Exhausting friendships

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  JayJay 1 year, 3 months ago.

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    Hi all,

    I am looking for some advice on how to deal with friendships that are just down right exhausting.  I’m the type of person who takes on everyone else’s energy. I’m always there to answer people no matter the time of day, to do favours, to help in times of need. I often put everyone else’s needs and wants ahead of my own – which, as you can imagine, leaves me emotionally and physically drained. I’m always worried about how others’ will feel with my actions, whether my actions are selfish or perhaps, I’m just trying to put myself first.

    A bit of backstory, I have a room mate – whom pays little to no rent when she’s in town, doesn’t help out around the house (my house), is a bit of a mess, to be honest. I’ve asked multiple times “please clean the kitchen” “please don’t leave your wet laundry in the washing machine for 3 days” and it goes on and on… I’m 31 years old, I don’t have children and frankly, I don’t want to have clean up after anyone else.  My boyfriend and I are planning to move in together, and I am terrified to ask her to move out when she returns from a 8 months stint overseas.  I’m terrified of hurting her feelings, or making her feeling unwanted. (My house is just not big enough for the 3 of us, plus a dog) I’ve been single with her for a long time, up until a year ago.. Things have taken a wonderful turn with my relationship and this is the best next step for us.  She hasn’t been happy about that.  I think she’s worried about her living situation changing, and not having her single friend anymore. I understand, but I need to move forward with my life.

    I have another friend, who takes her terrible moods out on me. Her boyfriend and her are fighting? I tell her, I’m having a great day.. She rains right on it. Thankfully, I have my umbrella and don’t let her poor attitude ruin my day.  I let her walk all over me, and honestly, I’d rather just cut ties all together. I just don’t know how to do that.

    I guess what I’m asking is, I want to stop accepting poor behaviour from people I consider my friends. I want to be able to stick up for myself, without worrying about hurting someone else’s feelings. I’d like to ask my room mate to move out, and not be concerned about her being mad or upset with me, while I move on with my life. I’ve felt a lot resistance from friends and family when I try to put up boundaries (like not letting them walk all over me, or my relationship).

    I’ve always found great support in these forums, it’s been a long time since I’ve interacted and I’ve missed this community SO much. I really appreciate the honesty and the support from all you beautiful people.



    Hi Sarah,

    It seems as though you how outgrown your friends and moving forward in your own personal life, which is a great thing.

    Your friend must understand at some point this situation was bound it happen, that you would not stay single forever. You have to explain in the kindest possible way that circumstances have changed for you and that your no longer able to accommodate her needs when she returns from her travels.

    If she is your true friend even though she seems to be taking advantage of your kindness, she will completely understand.

    Set yourself some boundaries when it comes to friendships and what they expect from you.

    Sometimes in life you need to put your self and well being first, you should not feel bad for moving forward often people are glad to see you sitting behind as its beneficial for them.

    As for your other friend, I suggest you try and distance yourself as much as possible, avoid pointless conversations and meetings. I am sure at some point she will realize you can no longer provide the services she requires. Eventually you won’t need that umbrella.

    Don’t be afraid of making changes in your life, sometimes they work out to be the best thing you ever did. Removing bad energy can only make room for good energy to enter.

    I hope you put yourself first this time, you are a good person, you are allowed to be free and happy.

    Love B X



    Hi Sarah,

    I agree with B. above. You really need to stop these one way friendships, where you are always giving – of your time, your patience and your unquestioning devotion –  but where no-one is giving anything back to you. These friends are taking you for granted.

    I guess it’s been a long time since you put yourself first. Now you have to, because to do otherwise and let these friendships carry on will not only exhaust you, but put yours and your boyfriends plans to be together at risk.

    You deserve to be treated in exactly the same way as you would like to be treated yourself. And how you treat others. Anything less than that is disrespectful of your friends.  Keep repeating that.

    The friend who lives with you on an occasional basis. I know you hate to say that she needs to leave, but it’s the only way given the situation. If she is your true friend, she will be happy for you and your future plans. She will recognise that you need to move on. Yes, it’s always difficult when you have been friends for so long without any outside interference. Situations change and you have to move forward and give you and your BF that chance.

    I also think you should start getting a lot more distant with the friend who ‘walks all over you’.  But think on this. Why do you let her do this to you. By allowing the behaviour, you are condoning it. You are allowing it to continue and this is making you unhappy.

    Perhaps you need to stop ‘people pleasing’ and please yourself now. Put yourself first for a change. You will be happier for taking back some of the control these people have over you.



    Hi Sarah,

    I’m  new here, just wanted to say that I hope you find resolution to your issues with your friends. I’m probably it the best person to advise as I am renowned for not being able to say ‘no’ and have worried excessively about what other people think of me! I can empathise with your dilemmas though.

    I think if you take a step back and think about your friends behaviour as though it was happening to someone else – like think of someone  you really care about – and how you would feel seeing them being treated that way.. So if you wouldn’t like someone you care about being treated that way then why accept it for yourself.. Care for yourself is I think is what I’m trying to say! (Like I said I’m new, apologies!) :/



    Hi Jill, & Welcome! I hope you enjoy the community that Tiny Buddha has!

