What to Do About Selfish Friends

Don't let your friend bully you into thinking your ideas aren't important.
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A true friend is committed to your happiness, won't ask you to put your principles on hold for her and supports you just as much as you support her, points out Alex Lickerman in "The True Meaning of Friendship" for Psychology Today. If your friend has different tendencies, figure out how to handle that to try to get back onto equal ground.

1 Point out the Imbalance

If you think that selfish behavior always equals manipulative, think again. Even though your friend may be saying, "me, me, me," that doesn't mean that he's trying to use you. Some friends act selfishly in a needy way. If your best bud is constantly coming to you for help or guidance and ignoring your needs, he's selfish. Although providing support and encouragement is vital to a healthy friendship, a selfish friend makes the relationship a one-way street. If your friend leans on you more than you'd like and he doesn't return the favor, let him know. Tell him that you have problems too or mention that you would appreciate his help and support sometimes.

2 Speak Up

If your friend talks non-stop about herself, is constantly asking you for rides or always puts her needs above yours, speak up for yourself. Confidently state your own opinions in an honest way, suggests the TeensHealth article "Assertiveness." This doesn't mean that you should act aggressively or shout at your friend. Instead, gather your self-confidence and say what's on your mind in a respectful way. There's no need to get catty or talk down to your friend. Simply tell her exactly what you need, using an "I" statement such as, "I need you to drive us to school sometimes. I feel like it's not fair for me to do all of the driving."

3 Just Say No

When heartfelt conversations and honest pleas to stop being selfish don't work, take a firmer standpoint. Don't give in to your friend every time he asks for something. Simply say "no" the next time your friend acts selfishly or asks you to do something for him, suggests psychologist Irene S. Levine in "Sick of Having to Constantly Bail out My Friend" for Psychology Today.

4 End the Friendship

Even the best efforts to turn around a selfish friend's behavior may fail. If your friendship has gone from support and smiles to perpetual dissatisfaction, consider cutting your losses. If your friend's one-sided behavior won't stop, you may have no other option other than to end the relationship. Keep in mind that walking away isn't a first-choice strategy. But if none of your efforts has made a difference, tell your friend that it's just not working and move on.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.