Ungrateful Friend? Here’s How to Handle It

Ungrateful Friend

Dear Selfless Esteem,
I have a lifelong friend who seems more & more ungrateful & cold hearted. For years I’ve been there for her by encouraging & listening & helping her out financially when I didn’t have much myself. She had similar beliefs but now snaps at me whenever I bring up God or the Bible. She gets mad over any & everything. She’s become extremely critical, yells when I disagree & no matter what I do she points out how I haven’t done enough. I care a lot about her but the rapport doesn’t feel healthy.
Loving Someone Ungrateful

Dear Loving Someone Ungrateful,

It sounds like you have been such a good friend to this person for so long. (っ◔◡◔)っ ❤ But now the friendship doesn’t feel healthy anymore so let’s break it down.

The Cause of an Ungrateful Friend

Your friend is seemingly not in a good place in her life for some reason and so she’s at a low level of functioning as well. Most likely, some disappointment is causing her anger, and she’s taking it out on you.

Different Types of Friends

Another reason for her anger with you could be that her expectations are too high. Most people understand that each of their friends have different strengths, and so they call upon them accordingly. For example, you may have an early-bird-friend, a night-owl-friend, and a friend, who is good with kids. Then you would ask your early-bird-friend to join you on a morning walk, you would call your night-owl-friend for a listening ear when you have trouble falling asleep, and you would request your friend, who is good with kids, to help entertain your children while you get some work done. However, your friend is unrealistically expecting you to meet practically all of her needs—you are her “go to” for everything. You are doing the work of other people, e.g., she may need a quality therapist and a case worker for financial aid programs.

Redefining the Friendship

Ungrateful Friend

You stated that this doesn’t feel healthy anymore. It looks like you have a choice of whether you want to take a break from the friendship or redefine the friendship. Redefinition would include participation in activities that wouldn’t lead to an argument, such as an exercise class. It would also mean setting boundaries of what you’re willing and able to do for her.

Whatever you choose, consider calmly and respectfully sharing your decision, thoughts and feelings with your friend. Of course, mention how much you care for her and want the best for her. (You may be interested in the posts, “3 Clues It’s Time to End a Friendship,” “The Best-Ever Solution for a Friend Issue” and “How To Handle a One-Sided Friendship.”)

Regarding her religious beliefs, the best thing you can do is pray and leave it to God. He can reveal Himself to her and help her through this difficult time. He is sovereign (Nehemiah 9:6) and He loves her very much (John 3:16).

Be a Friend to Yourself

In the meantime, you’ve been doing so much for others, be sure to take care of yourself too. You seem to be affected by this emotionally so you might benefit from expressing your feelings to a competent therapist. (See the posts, “Why You Need To Get a Therapist ASAP” and “What Is Wise Counsel and Good Therapy?“)

Most importantly, spend time with the greatest friend we can have, Jesus (John 15:15). To read more about focusing on God, see the posts, “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem,”The Real Truth About God,” and “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps.” He truly is a friend, who “loves at all times” (Psalm 17:17). ❤(ˆ‿ˆԅ)

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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  1. TC

    I really like that you recommended boundaries, Gina, extremely important advice for kind-hearted people. One of my favorite quotes is “Givers have to learn to set limits because takers don’t have any.”
    Also, love that you reminded her to be a friend to herself! 🥰

    1. gleggio@ymail.com

      Thanks for sharing that quote—I think it will be one of my favorites too now. And yes, we have to be a friend to ourselves. To: Gina From: Gina- “Thanks for always being there.” lol

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