Are You In A One Way Friendship?

We all lead busy lives and it’s increasingly difficult to find the time to forge and maintain the deep friendships which anchor our lives and provide safe refuge when the wheels come off. True, lasting friendships are precious and should be protected at all costs; our friends are our first line of defence when besieged with all that life can throw at us. We depend on them, they are our be all and end all.

Or are they? When does a friendship reach the point where it becomes toxic and damaging to us? When we are faced with the decision of cutting off all ties and moving on without someone who had previously been a mainstay in our day to day existence? It’s a tough, painful decision but sometimes it has to be made for the sake of our own sanity. Boils need lanced before they poison us from within.

Today, I’m writing about one way friendships, the type you give everything to, but are left feeling that the sentiment is not reciprocated on the other side of the fence. The friend who you only ever hear from when they need something, the friend who reads your messages but it’s beneath them to actually respond. The person who is oblivious to the serious damage they can cause via their apathy and indifference.

Friendship is not a one way street. It’s a living, dynamic relationship requiring commitment and interaction from both parties. Yet, for some that seems like way too much effort. They exist in a bubble of self, immune to the sad soul looking in, craving even a crumb of their attention. I see these people everywhere I go. They are vacuous, insipid and narcissistic beyond repair. They seek your adoration but don’t be bringing any problems to their door.

They won’t answer the door in the dead of night, when you come desperately in need of their aid. They will parade their perfect, airbrushed lives in front of you via the numerous social media platforms they inhabit. They will hug and air kiss, hearty handshakes and booming laughter aplenty. But step beyond the classroom, church or workplace and you are dead to them. Until next time, that is.

I’ve been on the receiving end of such faux friendships and, believe me, it hurts. You’ll hear from them the second you aren’t fulfilling your side of the arrangement but unwilling to lift a finger when the shoe is on the other foot. For that would be awfully tiresome and they’re far too wrapped up in their own soap opera existences to afford you the time of day. They are parasites, leeches, devouring your self worth and confidence.

Cauterise and cut them out. For otherwise they will bleed you dry, discarding the hollow husk that was your soul by the roadside. Unfollow. Unfriend. Do whatever it takes to squirm free from their incestuous influence on your life. Driving down a one way street can only end in calamity and chaos. You will be left trapped in the wreckage, battered and bruised, while they saunter off without a mark on their bodies. They will not look back, for they care not.

Some fires, no matter how much time we afford to them, will splutter and die. They flatter to deceive until you are left with nothing but a wisp of smoke when the heavens open. Some plants will wither away, no matter how much we water and tend to them. The clock is ticking. We are all running out of that most precious of commodities, time. Don’t waste yours on the one way friendship.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

80 thoughts on “Are You In A One Way Friendship?

  1. I wish I’d read this, oh, a good 20 years ago. Heck, in some cases 30+! But then I wouldn’t have my marvelous kids.
    You’ve hit all the salient points beautifully. One way is a No way for me.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I firmly believe that, although it sounds cynical, successful friendships require that both people have something to offer the other. For much of my life, I was in one-way friendships but I was the one taking and taking! As an alcoholic, I poisoned my relationships with pessimism, outbursts of anger and jealousy, and self-pity. Since sobriety, I’ve made it a point to give more than I get and have found myself in much healthier friendships because of it. Positivity attracts positivity, in the end.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Been down this street a few times in my life and I have found that I can live a real normal and somewhat peaceful life without these people in my life. Hehe, you truly do find out your true friends when you’re going through terrible times in your life and they are nowhere to be found. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve had friendships that became one way, and they used to cause me all sorts of stress and anxiety. I am such a loyal friend that it is difficult to cut those people out completely, but I have grown strong enough in my own self to let those relationships fade into the distance. Unless there was a definitive split in the friendship, I just consider these people casual acquaintances and no longer go out of my way to keep in touch or get together.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve been taught by my children NPC which means Non Playing Character (from video games). It is a way of seeing people in a different light, that they can even be in the same room as you, interact a little, yet are not part of the game. This helps a lot when people hurt you just by being themselves.


    1. Several times I’ve been told I need to explain myself, some have even said it is a must and insisted, but I wonder if that is true? Surely we can pull out the card of “Sorry, but that is none of your business” occasionally?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. One-way friendships are incredibly painful to deal with and not talked about nearly enough. You have expressed your opinion on the matter quite eloquently, and I feel encouraged to take charge in my own life. Thank you.


