I’m a Bad Friend…

I’m sure my husband is sick of it. And heck, you might be sick of it, too. And I’m sorry if this theme has become redundant, but this is where I’m at right now. This is what I’m walking through.

You see, I’m a bad friend. For all my complaining and pity-party throwing, it turns out that I’m not all I’m cracked up to be. I mean, sure, I might appear to be a super cool friendly type, but really, I could improve.

I’m a bad friend for lots of reasons…

I’m selfish. I know, jump back. I’m jealous of my time alone and all too often, I like to spend it…alone.

I don’t call. I fully intend to call. I think I’ll call. I’ll even set reminders (if I remember) on my phone to call, but more often than not, I won’t.

I won’t text, either. Or I’ll text in place of calling, which, in reality, is just as bad.

I’ll try really hard to remember your birthday. I’ll even dream up some elaborate, personal, genius gift idea, but again, I’ll most likely never get around to making it. Sorry.

I might let days, weeks, or even months go by without corresponding (see above). It’s not to say that I wasn’t thinking about you or missing you, though.

I’m lazy. In case you missed it, much of this “bad friend” list can be chalked up to laziness and the first thing I mentioned…that pesky little selfish-trait I hold.

I am a bad friend…

…But people have told me that I’m too hard on myself. Perhaps they are right. I am my own worst critic, no question. These days, it seems I magnify my flaws instead of being grateful for my strengths. I want this to change. God doesn’t walk around with a big sign listing our failures or where we need to improve. He points them out gently and kindly, but He also allows us to use our strengths for His glory. So with that being said

I’m also a good friend…

I will always call you back. Sure, I might not have picked up the phone first, but I will always return your call and never leave you hanging.

I’ll pray for you. Whenever I tell anyone I will pray for them, I make sure to do so. Even on this blog. Even if I have to stop right then in that moment and pray, so that I won’t forget.

I’ll give you loads of praise. Yes, the birthday gift might be forgotten, but I will give you an endless supply of verbal affirmation. It’s my love language and I am fluent.

I’m fiercely loyal. This can’t be overstated. If you invest in me, I will invest in you. And once that has happened, you will have a hard time shaking me. I stick.

I’ve been told I give good advice, but even if I don’t know what to say, even if words or wisdom escape me, I will walk through your trial with you.

I’ll cook for you. Can lasagna or chocolate be another type of love language? Because I speak them well. I will cook for you because nothing says I love you like Bolognese sauce.

So there you have it. I’m a bad friend, yes, but I’m working on being better. I’m working on letting my valuable parts shine. I want to be a good friend…a better friend, and I’m getting there.

Are you a good friend or a bad friend? Why or why not? What areas do you need to improve in and where have you done well?

17 thoughts on “I’m a Bad Friend…”

  1. “These days, it seems I magnify my flaws instead of being grateful for my strengths.”

    This is the same issue I have on a lot of these things. When I read your question my first response was to say I’m a horrible friend. Then I stopped to think…I’m fiercely loyal and if you’re in trouble I’ll be the first to have your back. That’s not something a horrible friend does. But I’ll think of the times I’m selfish or neglected someone and it seems like that’s the rule rather than the exception.

    And I let one bad thing rattle in my head…if I had 99 great things said to me by friends I’ll remember the 100th comment that was bad.

    I hope I’m a good friend. Then again, I don’t have many friends so perhaps that’s a sign I’m not.

    1. Jason, why is it that in a sea of compliments, we hang onto the one sinking negative comment? I’m the same way.

      I’m glad that you were able to honestly evaluate yourself and realize that while your first instinct was to think you’re not a great friend, you found things that say the opposite.

      I don’t think having lots of friends is an indicator that someone is a good friend. Sometimes being a great friend to a small few is enough..

  2. Overall I’d say “bad friend”. I don’t have a lot of close friends. Every morning I go on FaceBook and click my own profile to see if I have any friends left, and I’m always amazed when the number hasn’t dropped since the day before. It’s not that I dislike people, but over the years a lot of people have wandered away from me for one reason or another – usually without having taken the time to really dig in and find out what I’m all about. They would find a good person if they made that investment. But, then, I don’t make that investment in others either, I suppose.

    1. Ed, I think it’s interesting that you and Jason both mentioned that you must not be a good friend because you have few friends. I wonder if there is a direct link or not. I have always had fewer friends. it just suits my personality

      I find that people who have tons of friends, those friendships are usually comprised of shallow or more superficial relationships. It’s hard to be a good friend to many. I’m working on being a better friend to a small few.

      I agree too. We can’t expect people to invest in us if we aren’t willing to do the same.

  3. Ah…I get you Nicole…

    I’m a pretty bad friend most of the time without even knowing it! Yikes!

    For pretty much the same reasons as you too!

    But, I’m working on it…

    My wife has already given me the talk about this…

    I need more friends…

  4. Love this blog post! So honest.

    I’m a TERRIBLE friend. And it is so funny because my best friends are also AWFUL friend type people.

