Post # 1
I have been on and off friends with a girl for 10 years. We use to do a lot of things together, in high school my sophomore year, we were inseperable and called each other our “best friends” junior and senior year we grew apart and she went down a different path.
When she was 19 she started partying hard and messing around with boys.
She is now 22 and recently, she got pregnant and needed a place to move to, she needed someone to sign the lease, because she has really bad credit. I signed the lease, because I lived in the same buliding and my landlord likes me a lot. My FI also signed for her boyfriend. She has always been a user, asking me to get up at 5AM to get her to work (she doesn’t have her license, refuses to get it or use public transportation) she is just driving me nuts. She never wants to hang out, but always calls for me to watch her son. She never wants to go get dinner, but always wants me to drive her to her appointments. Her boyfriend was charged with embezzlement and left her, so I feel really bad for her, but seriously!
I am getting sick of being used driving her across town to work at the crack of dawn (I have a full time job and go to school full time.) without getting gas money or anything. She asked me today to watch her son, but she knew I had to work… I told her no and now I feel terrible. Am I bad person for finally putting my foot down? Or should I just keep giving her rides for free and being a baby sitter?
Post # 3
you need to stop enabling her…put your foot down..and have her ride the bus!
Post # 4
It’s nice that you and your fiance have been trying to help the couple who is obviously having a difficult time. HOWEVER, I think it’s really good that you are putting your foot down and setting boundaries. Sometimes people stay the way they are because every around them basically lets them (enabling). I would encourage you to try to continue to put boundaries in place (ex. I am only able to watch your son on Monday evening from 5-8 or whatever). It should get easier with time.
Post # 5
I agree with bridegrl. You need to stop enabling her. If she needs to hire a babysitter then she needs to hire one. I mean, she can’t possibly expect you to do all of the raising of her son, you know.
Post # 6
You are in no way a bad person. You have gone above and beyond to help her out and to maintain some sort of friendship with her, even though it seems to be one-sided. It is not your fault that her life is messed up and she cannot expect to keep freeloading off of people who are actually responsible and mature. You have every right to say no to her, and I’m glad you finally did. Hopefully she will turn her life around and someday be able to recognize all the kindness you have shown her. You deserve a kudos for being a good friend, but you can’t let yourself get worn down by her life and problems!
Post # 7
Thank you guys for listening, I just needed to know if I was being an beeotch because she has a son and I was saying no. I hope it gets better!
Post # 8
I feel sorry for her, but in no way should you feel guilty for not being able to baby sit. As long as you take care of her, she’s not gonna grow up on her own. You won’t always be there for her, you’re her friend, but sometimes friends have to do “tough love” & get her to step out on her own. Sure, she may be mad/resentful of you, but I’m sure she’ll one day thank you. Its awesome how great you’ve been helping her but really, sometimes doing everything for someone sounds like you’re helping but you’re actually hindering growth. Good for you doing all you can, but maybe its time to get her to do all she can for herself & her kid.
Post # 9
You have what I like to call a Cling-on…also known as a Moocher. I had a cling-on recently. It got to the point where I was taking her everywhere, buying her dinner/lunch whatever and babysitting her infant (who I did adore, but come one!) I finally stopped answering phone calls and texts and then let her know why I felt she was toxic and why we didn’t need to associate anymore.
Post # 10
I agree you should stop enabling her. It was very good of you to tell her no. You are not a bad person at all. I’m sorry she’s used you so much!!
Post # 11
I disagree that helping someone who is in a really rough situation is enabling. I’m always disturbed when people seem to suggest that anyone poor and in a difficult situation is lazy and a moocher and a bad person and needs to grow up because if they grew up their problems would magically go away.
Most of us who are not “moochers” grew up with a loving family that helped us out a ton and for many bees still does. People who don’t have that kind of support aren’t lazier than we are, they are less lucky.
She is young and has a son and no support from the father or (is sounds like) her own family. That is terrible and very difficult. I would not blame her for not being able to hang out or go to dinner. She’s trying to work and take care of a child on her own, doesn’t sound lazy to me.