    I struggle with saying, no. I always have. I hate disappointing people, even if it means I put myself on the back burner.

    I agree with what you’re saying though, would I be okay with a friend being treated this way? Absolutely not. I’d likely tell them, stick up for yourself! Isn’t it easy giving the advice, yet, always difficult to take the same advice.  I need to start living life for myself, and not others.

    Thank you for reaching it! =)



    Hi JayJay,

    You’re absolutely right, it HAS been a long time since I’ve put myself first.  I don’t want to come across as the victim by any means, but I definitely allow people to take advantage of me, and for what?  I don’t know why I allow it. Perhaps, I’m afraid of not having any friends? Or that someone would be mad at me? No, I know for sure that is part of the reason, that someone would be mad at me.  I’m trying, really trying to put down some boundaries. I find the greatest struggle is how to deal with the resistance, you know what I mean?

    As for the friend who walks all over me – I sent her a very well thought out message outlining the way she made me feel, that I’d appreciate if she would be more mindful in her words when speaking with me. That, perhaps, she just doesn’t realize the way she is coming across.  I want to learn to stick up for myself, and not have to be rude about it (I was in no means rude to her) but let people know, “Hey, I will not tolerate treatment like this from you, or anyone”

    As for my room mate, who knows, maybe she would be understanding and be happy for me! I might just be making it a bigger issue in my head. However, before she left this last time, she told me I abandoned her the month she was home (at Christmas, might I add – I work two jobs, I have divorced parents, and my boyfriends family – so needless to say, the holidays are quite busy). I tried to include her as much as I could, but was also busy living my life, as I have to when she goes away for months at a time.  Aren’t we all looking for the same thing? To love and be loved – to find someone to spend our forever with, and start a family? I’m always so happy when my friends find their ‘person’.

    Thank you for your wisdom and words.  Sometimes, it’s getting the “it’s okay to feel this way” from someone makes a world of a difference.

    Love and light – S



    Hi B!

    Thank you for your advice, and kind words.  I love the community here! As I said to JayJay, it’s nice to get the “it’s okay that you’re feeling this way” from someone else.

    The friend who walks all over me, well yesterday, I decided to send out a message, telling her I didn’t like the way she treated me and that I’d really appreciate her being mindful of how she is saying things, that, malicious or not, it’s hurtful and I don’t appreciate it. I’m not sure she was very accepting

    I want to live a happy life, and have it filled with uplifting people – people who want the same things as I do – to be happy, and provide light to this world.

    Misery loves company, I suppose.  I’ve always struggled with putting myself, and my feelings first so it’s been a journey the last few months. I’ve really realized who in my life is happy for my advances, and who are.. jealous? I don’t want to say jealous in a way to inflate my ego, but maybe wishing their lives were a little different.

    I’ve worked hard to get to where I am – I used to be a very unhappy and depressed person.  I don’t want to go back down that road again (Not that there is anything wrong with being depressed) It’s just that I’ve done a lot of soul searching, a lot of growing and I want to continue growing – even if that means, some of my friendships don’t come along with me.  I want to be able to say goodbye, wish them well, and maybe reconnect when things align better. Does that make sense?

    Love and Light – S



    Hi Sarah,

    That makes perfect sense to me.

    I read an article years ago that really resonated with me. It was about how, in different stages of your life, you need different kind of friendships. Which is why when you have little children of your own, you tend to have friendships with other people who have little children, and so on. I think you are absolutely right in your assumption that, in order to keep moving forwards, you might need to lose a few people along the way. Wish them well but move on. Yes, not severing the friendship altogether but asking a lot less of yourself, especially with those demanding too much. A ‘keep in touch, and it’s always good to hear from you’ kind of friendship, but not one that means you have to drop everything you are doing in your own life in order to cater to someone else as you have been doing.

    I am so glad that you beat your depression and unhappiness. That is such a precious thing. And a great achievement. You are right to not jeopardise the place that you have arrived at and where you are now.

    We should all try to put more love and light into the lives of those who surround us, but not at the expense of our own love and light, as that light would soon go out with the weight of the responsibilities we would be taking on. A flame needs air to keep alight. You shut off the air, the flame goes out.

    Love and light,




    Hi Jay!

    YES! Goodness, do I ever understand that. Our friendships transition, just as much as we do throughout life, I totally get that! Not to say that all friendships don’t have a place within the transitions of our lives, but perhaps, our priorities change. While I was a young adult, I chose to be single and my friends were #1. Now, that I’ve found someone whose wonderful and I see a future with, my friends aren’t my top priority.  I think the people I would be okay with losing are those who don’t support me and the choices (good choices) that I make. I’ve worked hard to become who I am, and hard to get to where I am in life.  I don’t want the added “weight” I guess you could say, the add weight of people and their dark grey clouds.  I’ll be honest, I feel much better after standing my ground with my one friend – I think she has some hurt feelings, and I’m okay with her being upset with me.  It was much needed, and you know what I’m coming to terms with? Real friends may be upset that you stand up for yourself, but they’ll thank you, also.  It’s hard to see yourself in a mirror, like the REAL you, deep down, not the physical you.  It’s hard to have someone tell you that you may not be behaving like your best self. It’s happened me, and it’s awful, but you know what? I grew from it. I made changes, I became more mindful of how I was behaving and treating those I cared about.