    And I’m ok with it.

    You see…I have a lot of demands on me. Husband, kids, work, ministry, house, family, etc. etc. etc. They all eat up time and energy and suck all my extrovert connection tendencies. Then my inner introvert (which is bigger and stronger than my extrovert) gets really pissed off and wants to go sit alone in my office and eat chocolate while reading awesome sauce blogs like this one.

    And I have to listen to the introvert, or she will take over and we will never see the extrovert again.

    So I’m ok with being a terrible friend…right now. Because I know that ultimately, it doesn’t define me, and someday, when the kids are all growed up I’ll be a better friend again, because my heart is to connect.

    The spirit is wililng, but the flesh is overcommitted. LOL.

    1. Sarah, so true! Moms have a difficult time, I think, for many of the reasons you mentioned. We are being pulled in so many different directions. However, motherhood and marriage are two things that have impressed upon me the need for real, genuine, life-long friends.

      I don’t–I can’t–walk this road alone I don’t think God expects me too either.

      And this cracked me up: “The spirit is wililng, but the flesh is overcommitted.”

      Thanks for sharing Sarah!

  5. I found this to be such an interesting piece. I guess whether or not we consider ourselves good or bad friends depends upon what we are using as a guide to “good friendship”.
    I do tend to think of myself as “not the best” friend. However, the reasons I am not-so-great at being a friend to anyone in particular are not personal to any one person. I don’t forget to call you because I don’t want to talk to YOU, I just don’t want to talk in general (at that moment in time), or (like others mentioned) have really good intentions that never see reality. I also come up with lots of great ideas for gifts that would be perfect for you, but you never see them. Not because I changed my mind about the gift, but because something came up in my finances, or I really did get it but never made it to the post office.
    I guess all I am trying to say is that while I know my follow-through may appear to be lackluster, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt if you need me, I will be there. I always see the best in people and believe in them even when they don’t believe in themselves. I will do my best to encourage you and lift you up at all times while also trying to dispel whatever lies or deceptions you may believe about yourself. I will take your call for help or just as someone to hear you out, regardless of the time of day or night. I am a fiercely loyal teammate who will be on your side, but will always find a way to tell you the truth, lovingly (when we are alone, so you won’t feel put on the spot or humiliated in front of others).
    Perhaps, by some standards, I don’t qualify for the friend of the year award, but I can honestly say that I would love to find a friend who is okay with their flaws and is as giving, honest, and loyal as I try to be.

  6. I’m totally a bad friend too. I’m also hard on myself. I don’t know, I just find it easier to be independent. But it’s not always right, and it’s not always good. We were designed to be in community, and so I am often starving for it, without realizing. My other problem is that I am a “do-er” and not a “be-er”. I have found my value in what I do for many years, and am now just working to correct this. It has lead me to many great things, but also to lots of burnout and exhaustion. And like you, when I’ve looked around, I wonder where all my peeps have gone. But I’m happy to say that I’m biting a lot of these things in the butt and have been working harder to be more available, and more present in my own life. Which simply starts with saying no to more work. Tough stuff, but when I’m on my death bed, I would rather have people around me than awards or accolades. Relationships are what matters most.

    1. Ali, relationships do matter most. Everything else we work for will fade or decay. More than that, God created us for relationship.

      I like your terms of “do-er” versus “be-er.” I think that rings true for so many people. Real relationships often requires us to stop doing and moving, and instead be still and present.

      Thanks for sharing Ali!

  7. I am a bad friend. I like my alone time too, and funny, I like it alone. It turns out I am the center of my world and your needs are viewed through that lens.

    I can, however, fix almost anything with a paper clip. I like doing it for someone who needs it repaired for free or close to it. I work behind the scenes well.

    1. Alissa, well thanks. Friendship is a lot easier at age 16. High school makes it almost simple–you’re crammed in a classroom and then building together 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. Although I’m not sure I’d want to do that with any of my friends now. It’d be overkill.

      And I LOVE that Salinger set! I added it on Pinterest. Maybe it will make its way to my stocking. Thanks!

  8. I’m a bad friend, or terrible person either way, I’ve been trying to improve but it’s so hard for me to make and keep friends. I am all of the positive things you said, I’m loyal, I call back, I text first, I call, I try to make time. I even buy little things occasionally for them. But I feel I’m trying to hard, because I never get the same responses back. I never get treated how I’d like to be treated. But I have a bad way of approaching things, when people don’t include me in things. Or never want to hang out. I have a bad habit of assuming things too soon also. I get to the point where I either blow up and get angry or upset. I really want to be friends with the girls in my fiancés friends group but we are so different and I’ve tried so hard to get them to like me, it stresses me out. Recently my fiancés friend had an engagement party at his house for a friend of his. Now I assumed that he threw it, so I got upset that he never threw one for us. But as usual I assumed and it was her friend that threw the party not him. So now they hate me more I assume. :/ I know we aren’t really ment to be friends but since we always see each other. Ugh

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