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How do you treat a friend who doesn't act like one?

Tagged as: Friends, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (7 October 2017) 6 Answers - (Newest, 8 October 2017)
A male United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Since last year May I started hanging out with two new friends, Jennifer and Jackie. I knew Jackie since late-high school but we virtually never spoke. At the time, I was good friends with her best friend, Nancy, and they're still best friends today, so I guess there a little common ground between the two of us.

Over the year and a half, I've gotten to know Jackie much better, we've shared a few personal details about our lives, we've gone out to parties together, she has borrowed money from me, and now we even plan on becoming roommates. My issue is more with Jennifer.

Since the first day we met up until now I feel like I know nothing about her, she doesn't share anything personal about herself and she's always....so....incredibly....quiet, too quiet. I've been labelled as being quiet many times but she takes the cake. Not matter how much I try to spark conversation and get a nice banter going she just doesnt budge. Most of her answers are just one worded. I can't read her. Initially I thought maybe she didn't trust me so I figured I just need to give her more reasons to trust me, show her how friendly I could be, be funny, show more interest in her stuff like that....nothing works...After a few months I started to think she didn't like me, then come Christmas she provides me a gift and thanking me for being a good friend. She also mentioned that she has seasonal depression which was by far the most personal thing she has ever told me.

But even after all that she's starting to make me feel awkward and uncomfortable. She will always suggest that we go to certain concerts and events but there is no chatter among us, no sharing of herself. She seems to be more verbal with Jackie however.

2 weeks ago I asked her to pick me up from the airport because my ride bailed on me at the last moment. She agreed and the entire ride to my house was just me talking, asking her questions, telling her about my trip, trying my best to avoid driving in a car with her in dead silence. All her responses were one worded.

The weird thing was (Mind you she is a very small skinny girl) when she gets to my house, she jumps out of the car and carries out the two of my suitcases before i even get out of the passenger seat. I was bit surprised. I asked her if everything was ok. Naturally she said yes. I asked her if she wanted to wait a bit until I could dig through my suitcase and find the gift i have for her. She declined.

If that doesn't make you feel like utter crap I don't know what will. I've been starting to find her annoying and frustrating. I don't know what more i can do. being around her is draining and a bit depressing. I rarely ever make much new friends thou.

Can anyone provide some advice.

View related questions: best friend, christmas, money, roommate, spark

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (8 October 2017):

You're making comparisons between Jennifer and everyone else you know. She's different. More introverted, reserved, and she's not very talkative. She's a good-listener. That's rare!

You may talk a lot, maybe a little too much, when you're nervous! If you were as quiet as others have told you, you should understand where she's coming from. She accepts that it's part of who you are. Return the favor!

She's there in a pinch. Who showed-up when you needed a ride from the airport? She jumped out of the car to help you carry your bags. She verbalized her appreciation for you as a friend. She's a lady of few words; but when she speaks, she offers you sincerity.

You have to learn to appreciate people for their differences. Not always how much they are like everybody else. Her actions speak louder than her words.

She knows she's not all that talkative and doesn't share many details about herself; but sometimes you shouldn't go out of your way to pick, just let people open-up to you at their own pace. She's quiet. That's part of her mystique and uniqueness.

Stop trying to crack her like a code or a safe. She keeps things inside; but one thing for sure, she likes and trusts you. She shows you who she is through her actions. I'd like her if I had the honor of meeting her.

You don't always have to "read" people. Sometimes what you see isn't what's really there. Everyone who claims to be an open-book, aren't. They show you what they want you to see and tell you what you want to hear. People can put on a facade for your benefit. To be more likeable.

One thing for sure about Jennifer; what you see, is what you get! Maybe it's all you might get; but over time, you'll figure-out what makes her tick.

Continue to be a good friend, and don't push. You're her friend, not her analyst.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (7 October 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI think she is a passive introvert. Someone who is enjoying people's company but doesn't participate as much with other (even if she REALLY enjoys the friendship).

She might also not have had many friends over the years and thus doesn't KNOW how friendships work.

You CAN be friends with someone without having to know all their deepest secrets, thoughts and feelings.

So isn't like the other friend you have. She is her own person. Just like you are the way you are. For you to be annoyed that SHe doesn't conform to how you "think" everyone should be... well, it's a little unfair, don't you think?

Accept her for who she is.

If being around her is draining. Spend less time with her. Spread out the hanging out in smaller portions.

OR decide that you don't feel the friendship is something you want to build on and slowly let her go.

This is who she is.

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A female reader, fortunistia Nigeria +, writes (7 October 2017):

Its her depression. I suffered from one so I know how its feels like. Pls from the on look of it she's a nice girl just be trying to get to her. People dat are depressed find it hard to relate how they feeland besides some people are easily approached to easy to talk to.so maybe even with your freely behaviour you are not easy to approach.. This box isn't letting me explain further..Good luck

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (7 October 2017):

She sounds like someone who is socially awkward or at least she is around you. Perhaps she is that way around all men. But it's clear she is trying to be a friend, she picked you up at the airport on no notice.

Try to be a little more patient with her perhaps she'll come around and open up more.. If not there is no law that says because she is Jackie's friend you have to be friends with her.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (7 October 2017):

Aunty BimBim agony auntShe might be an introvert, a very shy introvert, she may struggle in social situations, she may suffer anxiety ...

Let me tell you this, a person who is not a friend would not drop everything to go to the airport and pick somebody up after the person's ride had bailed ...

Nor do people who aren't friends give Christmas gifts thanking somebody for being a friend.

I think this girl has shown she is reliable, happy to help you out, she could have told you to catch a cab, and she has quite clearly demonstrated she appreciates having you in her life ..... you on the other hand, ungrateful, whiney, picky, picky, picky lacking the nous to realise not everybody is the same, you sir are not a friend to this girl!

Pick up your game!

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A female reader, WhoInTheTardis Germany +, writes (7 October 2017):

WhoInTheTardis agony auntDo not panic, that is my answer.

I have depression too, and there are two kinds of people who have it. First, the type that talks a lot, smiles and laughs (just like me), trying to hide the fact that he or she has depression and then the lonely type. She knows that you know that she has depression, which makes her kind of insecure wether to say something or not. She is afraid of being judged, that is why she did not talk to you or doesn't come forward. Maybe she knew her friend for a long time, that is why she is able to talk to her normally. Maybe she had a dark past, that's why she doesn't want new relationships. Who knows, maybe she trusted the wrong guy and he screwed her over.

Try to see the things from her perspective. Maybe she helped you with your suitcases to show you that even if she did not talk to you, she wants to be friends with you. Or maybe it was a way of apologizing for not talking to you in the first place.

Again, if you see her again, say hello. Don't be weird about it, don't make her feel like crap also. I think she likes you (in a friendly way), because if she didn't, she wouldn't have helped you at the airport!

Try to help her, even if she doesn't want it (but don't push too hard. don't e creepy).

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