I was able to rid myself of a one-sided relationship by just standing up for myself. A friend of mine of over 20 years was in the habit of asking me for favors, leaning on me and generally taking me for granted (because of our long-standing friendship, I let her). In our final chapter, she asked me to watch her two children, a girl and a boy, while she had to work one day. Her son came to my house with the intention of stealing my son’s toys while my son was at school. I know this because he made a bee-line to the toy box and started his search to “play” but instead inconspicuously started pocketing his favorite legos with his father still in the room. After his father left, I actually witnessed him putting the toys in his pocket. I immediately alerted his mother, my friend, by text because she was at work, telling her what he was doing. She text me back telling me to tell him right off to give the toys back. This might have been my one mistake; I should have disciplined him and good. I instead took the toys out of his jacket pocket when he wasn’t looking and left the discipline to her. The children’s grandfather picked them up at the end of the day so I expected her to behave responsibly and have her son come apologize to us at some point in the future…and that was the extent of my expectations. It seems I very stupidly expected her to show us what a good family she had and I expected too much. In the next few weeks, she text me once and emailed me once through Facebook explaining that she was just touching base with me and nothing more about her son stealing at all. I responded both times asking her if she was going to have her son apologize and both times she flipped out, blaming me for not telling her (?isn’t that what I had been doing?), being ignorant, not knowing her culture and only wanting to correspond with her through texts/emails (?isn’t that what SHE was doing?). I don‘t know, do Native American cultures ignore stealing? Is it really that hard to have a 5-year-old offer some kind of simple apology to people they call friends? She also told me that her son was a victim of bullying from children (what THAT has anything to do with this, I‘ll never understand). It seemed to me to be a very odd, backwards and exaggerated response to what I thought was a very valid and simple expectation. It’s not in my culture to allow anyone to steal from my home and family without any consequence, adult OR child. Suffice it to say that she decided to go her own way in place of having her son apologize to my son and to our family. It was her choice to walk away. Really, I don’t feel responsible to call her or show up at her house and demand an apology but maybe that was a stupid expectation of hers. Who knows? All I know now is that I am GLAD and HAPPY to be rid of her kind of “friendship” no matter how long we were friends. Her son really did me a favor by putting us in a situation that highlighted the disrespect she really had for me and my family. I think it’s best to be rid of relationships that are one-sided and the best way is to let it happen naturally by sticking up for ones-self. It is inevitable that a self-centered narcissist will pull away when confronted with reality….or a friend who isn’t just going to keep taking the disrespect. Good riddance to that!