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Dependent Friendships

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm not sure if that's even a title to explain most things simply.

To start off, I love helping people and it makes me feel good about myself, but also there's the point where telling people the same thing gets frustrating, and you're out of things to suggest.

How do you deal with people that are extremely dependent on you to 'sort their life out'? I've explained basically as much as anyone really can, about looking for the right support, making sure they do small things to keep them active, and to even focus on the positive things more then the negative, which I know isn't always easiest to do.

There's just times I feel really drained from it. It's like I'm a glass of strawberry milk, and someone's slurped all the juice from it and not left a drop.

I'm not sure how I can even get them to 'back off' a bit. I find it selfish to think that I need to look after myself, but I really do, and I can't do it when I'm drained from trying to stop people doing something permanent for a temporary solution. It's the same thing over and over.

Is there any ways I can brush them off a little?

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    *Holly**Holly* Deactivated Posts: 140 Helping Hand
    Hey *Sophiepea*

    It's great that you've realised you need to focus on yourself a bit. That isn't selfish at all, in fact it's really important. Unfortunately there's only so much you can do to help another person before they need to start to help themselves.

    You want to know how to brush this person off a little... What's the contact time you're having with them at the moment? Is there anyway you could just turn your phone off for a while, or not pick up their calls? It may seem harsh, but remember it's their behaviour that's led to you doing this, not yours. And can you think of any activities or such you can do to unwind and get that strawberry milk back in your glass? :) Maybe busy yourself up a bit so you don't have time for them all-day every-day.

    Sometimes we humans need to be selfish in order to be unselfish. You're more likely to be a good friend to this person if you're relaxed and OK in yourself. If they keep pushing you, you could maybe snap and say something destructive. So, in the long term, you're being a better mate by looking after yourself.

    How does that sound?

    Take care

    Holly
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Holly,

    It's mainly Facebook, but I've completely deleted that from my phone now so when I log out, I won't get all the notifications etc. I've got an activity tomorrow, which I'm looking forward to so hopefully that fills that glass up a little.

    Sounds good. The only problem I have is if I don't reply to them say within a few hours, I'll end up with text messages that are basically manipulative, so then I feel I have no choice but to go and talk to them. I don't mind doing it, I mean I love helping people, there's just times where I've said everything anyone could, and there's not much a non professional can do for them...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sounds familiar

    Really does sound familiar. I have a few friends who are ALWAYS going on and on and on and no matter what you say to them or suggest ways to move forward, nothing seems to be the right thing. There's always a 'but...' or 'no it won't work' 'i've done that' 'whats the point' I mean I am getting better at responses for these things but sometimes it can get tiring. Especially if you have SO many people relying on you in one way or another. But I've learnt that in order to look out for someone else and give them your whole support, then you need to be well too...and look after yourself. I agree with what Holly said around this - I can say it works for me sometimes. And I also find that I bring it on myself too. Like you soph, I feel back because I get guilt tripped if I don't reply or whatever, or get the whole 'forget it you don't care' 'i'm gonna go to this' then I feel responsible as I am making something worse which I intended to make better. It's true though, there is only so much 1 person can do to support others, that person needs to take steps in order to look after them selves. I give in too much because I feel bad, and end up being there for them , chatting, texting, everything, so get wrapped back up in it all. So in one sense it's my fault as I bring it all on myself. It's about taking breaks and just learning to not respond and if people get funny about it, then just explain politely that you have a life of your own and you can't be on the end of your phone all day every day. you're not a counsellor, you're not a 24/7 support provider. Learn to be 'selfish' which really isn't selfish - it's humanly normal to look after yourself!! I know for me I have got to a pint in life where just cutting any form of contact at all has had to be done, then the can't contact you in any way. It can be the hardest thing to do as you're friends, but some people arent healthy for us, the lies get way to much, it effect other relationships around us more that people thanks and we need to distinguish between healthy and bad relationships. At the end of the day,I think if you don't like someone for what ever way shape or form etc etc then just stop talking to them. Move on. If nothing else works then move on.

    Sorry for the essay and a half, I clearly got carried about. It's a bit blunt in places and probably makes no sense at all. But hope it's a bit useful =) Rach =)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have made a friend recently who is very communication heavy through Facebook, though hasn't got to the stage of requiring the same high levels of emotional support from me as you seem to be encountering. My way of dealing with it is allowing myself to feel okay about not being there 24/7 - as Helen says it's a good thing! Great move on removing Facebook from your phone, I think more of us could benefit from doing that so that we learn how to communicate rather than broadcast!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm used to helping people. I used to talk these people in there 40's out of a lot of things, but they NEVER seem to appreciate it. I've just got to the point where I want to be alone with no one telling me there problems even for a day...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm used to helping people. I used to talk these people in there 40's out of a lot of things, but they NEVER seem to appreciate it. I've just got to the point where I want to be alone with no one telling me there problems even for a day...

    It's easy when your self-esteem is low to fall into letting other people use you as a sounding post because it makes them like you. In my experience (as a Wise Old Lady) people have been fine when I've said, "You know what, I'm sorry, but I'm a bit busy at the moment". Sometimes they're shitty when you say it but 9 out of 10 stay around and restore balance.

    It's not easy to make that cut, though.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's really not, I remember trying before and they're like ''sorry'', ''it's my fault'', ''I'll just go'', and then make me feel guilty for it. I tried ignoring as well, but then they're like ''have I done something wrong?'' and it's like ''no, but I don't want to reply (without sending)'' until I feel more 'in-balance' myself.

    I need to become a careless person that tells everyone to fuck off.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's really not, I remember trying before and they're like ''sorry'', ''it's my fault'', ''I'll just go'', and then make me feel guilty for it. I tried ignoring as well, but then they're like ''have I done something wrong?'' and it's like ''no, but I don't want to reply (without sending)'' until I feel more 'in-balance' myself.

    Let them. It's passive-aggressive and totally designed to keep your attention. I know this sounds harsh, but you are not a psychological professional, it's not your job, you're not their carer. You have enough on your plate just looking after Sophie.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know, I guess I do it to forget about me...
    But I know I need to step back, they're old enough to seek help professionally, and that's what they need.
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