Friday, October 15, 2010

Problem Friendships (and a winner of The Preacher's Bride!)

Friends always want the best for each other. We always remember birthdays, always give the right advice, and always put our friend's needs before our own. Right?

Okay, so maybe not all of our friendships have been perfect. I'll admit I haven't been a perfect friend, and I've had problem friendships.

Problem friendships sometimes start out as good friendships. You enjoy your friend's company, and you don't mind if she never seems to have any cash or talks incessantly about herself, rarely about you. When she does show interest in your life, she makes caring noises but doesn't really care.

She may give you bad advice, or pummel you with back-handed compliments that only mess with your head. You often walk away from her feeling as if there is something wrong with you. She puts herself first, but has a way of presenting herself that makes you believe she's putting you first. Don't be fooled.

These friends do not have your best interests at heart. Are they bad people? No. They're just bad for you.

If I am friends with someone who doesn't appreciate me, why do I continue to spend time with her? I have to soul search and decide if it's worth continuing.

If you're in a problem friendship, think about the following questions. What drew me to her in the first place? Did I have expectations she would never be able to meet? Have we grown apart? Is it me? Is it her? Is she capable of returning a healthy friendship? Is there something I can do differently that would improve our relationship? What would happen if we were no longer friends?

These are tough questions, but sometimes we have to reevaluate our commitment to friendships that no longer work for us.

Have you ever had a problem friendship? What qualities do you look for in a friend?

On a good friendship note, I put the names of the contest entrants in a bowl, and my daughter drew a winner of the signed copy of Jody Hedlund's debut novel, The Preacher's Bride.

And the winner is....

Maria Morgan!!

Congratulations, Maria!

Maria has an uplifting and beautiful blog called Life Lessons. It's like spiritual comfort food. Go give it a try!

Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. A few years ago I was in a problem friendship--the kind that made me wonder why I spent any time with that person as they brought me down and I couldn't bring them up. Finally we went our separate ways but I still wonder what I could have done differently.

  2. Hmm, now this gives everyone who reads it something to think about. It is very clear cut and honest and I like it. We all want friends and companionship and sometimes we may just be willing to sacrifice a little too much to get it. BTW..biggest pet peeve is the back handed compliment! ugh!

  3. Smart to address this. Yep. I've had 'em and God's taught me so much about discernment and selecting wisely.

    I look for women who uplift me, who don't target jealous feelings at me, who love to laugh, who love God. God has blessed me!

    You are one of those blessings!
    ~ Wendy

  4. Problem friendships though sometimes painful are necessary. They teach us good lessons. And I think they help us become a better friend to our friends.

  5. The ones that drain me the most are ones that ask for my advice but already have their set answer in their minds.... sheesh, why even ask me then. :O)

  6. This one: "Problem friendships sometimes start out as good friendships. You enjoy your friend's company, and you don't mind if she never seems to have any cash or talks incessantly about herself, rarely about you. When she does show interest in your life, she makes caring noises but doesn't really care."

    Been struggling with a friend like this, and there are reasons I can't just drop her. Suffice it to say she doesn't get much out of me anymore, only when our paths cross.

  7. I've been 'frenemied' before. :( But like CJ says, those relationships teach valuable lessons on how to be a friend.

  8. Yeah...those friendships are challenging--and they often make us look at ourselves first to see what the problem is. I am dealing with a friend issue like this right now and it's pretty complicated and I think about it a lot. I hope I make good decisions that aren't judgmental and end up being the best for both of us.

    Anyway, have a super weekend! ;)

  9. Great post, Jill! I've been in a couple of friendships that required a bit of soul-searching: Is this relationship worth it? The vast majority of friendships have been gifts from God and such a blessing!

    A big thank you to your daughter for drawing my name as the winner of Jody's book! I am so excited to get into this novel, I can barely stand it!! Thanks for the sweet words about my blog and directing your amazing followers over to visit. You're a sweetheart, Jill! Have a fantastic weekend and God bless! :)

  10. Great topic, and you handled it beautifully, Jill.

    I crave friendships with those who love the Lord and can't stop talking about Him, but who also care about others and want to bring out the best in them.

    I've had too many iffy ones to count; I'm choosier than I used to be.

  11. Wow, thanks for the candor here. I always feel like I learn something new from your comments.

    It's nice to know I'm not alone in not having perfect friendships, but I wish we all could.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  12. I've let go of two friendships in the last few years, both for the same reason. I felt like I was making all the effort to sustain the friendship. Finally I let go, and gave room for my friends to take the initiative and call me. They never did, and I know they were somewhat puzzled as to why they stopped hearing from me, but you can't always be the one to hold up the friendship you know? Now I put that extra energy into friendships that feel far more reciprocal.

  13. Congrats, Maria!

    I don't make friends very easily - I've been burned a few times when I've opened myself up too soon and had my friendship ultimately thrown in my face by these "problem" friends. But that hasn't happened to me lately.

  14. Congratulations, Maria! BTW, her blog is great.

    When I first married, I was in a new state and longed for some friends. I met a Christian woman, and we became friendly. Unfortunately, as soon as she realized we were settled in a church and would not be attending hers, she dropped me.

    I figure I'm better off. God brought true friends into my life.

    Susan :)

  15. It sounds as if we've all had problem friendships. I wish that weren't true! But they do help us grow, and at least the Lord is there to hold our hand through the pain.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  16. I hope that I am a good friend. I can't truly recall a time when a friendship was bad for me, except once a nice lady wanted to talk on the phone a very long time, frequently. She was great, but I think I see what you mean, may not have been best for me at that time.


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