What if even your closest friends seem to abandon you during your time of need? Find out how changing your perception and expectations helps:
When expectations are dashed
It’s certainly a valid expectation that our true friends will step up when we truly need them. So it’s only natural we will feel betrayed when they either don’t offer genuine help or worse, refuse when asked. This feeling of betrayal often morphs into a real sadness at our friend’s lack of compassion toward us. We may be faced with accepting the real nature of the relationship or that our friend just isn’t as caring as we had thought or hoped.
If you feel deserted by a dear friend who either doesn’t offer to help in your time of distress or declines your request, ask yourself a few questions before dumping the entire friendship. First, did your friend know the specifics of how seriously you needed help? Sometimes people do not get the full thrust of how caregiving can be stressful or how distressing caregiving fatigue can be. Moreover, many do not truly understand the symptoms of bipolar disorder so they can’t truly understand what it means to be in a supportive role for a spouse or family member. Also, do you know exactly what’s happening in your friends’ personal life? Perhaps they are swamped with work and stressed or going through a personally difficult time and focusing on their own mental health.
Accept what you can’t change
can be heartbreaking to have friends that don’t show up for you in your time of
need, we need to accept that people are who they are. There are some lifelong
friends who won’t step up and some acquaintances who will surpass expectations.
Consider which friendship bond you want to continue with or strengthen. It is
possible to be friends with those who just aren’t the type to help others in
their need, for whatever personal reason.
Start off small
ask for smaller, easy-to-do favors at first. For example, ask a pal to pick you
up something if they’re shopping anyway. Something like this can make a
difference in terms of scratching something off your to-do list and it did not really
put your friend out. As a bonus, when friends see how a small task like this is
truly helpful to you, and appreciated, odds are they will ask on their own in
the future if you need some help.
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