The Art of Saying What You Need to Say :: to the friend who takes and never gives


“Take, take, take but you never ever give.”

Bruno Mars

If you are reading this then you have a friend who takes and never gives. This is the friend who will call you at 3AM to be picked up when they know you have an interview first thing the next morning. Or the one that, even though you are always there for them, disappears into thin air when you need them the most. You love this friend to bits but you have reached your breaking point in the friendship and want out or want things to change. Here is what you need to say:

“Friend, I love you and you know that you can ask me for anything. But when you do, please respect my boundaries and my decisions about whether I will or will not do something.”

Here is what you are communicating:

I love you means that you value the person and the relationship. This is your way of affirming the fact that they have a place in your heart and you see them in your future. Start off with this.

You know that you can ask me for anything is something that you need to say because your friend needs to know that you are the kind of person they ask for anything – you are approachable and open and safe.

But you have boundaries and these need to respected. All relationships need terms of engagement. Every relationship needs boundaries. Your friend needs to know that, although they are always free to ask, there are things that you cannot or will not do for them, simply because you choose not to. And that is okay. Remember, you are not your friend’s saviour and it is okay for you to allow them to live with the consequences or the choices that they make, you do not always have to swoop in and be the hero. Remember, it is okay for you to want your own space, it is acceptable for you to say “No” without feeling like you will be rejected.

I hope this gives you the motivation to have a little chat with your friend that takes but never gives.

Any thoughts?


5 thoughts on “The Art of Saying What You Need to Say :: to the friend who takes and never gives

    • Hi Kahoro
      Indeed! It is difficult to know where to draw the line between being generous and being exploited but we need to find it if we’re going to have healthy relationships.

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