Advice Column

Ask Leslie: How To Deal With Unsupportive Friends

January 14, 2018 (Last Updated: May 31, 2018)
Ask Leslie: What To Do About Unsupportive Friends -- Not everyone is on board with your resolutions and goals. Find out what to do in my advice column. |


Leslie –

My friends aren’t supportive of my goals to better myself this year. I’ve made a lot of commitments to focus on myself more, but I don’t want to isolate my friends in the process. How do I get my friends on board with my plans?



Brianna –

That’s a strange reaction for your friends to have to want you to better yourself. I’m curious as to what kinds of changes you’re trying to make that your friends don’t support.

Honestly, if it’s something that you’re confident will better YOU then that’s what you need to focus on.

For whatever reason, some resolutions and goals piss off some people. I’ve seen people genuinely get mad at friends who joined gym memberships. I’ve known people who stopped talking to each other because one wanted to focus on improving her grades.

Me personally, I’ve definitely had to evaluate why I was friends with someone multiple times before, because it felt like I was being taken advantage of.

Notice how these changes can be perceived as having time taken away from your friendships in favor of something else. Something else that your friends aren’t interested in, and thus see no value in.

To respond negatively to someone’s good intentions for bettering themselves is likely a selfish reaction.

Ask why they don’t want you to take time to invest in yourself. Their answer may surprise you.

Take note if their answer is manipulative or exaggerated. This is key in recognizing who is actually your friend and who is just trying to use you mostly for their benefit.

This is a tough realization that everyone will deal with at some point in their life, but choosing your own happiness is most important. As clichéd as it is, if this friend isn’t on board with supporting you to participate in ways that are healthy, and proven to improve your mental and physical health, then you should consider letting that friend go.

Talk things out with them first to understand to fill in any gaps and see where they’re coming from. Evaluate whether or not your relationship can remain intact with your new goals.

If not, try to slowly distance yourself or amicably cut ties. Don’t be rude or condescending. You never know when this person might come back into your life. And who knows, give them some time and they might realize that you were right.

Evaluating friendships may seem difficult at first, but I promise you will be a much better person for it. And remember, just because you don’t talk every month or even every year doesn’t mean that you were not and will not ever be friends again.

Focus on you, boo, and everything will sort itself out eventually. I’m interested in hearing how this year goes for you and where you are with your friends’ support. I wish the best of luck to you and hope that you find the support that you need.

I hope that this helped!



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  • Reply
    March 23, 2018 at 8:00 AM

    This hit home for me. I’m struggling with this at the moment because i have this friend who (the penny has just dropped) I think she just likes being around me for her own benefit, not because she actually likes my company etc etc.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • Reply
      Leslie Johnson
      March 23, 2018 at 11:37 PM

      Ah yes, the friend that’s only around when they can gain something from you. At least you have a good aura that people want to be in! Don’t let anyone try to ruin that.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    This is definitely something we should be talking about. Great post!

    • Reply
      Leslie Johnson
      January 26, 2018 at 1:06 PM

      Thank you! The discussion definitely needs to be had more. It would save so much time and energy working through misunderstandings.

  • Reply
    Beth Alice Peggie
    January 20, 2018 at 6:08 PM

    This is cool, stuff like this is so important

    • Reply
      Leslie Johnson
      January 20, 2018 at 6:49 PM

      Thank you! I agree. Not everything is black and white, especially when it comes to friends.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2018 at 1:24 PM

    Very good advice you gave. It is true what you said that her friends not wanting to support her goal of bettering her self is selfish in nature.
    I had a friend who would confess to me how envious she was about her friends meeting boyfriends and being happy and then, I realised that she might be envious of my accomplishments too. It is important to have emotionally secure people around who will support us in our personal development journey.

    • Reply
      Leslie Johnson
      January 14, 2018 at 1:28 PM

      Yes, absolutely! Only positive friends this 2018. 🙂

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