However, you are not obligated to assume the role of her family. You are not obligated to help beyond what you can do with no resentment. It is totally okay to say you can’t do something. It does not make you a bad person. If you only babysit once a week you are being a huge help to her and can feel good about that. You can’t fix everyone’s problems and she would probably rather keep the friendship and help than burn it out in a month and have no one later.
Post # 12
@arachna – I don’t think all people in tough times are “moochers” or lazy. I also don’t think that problems will just dissappear, growing up does help a person be able to handle problems. People do need friends to get thru tough times, no one can make it alone. I know lots of people from bad families who were given really bad life circumstances & because of that they either became stronger people, or toxic people. From what it sounded like in this situation, the friend only asks for handouts but doesn’t provide much friendship other than when she needs something. I’m not trying to tear down the friend! I don’t know the entire situation or how long its been going on or anything about that girl. I was just going off of what it sounded like to me. Providing temporary help to people is awesome, but it sounds like the friend is starting to build a lifestyle around being helped. It would be awful for the friend to go thru what she’s going thru, but it would be worse if she didn’t try to get herself out of it & stayed entirely dependant on others for her life. Its not wrong to ask for help, but I think its unhealthy when you depend on help & don’t try to change things… it will take time, of course! Sorry if I came across as uncaring! I just think of the “give a man a fish you feed him 1 day, teach him how to fish you feed him forever” or however that saying goes :).
@Lizabeth Lou 0 I’m glad you’ve been so supportive of your friend. If you feel your friend is too dependant on you, talk to her about how you can only give rides/ babysit at certain times or in emergencies or whatever you’re comfortable with. If its affecting your job/schooling/relationships, tell her its starting to affect that & that you want to be there for her. I’m not saying don’t help her out at all! Maybe invite her to your house for dinner if she can’t afford to go out. If you’re resenting helping her out so much, it might affect your friendship so maybe just help a little less driving her around, get her a bus schedule & for those times & say sorry you can’t take her, but there’s the schedule if that’s the only option for her to get where she needs to go.
Post # 13
I agree with bridegrl 100%. Stop being an enabler. Say no and don’t feel bad about it. She’s a 22 year old that hasn’t grown up yet.
Post # 14
You are totally not a bad person and you need to start using the word “No” with her. I’m sorry she treats you this way, you sound like a good friend that she does not deserve. If I were you I would say Adios!
Post # 15
The difference between friendship and mooching/using is reciprocality. You are giving her an awful lot, but you are not getting much in return nor is it likely that you will in the future. You don’t have to return things in like kind for it to be reciprocal–even the pleasure of her company could be “compenssation,” but you aren’t even getting that. Sometimes you may invest now but not see the reciprocation until much later—give her rides now for free, and when she has more money she will pay you for gas.
You need to make it clear that while you don’t mind helping out a friend in a tight spot, you are not a perpetually free chauffeur and babysitter. Yes she is going through tough stuff, but she needs to step up to the plate here too and get a plan for becoming independent. Telling her “no” more often is the only way to force her to do this because it seems she has no motivation to do it on her own.
Post # 16
I know plenty of people who have depended on others for periods of their lives and no one called them moochers or thought the situation was bad for them because the people who were supporting them were parents. We’re talking about people in their twenties. “Growing up” only came up as advice/judgment after years of support, not a week or a month. Yes, it is more useful to “teach how to fish” but even fishermen have months when they are broke and if the fisherman has five kids and no help – nothing they do, nothing anyone can do, will let them not be moochers. I’m not saying this is the case here, I don’t know anything about this girl, but there are circumstances out there where it is physically not possible to climb out on your own.
No relationship has constant reciprocity, it goes in waves. If this friend has not been supportive in the past or you don’t think you can count on her in the future – that’s another issue.
I don’t think it is fair to conclude from a month or two of someone in a difficult situation that they aren’t helping themselves and need you to tell them no for their own good.
The way our society is set up in order to raise a child well you need the occasional contributions of several adult wage earners. So when one person is the only responsible party raising a child – it is a hardship most people don’t go through.
22 years old is very young.
I agree with everyone else that the OP can and should set limits on her help. A drowning man will drown anyone who tries to pull them out – not the fault of the drowning person but something rescuers have to be careful about.