• Keeping Friends

Taking friends for granted

Published: March 2, 2013 | Last Updated: March 2, 2013 By | 5 Replies Continue Reading
It’s easy to inadvertently overlook niceties and take friends for granted. If you value the relationship and someone does this to you, you need to let the person know. 


Hi Irene,

I go to dinner with the same group of women for different reasons: birthdays, gourmet dinners, etc. A friend in the group, whom I talk with in a friendly way on the phone, always ignores me when we are out as a group. It hurts but I don’t know if she realizes it.

How can I let her know it is hurtful to me? Thank you.

Best, Lissa


Hi Lissa,

As a consequence of familiarity, we often inadvertently take relatives and friends for granted—and are less courteous and attentive to them than we are to more distant acquaintances. Yet, feeling hurt in a situation like this is totally understandable.

One possible explanation, although not an excuse for your friend’s behavior, may be that she feels like you both talk more often and share a common bond. She also may feel more anxious socially in the group than when she’s talking to you one-on-one.

My suggestion would be to ask your friend to have coffee with you and to bring this to her attention when you meet. Tell her you so enjoy your phone chats and have noticed that in a group setting, you feel like she doesn’t engage with you—and you’re not sure if she means to come across this way. Let her know that you are bringing this up because you value your connection with her, and feel hurt and confused.

As you said, she may not realize she is doing this and it may be easily fixable. If you don’t bring it up, it can create even more distance between you.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

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Category: Dealing with threesomes and groups of friends

Comments (5)

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  1. Mysterious says:

    I hang out with my friends.. We are a group of three. When 2 of my friends have s fight i exist for them. When everything is okay between then I become a stranger.. I feel very bad. Please help me out

  2. Anna says:

    I think people shouldn’t have to have THE talk with their friends. I cut out of my life friends who take me for granted. I don’t give her any explanation, I don’t care for their feelings: I finally treat them the way they’ve been treated me. I don’t believe in the “they don’t do it on purpose”. They DO, people usually think that their loved ones and their close friends owe them their unconditional love and endless forgiveness. Nope, not in my book! I don’t need nor want friends you have to sit and explain that you shouldn’t be putting up with their tantrums while they’re always on their best behaviours whenever strangers or distant acquaintances are around. Come hell or high water, who do you think is gonna be by your side? The people you’re trying to impress or your friend?

    • Samaia says:

      Completely agree. The whole talk thing is so dramatic…and the person is not going to change. They definitely know what they are doing when they are doing it.

  3. Amy says:

    Yikes. I’m guilty of the same thing. I do this with closer friends, because I know we can and do talk all the time. I spend group time talking to those I rarely see. I always assumed my closer friends do the same thing.
    I think your friend probably isn’t ignoring you, but feels secure enough with you to know you’ll have your one on one talks, but she won’t have that opportunity with friends who are mere acquaintances.
    You could tell her your concerns, but she might perceive you as needy or clingy so weigh whether that’s a risk you want to take. It’s not like middle school where would talk to their neighborhood friends at home, then ignore them at school if they weren’t popular— for the record I was the ignored, not the ignorer, lol. In my experience, adults have grown out of that. 🙂

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