  6. I was thinking that I don’t have any ‘friends’ like that, but then I thought about family… (and by that I mean brothers and sisters and -in law as well). Those relationships can also be very one-way sometimes but, unfortunately, they are perhaps even more difficult to deal with.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Good advice. Maybe this is why I have only 17 FB friends and about 4 good friends. I learned to burn bridges behind me and not look back. Years ago a book came out about toxic friends and family. Can’t remember the title or author, but I digested it and made it a part of my life. Anybody out there know the title?


    1. I cannot do FB (farceblock) for it relies on the feeling of being left out so you have to keep an update of positivity all the time. People get annoyed and before they can calm down “BOOM!” and this is not the same in the real world, for we can see each other’s faces and feel the situation properly. I wonder what you will make of my statement that: Everyone is my friend and no one is a friend, I am a friendly person who doesn’t rely on friendships.


  8. Have learned to be okay (ish) with culling toxicity in friendship. It was hard, as I’m (like many women are brought up to be) a pleaser. But so important. Thanks for sharing this, Stephen.


  9. In my teens I traded authenticity for acceptance. I was afraid to show the real me, for fear I may lose a friend. Years of being abused in my home and being bullied at school culminated in two things: a wounded heart desperate for connection and zero ability to set proper boundaries.

    That said, it is never too late to learn those fundamental life lessons I couldn’t learn while staving off that early trauma. 1.Implementing self-care is not being selfish. 2. Saying “no” is a complete sentence. 3. I am not responsible for other people’s feelings.

    It is slow going, but I am getting there. Wonderful and thought provoking post.


  10. I remember listening to a radio program with my hubby the person being interviewed was talking about toxic relationships and described such takers as “psychic vampires” because they suck you dry and leave you without the tiniest bit of energy. Your post made me think of that description – it really resonated with me at the time. Very wise advice here, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t live in one way friendships anymore at all. I’m not God. I choose to minister to some folks but that is different than a friendship and has zero expectations. Frankly, I have little expectations with real friends, also, and that keeps us balanced and zero drama.


  12. I have a few friends who I have distanced myself from for various reasons. I have to remember most of the time if someone isn’t capable of going there as a friend it really has nothing to do with me and more to do with them. Not that it hurts less.


  13. We live in a world where people are very self centered. This wasn’t always the case, but somehow meaningful relationships are not sacred anymore. It’s more of a one way street. What are you going to do for me? What do I get out of it? Jesus calls us friend and you can’t get a better friend than that!!


  14. I have been through that myself and it’s very difficult, but like you said, you’re better off in the end. Some people only drain you emotionally, mentally and financially and give little or nothing in return. In my case, the Lord kept impressing the scripture on me about how the time came for Abraham and Lot to part company. It was difficult, but I am better off now.


      1. ☹️

        On a lighter note, one time my husband (who is American) was in England, visiting on vacation. A group of very loud, obnoxious Americans walked by and my husband muttered (in an English accent) “Bloody Americans.” An English man overheard him and agreed, thinking my husband was English. It’s one of my favorite stories.


  15. Beautifully said. Sometimes, it is necessary to take such action. Not only does it relieve you from a toxic relationship, not unlike that of a parasite to a host, but it can possibly help the other person to see the error of their ways provided they have their eyes open.


  16. Unfortunately, when I got sick the few friends I did have never even text to see if I was dead. They could turn around and say ”Well, you didn’t text us?” But, I literally lost over a year of my life, and I was the one doing all the work to keep the friendships going. Now, they are my haters on Instagram and constantly write lies about me, and made a hate page just for me. Obviously, they are blocked from my life and have no idea what their intentions were in ever being my friend in the first place. I have no money, I live a very simple life, so it’s not like I could have given them anything other than my time and friendship.


      1. Thank you! And yes, people are cruel. I actually have a hate page about me on Instagram lol. I remind myself that someone else hate is because of their misfortunes and not mine, but words hurt to the core.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi. I so get what your saying and I’ve had this experience of one way relationships. Giving, giving from my heart. I come from a difficult past and it’s difficult for me to know where the boundaries lay, having been tossed about emotionally, used and abused and so on. Lack of foundations and not being shown how to build healthy relationships, when one is constantly exposed to dysfunction. People walk all over you.


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