Best friend is really starting to get on my nerves. What should I do?

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  • Bethany
    February 4, 2024 at 11:58 pm #1128010

    Hi everyone! I met one of my best friends in my second year of university, and we’re in our fourth year now. We got close really fast and it’s almost like we’ve been friends forever. However, I am starting to get annoyed with some of her actions lately. We have a full-year course that we are both enrolled in and we both agreed to split the week’s lectures to save us both some time. However, since the start of the year I’ve been taking notes on all the lectures. A couple of days back I asked her to finish up a couple of slides for me because I was having some trouble understanding the lecture, and she responded with “fine but can you complete the notes properly moving forward.” I didn’t have a problem with taking on the notes for us until she said that.
    Same story for another course we’re both enrolled in, except this time she’d write over my notes which would make things super confusing. I decided to send all the notes I took in class (because she was behind in lecture -didn’t even start any of the content- while I was caught up), and I said “from this point on, we’re doing notes for this class separately because I’m having a hard time understanding when you write on top of my notes.” The conversation took place over the phone, and she hung up and called back later crying and asking “why would you do that, can you please share it back, i’m gonna fail.”
    My problem is not with sharing notes. That’s totally fine and I always send my notes over to whoever needs them. But I think she’s become way too dependent on me, it’s starting to get really annoying. In the past, I’ve helped her with many other assignments from different classes. She’s also started following me around during our lab and asking a billion questions about what I’m doing and how do we do xyz. I got super annoyed and scolded her a bit. I didn’t raise my voice or anything but I just said “You’ve already been through the lab procedures and videos and know what to do, please stop bugging me”. She was very offended by this and later told me that was kinda b**chy of me.
    I don’t know how it took me this long to notice that this level of codependency(??) is unhealthy but I decided to draw the line and tell her that “I can’t be doing all the work for both of us. I need you to at least take over the notes for one class while I do the other.” To which she said okay, but still hasn’t done anything.
    This turned out a lot longer than I expected and I wish I could add more, but I’ll leave it at that. This all probably sounds really juvenile, but I don’t know what to do in this situation without hurting our friendship. I would really appreciate it if anyone had any insight/advice. Thank you 🙂

    February 5, 2024 at 9:33 am #1128012

    Stop sharing notes. It’s not working for you and it doesn’t matter if she cries about it and is going to fail. If you’d both go to class and take notes and study the way each of you personally need to, you wouldn’t be having these issues as all. Years from now, you’re going to wish you’d gone to class and taken the notes yourself.

    Figure out how much money every single class will cost you (loans accrue interest,) is costing you, whatever and use that as inspiration to go. You’re literally wasting your money and all the work and effort and sharing of notes it took to get you here. Stop wasting it for this whiny girl. You choose who you spend time with. If you don’t like this girl, slow fade, whatever and move away from her.

    February 5, 2024 at 9:44 am #1128013

    If your friendship is dependent upon you doing her schoolwork for her, obviously that’s not fair, and that is hurting your friendship. If you want t9 keep the friendship, you’ll have to talk to her about this and I would suggest doing it at a time when she isn’t being highly dramatic and sensitive about it, like walking to class, or at a coffeeshop. If talking to her about this is going to hurt your friendship, is it really strong?

    February 5, 2024 at 9:56 am #1128014

    Time to start setting some boundaries, your friend is stomping all over them right now.

    First and foremost, if you want to make your notes available to people – put a copy of them somewhere, clearly labeled as “copy”. PDF them if you want them to be static. That way people can’t easily overwrite them.

    In the labs, point your friend to the TA. That’s what the TA is for. You are not the TA. You have your own labs to do. Tell your friend she’s a competent adult (she’s not but really, what’s the point) and that if she has questions, she should use the appropriate resources to figure shit out because you don’t have the time or energy to hold her hand.

    You are not responsible for your friends academic success, only your own. You have to put yourself first.

    Lastly, some friendships were not meant to last. If you’re not getting anything out of this relationship, or if this relationship takes more than it gives, it’s ok to step back from it to focus on your own needs.

    February 5, 2024 at 2:30 pm #1128021

    She is going to learn next to nothing with her current approach. She is either lazy as hell or not college material. You being her education crutch is not going to get a degree. She needs to learn how to learn and to complete assignments. She can only learn that by actually do that on her own. You are sacrificing so much of your study/socializing time to assist her that you are degrading your own college experience.

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    February 5, 2024 at 3:14 pm #1128024

    I’m curious what’s being split here. You’re responsible for notes and she’s responsible for… what, exactly? Assuming there is some benefit in here for you (I know you mentioned slides, but IDK what that really entails), you’ll have to stop taking advantage of that when you tell her this isn’t working. Different people have different learning styles — other people’s notes never made sense to me, so I was always happy to share my notes as needed, but I had to take my own. Taking them kept me engaged and attentive during classes, reviewing them jogged my memory and helped me learn.

    Tell her in a kind but straightforward manner that your arrangement isn’t working. Neither of you is learning the material or able to keep up the way you want, and you think it’s best for both of you to do your own work moving forward. You can tell her in no uncertain terms that this move is also what’s best for your friendship, which is important to you, if you feel so inclined. If she protests or makes you feel guilty, well… is she that good of a friend?

    You don’t mention anything about the rest of your friendship but I’ve seen dynamics play out where one person is a giver and the other is a taker who will keep taking. Givers and takers seem to find one another. Maybe this is you, maybe it isn’t, but either way this will be a great lesson in setting appropriate boundaries.

    I had a friend once tell me “I can’t be a friend about this right now” when I was telling her about some personal struggles during a high-stress period of her own life. The friendship didn’t end because she said that. She didn’t have the bandwidth, I understood and it was helpful that she was direct. That friendship did end years later, though, when it became clear that she was happy to take support when it benefitted her, but unable or unwilling to give back in what felt like equal measure. Nothing explosive or dramatic, a fade out of a friendship that wasn’t for life and that’s okay.

    February 8, 2024 at 12:41 am #1128053

    Would you even trust her notes? I wouldn’t. She sounds like she has been cribbing off you so long and having YOU do HER work so long, she doesn’t even have the base foundation to build on to understand the current content. You didn’t do her any favors by doing her work for her. You need to have a blunt conversation where you say you want to focus on your own work and will be attending all classes (which you should do anyway), then you will be too busy to do ANY of her work for her. When she asks (and she will), so sorry I have my own assignments to finish and I think better alone. Do NOT let her sit with you and copy off you or spend your precious time doing her work. If she copies your work you could get a zero and accused of plagiarism.

    Unfortunately you will probably find she pitches a fit or at least ends the “friendship” since you are being “mean” (aka not being a doormat) but at least you won’t be spending your precious energy on her anymore.

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Best friend is really starting to get on my nerves. What should I do?

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