Girlfriends do not wait on every street corner. They’re special. We need them to be happy. After all, they help when things don’t go so smoothly and also make us feel needed. But what if they don’t do just that? What if a supposedly good friend doesn’t give you any support, but instead keeps stabbing you in the back?
In fact, there are always phases in which your friends simply tick differently or simply get on your nerves. In these situations, the question arises: seek a conversation, retreat, or simply swallow? Bärbel Wardetzki, psychotherapist and author of “Nimm’s bitte nicht persönlich” (Kösel-Verlag, 13 Euro) reveals how to address problems easily and when it is really better to draw a line under friendship.
These 7 things you should tell your best friend more often
She’s just annoying you now.
People change, friendships change. It’s perfectly normal. The only problem is when friendships become a burden. When you don’t just drift apart and feel bad about it. It is often difficult to judge when you should openly address the problem or perhaps even finally “break up”.
What can you do now? Follow your gut. “If you feel you have nothing more to say to yourself, or your girlfriend doesn’t care about you when you’re miserable, even though she used to.” It’s also a type question. Some people draw a line quickly, others suffer longer. “They’re holding on to a relationship they should have broken up a long time ago. There are friendships that are all about appearances.
“When you can’t be yourself without having to listen to a bunch of silly sayings.” Another destructive theme is envy. In principle, if you feel exploited, you should do something: “For example, if you are supposed to be there for your girlfriend all the time, but she is never there for you when you have a problem. Then the balance is no longer right,” says the expert. In this case, you should urgently seek the conversation.
If your counterpart shows little or no understanding, you know where her priorities lie. In that case, say “Bye!” With a girlfriend who doesn’t care about your feelings, you’re only wasting time that you’d better spend with true friends.
Envy in friendship: How you react to it
She blames you
Out of the blue, she attacks you, mostly for things you are not to blame for, or have always been. Of course, you shouldn’t put up with everything and fight back if necessary. But you are not infallible either. Are you partly to blame for the conflict?
What can you do now? Reflect on your own behaviour: “To find a solution, it is good to know the cause, your part in the conflict.” Why is your girlfriend maybe jealous or devaluating you? Is there something about your girlfriend that’s bothering you? Is it possible you’ve been asking too much of her? “We often demand too much from our friends or cross boundaries,” says expert Wardetzki. Acknowledge your share of responsibility and approach her.
Do you get the feeling that your girlfriend picks a fight with every little thing? Perhaps the reasons lie deeper than that. © Estrada Anton / Shutterstock.com
She has no time for you
Her best friend has a new boyfriend and – poof – the joint plans are history. The classic one. A sudden loss of contact hurts so much, you feel abandoned. Of course, you could just accept that. Allow your girlfriend the new love and at some point you will only meet by chance. But is this the right way?
What can you do now? Insulted and waiting for betterment doesn’t help. The expert advises: “Just talk to them. It is normal for friendships to loosen when you enter into a close partnership. It is still possible to be together with friends. Tell them how you feel and look for a solution how to spend time together. Maybe continue a ritual from the past? A holiday together? Sometimes we need to be reminded that we need friends as much as we need our partner.”
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She disappointed you
She broke a promise? Or made out with your ex, who you’re still hung up on? It’s crap – but it happens. Is your grief so great that you want to cut off contact?
What can you do now? Don’t run off at once. Being able to relate to each other, even in such a situation, is the basis of every friendship. See if you can rebuild the trust – perhaps with a little distance. “Sometimes breaks in friendship are quite good,” says Bärbel Wardetzki. “Reduce the contact and reorient yourself.” Meet more often with other friends and loosen up the relationship a bit. If you meet with several people, the expectations are not so high anymore.
This helps to revive the friendship and can lead to you getting closer again – because you notice what you have in common. “A friendship is a process. Have patience and don’t set your expectations too high,” advises the expert.
The basic rule is: Do not make any hasty decisions. Often you know the people long ago and share unique experiences with them. Therefore, in most cases it is worth working on it and finding a way to regain lost trust. Sometimes it helps to shift down a gear, and sometimes you need to pick up the pace. It depends on the situation. But most problems can be solved with a conversation. If all this doesn’t work, you can always pull the ripcord.
There are three things you need to be aware of when you talk to her
Most of the time, it takes nothing more than an open conversation to save a broken friendship. Read here how to best approach this:
Maybe she feels hurt by you, without that being your intention. So: Don’t always just counter, look at your own mistakes. © Estrada Anton / Shutterstock.com
1. talk about your problems – but use the first person. Expert Wardetzki: “Never attack your friends directly. You sentences force them into the defensive. Speak from the first-person perspective. Make her understand how you feel, what you miss and what you want from your friend.”
2. ask also how she’s doing and what she has to say about it. You should give your girlfriend a chance to express her point of view. “So it’s not an attack and you’re on the same level. Maybe she feels the same way, then you have something in common.”
3. Draw consequences. If your reaction (and therefore the friendship) feels wrong and causes you grief, you have the courage to break up. Say what is bothering you and that you want to withdraw from this friendship. It is quite possible that she feels the same way and simply did not dare to be honest. “You don’t always say it because it’s often embarrassing,” says psychologist Wardetzki. So, speak up – you’ll see, it helps!
Girlfriend fights are perfectly normal. However, if you feel that there is a constant buzz between you or that something fundamental is at stake, you should seek the conversation. If you look not only for faults with your girlfriend, but also for your possible part in it, any conflict should be resolved in conversation. Our tips will help you do this.