My friend is always late and on the phone when she’s with me

I have been friends with G for over ten years and our families are close. Lately, I am realising that G has not matured much despite us being in our early 30s. She is perpetually late (15 – 40 minutes), always on her phone, and defensive if you point this out. When we meet, she tends to unload her worries without asking how I am doing. She complains constantly about her job and love life even though I can see that sometimes it is her own fault. While there has been no major falling-out between us, I realise more and more she is someone I do not want to be friends with, as I have become busier with my own life. Is it wrong to want to cut her out of my life?

Bad Friend

At The Well

Ai Jin says

Dear Bad Friend,

I am not sure if G is aware of how her behaviours are affecting you. Being late, being on the phone while with others are bad habits that demonstrate little consideration for the other. And if it’s done perpetually, it will make anyone angry. Perhaps, you may also feel guilty for not being patient and forgiving of the person. If you have taken steps to help her see your point of view and there is still no awareness, it compounds the frustrations. Perhaps this is why you feel the need to disengage from her because the less you are in contact with her, the less you’ll need to be subjected to this emotional roller-coaster.

It is okay to draw boundaries to prevent yourself from feeling so negative, recognising that you can’t change a person nor do you have full control of how the friendship can turn out. Meantime, as you become busier, do turn your attention to the aspects of your life that are going well. Over time, you may come to feel better or find yourself better able to extend acceptance towards G. If she realises how her behaviour has affected you, you may change your mind then and decide to embrace the friendship. Afterall, being friends for over ten years is noteworthy.