My best friend is stuck in a rut but I’ve grown up. Do I let this friendship go or keep trying? | Leading questions

Trying to change someone is a recipe for frustration, says advice columnist Eleanor Gordon-Smith. Stop hoping for change and you could find a renaissance within your friendship

I’ve been friends with my best friend since we were 13 and now we’re both in our mid-30s. We went through a lot of phases of life together and grew together in almost every way. For almost the last decade, though, she’s been thoroughly stuck in her life and complains about her situation, even though she doesn’t want to put in any effort to make it better. Her idea of ambition is that she’s going to magically become a famous author (she’s a good writer) but she doesn’t consistently put any effort towards that project. She currently works at a dead-end job so I’ve offered to pay for some writing certifications because she never finished her university degree (which is fine), and at least some certifications could help her work in a field with more growth potential.

It also seems like every conversation we have centres around video games, toys (she works in a toy shop and collects them) or her dogs. I actually love video games too, but it would be nice to seriously talk about some real-world issues too. I just feel like she’s never going to grow up and be the friend I know I need, but I’m struggling to abandon this friendship because we’ve known each other for so long. I’m pretty done trying to help her since it seems she doesn’t want it and can’t be bothered to think of her future. Do I let this friendship go or keep trying?

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