What to do when a friend you’ve helped abandons you

Cupcake11 asks:

I’ve been very upset lately and with things happening at such a fast pace.

I feel like I care way too much about people and there’s probably something wrong with me that’s why everyone just leaves me.

This friend of mine I’ve mentioned earlier who had a really bad break up, and I was always there for her when she needed me, never did anything wrong to her, but even though she had healed a little bit and was absolutely fine, one day she decided to distance herself from me because I was really close to her and she gave an excuse saying she doesn’t need anyone’s love and care. I was shattered, but I still went on to help her because she used to cry behind closed doors, she stopped sharing stuff with me and her ex-boyfriend used to tell me whenever she called him or texted him.

I spoke to her about it and since I overthink a lot I thought a lot about it and kept thinking and it messed me up in the head. I tried my best to help her by not talking about him and just sending her small chits about how she’s amazing the way she is; I even wrote a letter to make her feel good about herself.

I had a separate group of friends I introduced her to, and she was the centre of attention always, everyone loved her and I was happy for her. But then after a small vacation, when everyone got back, she stopped talking to them too, and she suddenly became best friends with someone who’s extra sweet to her and almost does everything according to her ,and I felt like she is using her.

She also became friends with one of those old friends who disrespected her and didn’t treat her well before, a person who is alone, so she got back to her, who in her happy times didn’t even bother to ask how she was.

I was mad at her because we created a group and stated that we’re very busy in our own lives, and she wants to keep that little bond left. I was furious because our lives were never apart and we spent our entire day together, and suddenly she doesn’t talk to me at all. I exited because I really wasn’t  comfortable there, and she asked me why, and I told her how she’s hurt me by randomly ignoring me and intentionally distancing herself and everything.  She didn’t reply, and later she said she doesn’t want to.  When I asked if I’d said anything wrong, she said no. But this one text made me feel like she isn’t the one texting, because she never uses punctuation and she always uses short forms. It’s killing me to not get a reply from her, and also all the thoughts of her probably getting influenced by people or something.

I’m overthinking constantly (when I’m not supposed to) but she’s ruined my mind by leaving and coming back multiple times, and by trying and not trying at the same time. I have no idea what to do.

How can I stop such thoughts?

Hi Cupcake11 –

As far as her recent actions, the pushing-you-away-and-then-coming-to-you, I can’t really give any intelligent thoughts, as I don’t know her and what she’s doing it for.

But with the earlier stuff, I think I can help.  You see, you’re a good person, and really helpful.  But your relationship with her started to become something where your needs were getting involved, and twisted in with her needs (the ones you were helping with).  And when this happens, when a person starts to need others to need them, that can start to feel bad to the ones they’re trying to help.  There’s a word for this, codependence, where one person is dependent on another person’s being dependent on them. 

So your friend really needed all the help you gave her.  But as she got stronger, she started feeling your energy pulling her back from the movement she needed to do.  It was probably part of her healing process to push past you, to re-engage some of her old friendships, and such.  But when this started to bother you, and when you let her know you needed her to be there for you, that was too much for her, and she had to reject you.

Now don’t get me wrong, everyone can fall into this rut.  (After all, I sure need you to write me, which shows that I’m pretty codependent myself!)  But your job is to try to keep aware of it, and then try to reduce it in your life.

There are books and courses to help you with this, but the first step is the most important one – to see yourself doing it.  Once you do, it’s far easier to give this girl some space, because then you can see that she’s doing just what she needs to do for herself, and not feel that it’s about her rejecting you.

I know it sounds like I’m criticizing you, but what I’m really doing is telling you how good you already are, and giving you a way of avoiding unnecessary pain.

When I was a puppy, Handsome spent so much of his time taking care of me.  But once I got the chance to get out into a dog park, I ran off as though I didn’t even know him.  So, did he get hurt by this?  Not in the least.  He knew why I was so excited, and even encouraged it.

What if you did this with that girl?  Told her how cool she was acting, how she was making great decisions, how great her future was looking to you.  Would she walk away?  Absolutely.  But then she’d find those people to be just as cold and unfeeling as they were before.  And she’d come running back to you, the friend who was always there for her.  Just like the way I run back to Handsome in the park, every few minutes!

So I’d say to just go with that.  And see what happens.

And let me know.  Hopefully this works out really well.

All my best,


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