She Keeps Hanging Up On Me!

I have a friend but the problem is that when I made a call and try to share a problem I am having she avoids me or hangs up on me. I don't understand what is wrong with her.

Dear Frank,

First of all, before we ask what is wrong with someone, it is usually helpful to take a step back and sort of observe the entire situation. Assess what is going on and as a part of that, ensure that you are including multiple perspectives (to the best of your ability) and in this case, the perspective of your friend.

You have assessed the situation and that is great! But, have you included the thoughts or feelings of your friend in that assessment?

In this case, rather than asking what is wrong with her, when we assess the situation, the first question that comes to mind is "Does your friend want to hear your problem?" Sure, we may think that if someone is a friend, that that is what they do. Maybe you do that for your friends and if you do, you are a wonderful friend indeed. But, that does not mean that it is a requirement of friendship. Why? Because not all people can handle it. It is possible that it freaks your friend out or causes her to crash or any other myriad of possibilities. Just because she is not listening to your problem (as presumed by the hang-up or avoidance) doesn't mean she doesn't want to be your friend.

So, my suggestion is to ask her. Ask her if she wants to hear your problem(s) or if she would rather not. Approach her in kindness and without judgement so that she does not feel tense or obligated and can simply let you know.

Friendship is not an entitlement. If you do not like the type of friendship she extends (which may not include listening to your problems) then you can choose to not have her as your friend. It is, after all, your decision as to what people you decide to give the label of "friend" to but by the same token it is her choice as to how to be a friend and in that it is not a matter of asking what is wrong with her but instead taking responsibility for yourself.

Deborah E
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