Dear Charlotte,

I am very often upset with my friends for not having enough empathy for me. Do you have suggestions for how I can talk to them without pushing them away further? 

Dear Hungry,

I’m calling you hungry because your needs aren’t being met. I am sorry you feel let down by your friends right now. 

Without knowing the details, I wonder if you’re a giver and you stretch yourself and expect the same in return? I say that a stretcher myself. Implicit expectations can set us up for sorrow, and sometimes the best strategy is clarity and boundaries. Are you able to ask for care and name how you feel to your friends? If they aren’t able to give you the support you need, could you seek it elsewhere, such as in therapy? 

I think it’s helpful to express your wish in a succinct way to be sure that you’re conveying what you want rather than hoping your friends will simply figure out what you want. If you have expressed your desire and your friends aren’t meeting your needs, look at other resources. And in the meantime, self-compassion, of course! And empathy from me, even without knowing you personally.

Warm wishes,

Do you have a question for Dear Therapist? Send it to [email protected] with Dear Therapist in the subject line and Charlotte Fox Weber or Kelly Hearn will get back to you.