    Thank you – I haven’t beat my depression, per say, it’s always a work in progress. However, I do what I can do manage it. I meditate, I do yoga, I listen to my body/mind and what it needs from me. I don’t know that I’ll ever be rid of my depression an anxiety, but I’m definitely trying my best to work alongside it.

    You’re absolutely right.  I want nothing more than to fill my friends and family with my light, and love. I think I need to stop worrying about what everyone elses expectations are of me, and start putting the expectations I have of myself, first.

    It is nice to connect with you, and I value the words you’ve written. You’ve been a great help – just listening, and offering words of guidance.




    Hi Sarah,

    I’m so glad I’ve been able to help.

    You are so right about friends who weigh you down with their demands. They are really quite selfish friends, aren’t they?

    Well done to you for standing your ground. You need to establish some boundaries of your own here. When friendships cross the line and become one sided, with more give on your side, and more take on their side, then you need to point it out and stand up for yourself.

    Like you said, real friends, even when you call them out on something, will consider your views and remain your friends.

    Yes, to grow and learn you need to be open to constructive criticism of yourself and act upon it.

    While I was a young adult, I chose to be single and my friends were #1. Now, that I’ve found someone whose wonderful and I see a future with, my friends aren’t my top priority.

    And that is exactly the right order for you, for now. Just keep your ‘real’ friends close and treasure them just the same as you always have. We all need friends as well as, not instead of, that wonderful someone special in our lives. 🙂

    Jay x



    Happy Saturday Jay!

    Yes, they really are quite selfish. I think I just gave those friends the benefit and looked passed the selfishness.

    The friend I stood my ground to wrote back to me last night, and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t quite impressed with the response. However, that’s her truth, not my own. Instead of trying to see where I was coming from, she made it very much about herself, and how she feels about me. She told me, I am braggy about my relationship – which I don’t see that I am, but something to work on. If anything, I think I feel confident and secure, which is something that perhaps she isn’t used to seeing. I’m proud of the work I’ve done within myself, and in doing so, has led me to a very understanding and loving partner.  If anything, that comment has made me more aware of how I am coming across when talking about my relationship.  I’m still undecided if this friendship is something I’d like to put work into, or if it’s one I’d like to wave goodbye to. Which is never easy, for either party. It’s like a break up, isn’t it?

    I think people nowadays are sensitive, which is okay, but they listen to respond instead of listen to really listen. I’ve caught myself doing that.

    Hope you enjoy your day, wherever you are in the world, Jay!




    Hi Sarah,

    It sounds to me as though that friend of yours has seen the change in your outlook on life and feels insecure or threatened by it. Hence the attack on you (braggy about your relationship) and how she made it all about her, and not about you, or even try to meet you half way.

    Everyone wants to shout to the world about a relationship when they find true love!  You are happy. You are confident and secure. That’s not bragging. That’s sharing your own happiness with those who surround you. Like the sun has come out for you. It shines on those who surround you and they should be happy for you.

    Your friend should be happy for you.

    Like you said in an earlier post, it could be down to jealousy on her part. We don’t know what’s going on in her life at the moment, but it could be that she is not in a good place, and is neither happy, in love, secure or confident of herself, like you are.

    Like you said somewhere, misery loves company!

    Love and light


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  JayJay.


    Hi Sarah,

    I haven’t read the other replies so apologies if this has been covered but, the most important thing for you is to establish healthy boundaries and work on the relationship you have with yourself. Self-love, all the way.

    The relationship you have with yourself, sets the tone for every relationship you have.

    The thing with boundaries, is that they stem from a place of self-worth and how we inately value ourselves. Having strong boundaries doesn’t mean that you’re being selfish, it simply means you’re respecting and honouring yourself.

    You mentioned that you want to please others and not hurt their feelings. I wonder if this stems from a belief you formed as a child, that you weren’t good enough and therefore had to appease those around you in order to get validation that you WERE enough?

    Guess what? You’ve always been enough and you always will be. It’s time you start believing that.

    There’s also an energetic component. You seem to be highly sensitive and take on the feelings of those around you (energetically) via your Empathic nature.

    It’s a wonderful gift… But it can be an enormous burden to the person who hasn’t yet developed emotional dicernment.

    The problem is, you pick up on an emotion then immediately identify with it, then make it yours “Oh, I feel sad… Why is this? Oh it’s because of xyz…” When in actual fact, that emotion wasn’t yours in the first place!

    So the next time you feel something, ask yourself “Does this emotion belong to me” And if not, simply observe the emotion in a meditative state while you allow it to flow out of you. It’s a case of detachment.  Energy is meant to flow and emotions are energy.

    I wish you luck! Recognising your value is a long journey but ultimately the most rewarding.


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