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Monday, April 6, 2009

My Friend is More Than Needy

Dear Sadie - I am blessed with many friends and I love each and every one of them. I also feel as if I'm a loyal, compassionate person that these friends know that they can turn to in times of trouble. But one of these friends has begun to suffocate me lately. What do you do about someone that seems to sing the blues constantly? Who doesn't seem happy unless they are bringing drama to the table? You try to be their cheerleader and perk them up, show them the sunny side, but they prefer to wallow in all that's wrong with life. You know the type, glass half empty. Any advice?

Oh boy!!! First of all, it sounds like you are a great friend. Probably everyone knows they can come to you and you will always listen. As someone who is usually pretty upbeat myself I struggle with those who "sing the blues". I am not saying that as friends we shouldn't be a safe place for others to vent, but I do tire of hearing about ALL of their problems.

Probably you've tried all of these things but here are some suggestions. I would try to turn conversations around and point out the positive. Sometimes I might even ignore a comment instead of feeding into what they are saying. There are those people who do not want to be "cheered up" and maybe the more cheering you do, the more she we won't want to share with you! Ok, that just sounds mean, but hopefully you know what I'm saying.

Hate to say this, but there are certain people that I end up simply ignoring. I tire of hearing the same issues over and over. Life is very hard for most people, but we don't need for that to be our focus. As a Christian I can pray for that friend that she would seek God's guidance more than mine,but in the end it's up to her to choose where her focus is. These friendships can become toxic and I personally believe it's okay to distance yourself.

I know I've been no help whatsoever! Hopefully there are others out there with more wisdom than I have today.

Alright, there's my two cents, now it's time for you all to pipe in. Start piping...


Kim in NC said...

I agree Sheryl.

Its understandable that people want to vent and seek advice from friends, and that is still OK. But when that is their ONLY focus in conversation time and time again, its hard to hear.

It reminds me of needing to have "tough love", like we do for our kids. Doesn't mean we don't love them! It's because we DO! I certainly don't want to be an enabler for my kids or friends.

Love you new blog!

Laura said...

I have been that friend more times than I care to count and that is the reason why sometimes I think its better to just keep some things to yourself. When I go to person to person for help instead of going to the LORD 1st it really gets UGLY in my mind. In my own personal life I think that we should go to the LORD 1st, tell him our hurts, and let him heal us. That is my take on it.
It does not mean that we should confide in our friends and all but this should not be the basis of our friendship and discussion.
Ok, I have preached enough.
I so love your new blog. Doing good my friend.


Becca and Dee said...

I, too, will agree! I certainly want all of my friends to know that they can come to me, cry on my shoulder, vent, scream....whatever they need to do at the time. But when you offer advice or suggestions and 6 months later they are still in the exact same place it makes you wonder if moving on is something that they just don't want to do. I also get a little nervous when they take things too far in that that they tell me the most intimate details of a relationship, etc. TMI!!!! There are just some things that no one needs to share!

What I would like for anyone who reads this particular post and may think "are they talking about ME?", that if you feel that way maybe you need to re-evaluate the way you approach things. We've all needed someone to turn to, but we also need to realize when it's time for that particular conversation to be put to rest.

I, too, have friends like this. It can be exhausting and it brings you to the point that you just don't even want to see them coming. That's a heart breaking revelation when you so love that person. Believe me when I say that I am looking at myself to make sure I don't do this to my friends. Our girlfriends need to know, not only do we want to help them through the tough times, that sometimes we just want to be with them. Enjoy them. Have fun with them. Sometimes being with our friends is the only escape from the stresses of a normal day. So I say..."lighten up, girls! let's have some fun!!"