Feeling Used by Friends?
Joan Jerkovich - April 15, 2014 7:00 am
I’m a college student that is questioning her friendship with her closest friends. My friends are at different colleges in different cities. In the past three months, I planned three birthday parties, where I paid for all the expenses, and allowed the friends to stay over at my apartment.
They left my apartment a mess. For the past three months, they always say, “Oh, I’ll pay you back,” but they brush it off when I bring it up. I don’t want to be that one person who constantly nags at her friends. I feel like they use me.
I recently deactivated my Facebook account; my phone gets bombarded with text messages asking why I deactivated the account. I told my friends that I needed a break from social media and a break from them, but they didn’t like that response. They are now mad at me for doing such a crime, when I simply needed a break from them.
I love my friends, but they simply ask so much of me, and they don’t even know it. How can I make them understand that I am not the leader of the group; I want everyone’s involvement when we plan activities. I don’t want them to rely on me for planning activities or paying for the expenses. There are times when I just question my friendship with them.
Of course you question the rules of friendship with this group of queen bees. You have gotten yourself in to a bit of a mess with your friends, but don’t despair; there is a way out of this corner you’ve backed yourself in to.
First, do you really want to turn in your resignation as the friend who does all the party planning? Or do you just need to take a break from this role for a while? Regardless, I hear loud and clear that you want your friends to show you more respect. Yes! You deserve that!
Have you heard that saying, “we teach people how to treat us”? By being so responsible, you have taught your friends that they don’t need to step up and do their part. Heck, they don’t even need to pay you back the money you spent for the girlfriend get-togethers. What a sweet deal for them, but a bitch for you!
Here’s how you fix your situation: First, since you’re in college and need the money just as bad as your friends do, I wouldn’t give up on making them pay you back. Consider sending out a group MMS text telling them what they owe you for these parties. If you want, tell them your Life Coach instructed you to do this.
Keep the MMS text going until you get payment from each of them. Make sure you say “thank you” to the ones who pay you. Let peer pressure help you collect on these debts. If you have a lone hold out who won’t pay you, you may eventually decide to give up trying to get money from “Missy Irresponsible” (you know, the one who can afford a new pair of shoes but can’t pay you back!).
If that happens, make sure the last text you send out before giving up states something like, “I’m sorry to say that Missy Irresponsible still has not paid me back. I thought she valued our friendship more than a new pair of shoes, but I will let it go for now.” Then, the next time you and Missy Irresponsible cheapskate are out together, make sure she is left to pick up your bar tab. Snap! Here’s hoping she doesn’t get beer spilled on those new shoes!
Next, you need to come up with a plan for how you will do things differently the next time you find yourself back in the role of party-planning-group-leader. Things to consider changing are to not open up your apartment to them–rent a hotel room instead or stay at one of their places; or collect money from the group ahead of time; or make each of them individually responsible for part of the event so that if Dizzy Diane forget the snacks, oh well, you have a party without snacks; or just sit back and let them plan all your group activities for a change.
For some sneaky reason, I don’t think you’ll be the type to step out of the leader-of-the-group role forever; so put on your game face and play your new, improved game the way you’ve practiced and planned it! You’re a winner!!
Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~
- How will you hold your friends accountable to paying you back as promised?
- Do you want to step out of the role of organizer and planner; or do you want to come up with a better method for getting your friends to help out?
- Would you be willing to openly and honestly tell your friends why it is you feel the need to take a break from them?
- Could you be so brave as to tell them that you have been feeling used and question the authenticity of their friendship?
- Will you be sending them a link to this blog??
Join the conversation & post your comments anonymously @ www.JoanJerkovich.com We learn from each other!