Friendship on the rocks

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
26 posts

Tough one.  Over time, with a variety of experiences, I’ve decided there’s a fine line between helping and enabling. People who continually rely on others for help sometimes need to be stranded to let them learn for themselves. And also, is it a one-way friendship? Has she been there for you in difficult times? Or are you always the one there for her. 

It’s exhausting being the helper / carer.  To me, friendship is a two-way street. I’m not saying keep score of who does what for each other, but if you genuinely feel that you’re being drained by her neediness yet she doesn’t put anything back into recharging your friendship batteries, then it might be time to back off for a little while and see what happens.  It doesn’t mean you don’t care. 

So, there are two ways to go about this. You can have a heart-to-heart with her and explain why she is exhausting you, and that her inability to change has worn you down. This might be a wake-up call for her.  Or you can delay answering texts, be unavailable or less available if rides are needed, let her do the researching herself. She might learn some skills that help her improve herself.  I don’t know the right way to go about it as I don’t know you both, but I wish you luck.   



Post # 3
5162 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

alyssaC:  If it were me, I’d allow the distance to grow.  I am not ok with getting sucked in to people who fill their lives with drama and trouble due to their own bad choices.  It’s just not what I want in my life.

I wouldn’t cut her off, I’d just allow the distance to creep in.  She’ll probably always be part of your life, but I very much doubt that she’ll ever be a best friend who is able to give you as much in terms of support and companionship as you are able to offer her.  

Post # 5
1197 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I would honestly let it go, as much as it hurts to lose a lifelong friend:/  some people can’t be helped and don’t want to change their destructive ways for one reason or another.  she is likely not in a place to be a good friend to you, and friendships should be a two-way street.  give her some distance and give her a chance to learn to take care of herself. 

in terms of your wedding – talk to her and see if she still wants to be a BM/come to the wedding.  give her an out, and don’t expect much from her during the wedding planning or wedding itself.

Post # 6
5793 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You don’t have to end the friendship (it sounds like she’s not a malicious person and she’s never intentionally wronged you) but you can and should stop enabling her. Most people have to figure out for themselves how to be a grown up, and for some people it just never seems to sink in. So stop holding her back. No more rides unless she can give you a good reason (job interview + broken down car = that’s a maybe…. Not an automatic yes…). No more job hunting for her. If she says she’s jealous of your life, instead of finding that hurtful, talk her through how you consciously decided to get there. Tell her about times you did the right thing instead of the easy/feels-good-now thing. Be her role model. Don’t make her decisions for her and don’t plan her next steps (that’s what you do when you find job openings for her). Show her how to do that on her own. And it’s perfectly okay to tell her why you’re stepping back a bit and what kind of emotional toll her constant chaos takes on you.

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