have communication differences where they might naturally talk or share more than the other friend. Sometimes, a quick conversation can get them to ask you more questions or notice how often they take up the mic.

But if they can't manage simple signs of reciprocity like making eye contact when you talk or remembering a single detail in your life that doesn't directly tie to them, it's a sign that they view you as interchangeable.

2. You're always doing something for them

Good friendships involve supporting each other through tough times, whether one of you is going through grief, illness, or a tough life transition.

But Weber said to pay attention if you feel "you're always doing something for someone else, whether it's listening or helping them out." Just when you finished talking through their last breakup, they have a new boss they need to vent about.

Plus, Weber added, even friends with a lot on their plate will usually at least acknowledge that you're there for them by saying they appreciate you or asking about how your day was.

3. You're silently resentful

Existing solely for your friend to dump their problems and anxieties on to leaves you feeling angry and irritated, Weber said. And the feeling isn't isolated to when you hang out, but lingers when you don't interact, too.

"You just find yourself ruminating and thinking about this person and feeling resentful," she said.

4. You tend to people-please

Some people, such as those with more narcissistic or dark empath qualities, can try to guilt you into feeling like you need to be there for them 24/7.

"It's like you've accepted that they need more from you than you're getting from them, and you've decided they're justified in that for whatever reason," Weber said. For instance, you might feel like you have to be nice to them because they're part of a larger friend group or work at the same company and you don't want to ruffle any feathes.

In particular, Weber noted people-pleasers are prone to being taken advantage of. "People who are empathic and compassionate sometimes get used and they don't even realize it," she said.

While it's great to care about other people, it's important that you put in effort for people who would do the same for you. If that's not the case in this friendship, Weber suggested starting to set some boundaries.

If that doesn't work, it might be time to part ways for friendships that give back what you put in.

Read the original article on Business Insider