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my friends suck the life out of me
January 15, 2003
4:07 pm
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I have a friend that constantly needs advice and a place to stay. She recently got back into school, and this last semester i had to help her through it by pushing her to succeed. Otherwise, she would have given up early on in the semester because she has no other positive influences in her life. Her mother is abusive and an alcoholic, so she doesnt like to go home a lot and stays at my apartment. I have no problem with her staying a few nights, but it has come to the point where she literally is there everyday. I need my time alone, and I feel if I ask her to leave that I am being a bad friend.
It's now winter break and I have felt a lot better about life in general-being home helps that. I thought that she would understand that I need to be home and with my family and close friends, but yesterday she gives me grief about how I am neglecting my friends at school!! I just dont get it. I thought friends would want the best for their friends, even if that meant separation. What do you all think? Am I being a bad friend?

January 15, 2003
4:19 pm
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No I don't think you are being a bad friend! I think you are being used by a manipulative person.

In my opinion, you are going to have to be polite but firm. If that doesn't work you may have to be blunt and to the point. You have done so much already, it is not your fault she has no other positive influences, etc. None of us have perfect lives but we all have to cope.

Good luck and come here if you need to unload. We will listen!

January 16, 2003
5:32 pm
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Thank you! i am glad i have stumbled into this chat room, it has really helped me realize the long road ahead of me. It helps to know that it isnt me being the bad friend. I constantly worry about that all the time and it is good to hear that i am ok.

January 17, 2003
12:25 pm
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So you are still on your winter break, right? When do you go back to school, Monday?

I will cross my fingers for you that you will find the inner strength to stand up to your friend. I know, it will be hard. It's hard to say no to people without feeling guilty, isn't it? I often find myself over extended because I say yes to everything. Just keep a mantra running in your head of the reasons this has to stop. My experience on occasions like this has been to NOT offer any excuses, because then there is something to argue over. I have had the best luck when I just firmly and politely say with a smile, "I'm sorry, that's not going to work for me. If I could (do whatever, fill in the blank) I would but I really just can't." I used to say "well, maybe next time" so I didn't feel as bad. Then I was just setting myself up for the next favor, and so on. People kind of take the point and back down if you keep it simple. Otherwise they will continue to pick apart the reasons you give.

Oh, I will be crossin' my fingers for you! Until then enjoy your weekend and be strong, my friend. Remember, by cutting off the easy out you've become for her, you are really making a step closer to her being strong and self-sufficient and it's likely she will thank you someday. Or not. She may just find someone else to guilt-trip and mooch off.

Learning experiences, hey? 🙂

January 17, 2003
6:19 pm
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I hope that all experienvces that I have learned thus far make me the wisest, coolest and most fun person in the world.Thanks for your thoughts, I will need all the help I can get!!

January 21, 2003
12:28 pm
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friendship is a two-way street and if you are going to receive you should be wanting to give.
My best friend I know is and has always been there for me, I know she doesn't keep tabs on how much she really does help me, but at the same time I always try to make sure I tell her how much I appreciate her and try to jump at the opportunities to try and be there for her when I can,so you may want to see if your friend is not just a taker.Hope this advice helps, we shouldn't help folks because we expect something in return from them, we should do it because we care but at the same time we do not need to be taken advantage of.

January 22, 2003
9:16 pm
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thanks for the input. I know that friendships are a 2-way street,and that IS the problem.... I give and give and give until there is nothing left and I am alone and depressed. That is why I am frustrated with my friends because I feel like they truly dont care about my happiness and want what is best for them.....and not caring that I am working on changing my unhealthy patterns...

January 23, 2003
11:28 am
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"nice guys finish last" is the saying.
People will take advantage of nice people because they know that they can, I know it is easier said than done, you have to express how you feel to your friends without offending them and if they are decent then they will understand what you are trying to express and if they dont' then you need to find some real friends that do care about you. I hope that didn't come off as too harsh. I just hate it when folks take advantage of someone's kindness.

January 26, 2003
9:26 pm
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Pippy, I know exactly where you are coming from. Give give give until you feel that you have nothing left to give. I just wish people would stop taking advantage of everything.

January 27, 2003
11:18 am
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I can definately relate. Sometime you have to cut people off. I just told a friend that there is nothing more I can say or do for him. You can do too much for people and it becomes counter productive. They do not listen to you. They do not take your advice when you tell them what is right and they end up taking your life from you.

I had to stop it myself and cut him off. He said that he appreciated everything I did for him but he really didn't. He has done nothing to help himself, he just goes from one woman to the next taking and using them. He cannot take care of himself. He was basically homeless when I took him in "to help". Sometimes when we rescue people, they never learn what they need to learn to change their life.

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