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Friend with lots of problems is always round or ringing.

(13 Posts)
juniperdewdrop Tue 18-Jan-05 13:33:41

I feel so guilty but it's wearing me out She's a newish mate who has so much going on in her life it's unbelievble.
I only saw her this morning but she rang me before lunch in a fluster saying could I go round for a cuppa. I'd already told her my mum was coming to see me. I had lunch and tidying to do first.
It's such a delicate situation and I don't want her to take the hump but she really is bleeding me dry emotionally. I have stress myself which I don't burden her with as she has enough going on. Any help much appreciated.

fisil Tue 18-Jan-05 13:36:10

I feel really guilty that I do this to my good friends too. One thing that helps me with my guilt is to know that she feels she can offload onto me too - so maybe you shouldn't feel that you can't burden her with your problems - it might help the situation in a variety of ways!

Chandra Tue 18-Jan-05 13:38:59

What about saying I can't at the moment but what about at this other time?.

I have a friend that seems like a magnet for these kind of situations, everybody ends up telling her everything about their problems and she often complains about them. However, she is always VERY insistent in you having a tea with her and telling her what's up even when you are in a hurry so... would it be worth it to revise if you are doing something that makes her feel "extremely" welcomed?

juniperdewdrop Tue 18-Jan-05 13:39:22

I do unburden with very close friends but I don't know her very well. TBH being negative doesn't help and the whold conversation revolves around her. She needs professional help which she's had in the past but not enough IMO. Don't know how to tactfully suggest this though?

juniperdewdrop Tue 18-Jan-05 13:43:20

The thing is she lives just round the corner and turns up on my doorstep so it's hard to turn her away.

jangly Tue 18-Jan-05 13:45:21

I think you need to be kind but firm. You can't take on this other woman's woes for her. Could you say something like "look, why don't you go to the doctor and get some help. Perhaps something just to help you cope better"? Then I'd say limit the time you spend with her. Sorry if it sounds harsh but you've got to put yourself as a mum first.

Chandra Tue 18-Jan-05 13:51:21

If it gets to an extreme... don't answer the door... Then if she mentions something say you were taking a shower and didn't hear her.
Another thing you can do is to bore her with stupid problems like which towels are better to clean the bathroom, make an hour long conversation of that subject and then she may not be attracted to show up so often. (I have done it with somebody who spend hours talking, and didn't let him leave even when he got obviously bored, since then, everytime we bump on each other he just mutters a quick HI and disappears. Thank god! ... but being fair... he talked a lot but not about personal problems... so this may not be a very good idea)

juniperdewdrop Tue 18-Jan-05 13:56:36

chandra, chance would be a fine thing she manages to change the subject round to her every time!

Just been talking with my mum and have decided to tell her a bit about my major stress even though I don't know her that well. I'll tell her that if I'm not up to talking sometimes that's why (which is true) and not to take offfence.

Bunglie Tue 18-Jan-05 14:01:15

I think that you have to set 'boundries'. I of all people know that this can be hard, but say when you are free and when you are not, if she calls and it is inconvenient then you must tell her. I know that you will feel guilty but I bet that she has someone else that she can phone.
It sounds very hard and I feel awful saying this but I got myself into a similar situation. I felt so bad about myself that I found helping others was a way of coping with my problems to start with, after a while it became draining and it took a while before I realised that I was beeing used. I felt a real idiot especially as I had leant them money, bought them things, all of which they said they needed desperately. When I said no, it was a relief, they were a bit 'off' with me for a while and now I have no contact with then, by their choice, but I soon discovered that they were saying the same as they had been telling me to others and as soon as I said no, they just went to the next person.
I wanted to feel wanted and needed and it got out of hand, it sounds like she could be using you. I do not want to be nasty but try and find out what other friends she has and try saying 'no' after a while it gets easier and you will have more self-respect for yourself as you will have set the boundry and stuck to it.
Good luck and I am so sorry if this sounds hard or if I am wrong about your friend. I hope that you feel better soon and get it sorted.

juniperdewdrop Tue 18-Jan-05 14:12:10

hi bunglie, yes you're right I have to say no. She does have other mates but I live the closest. I'm not a push over normally, just think it's because her problems are so bad I've been softer with her.

jampots Tue 18-Jan-05 14:16:43

My dd has made friends with a girl at her new school who is nice (but painfully quiet) and whenever she has visited our house I have had to drop her home and her mum wants me to stay and talk for hours on end, mainly about her dh who lives abroad and has now got another woman pregnant - they are divorcing but hte kids dont know etc etc. Ive met this woman 3 times!! and I never have stayed chatting for more than 20 minutes. She is a nice woman but I do not want to be her best friend.

jampots Tue 18-Jan-05 14:18:29

sorry pressed "post" prematurely. What I meant to say was its probably worth trying to chat about "neutral" things and not become embroiled in her traumas if you arent able to support her. I tend to attract people with problems too. The first time I met one of my neighbours she was telling me about her dh having an affair and leaving, followed by how much debt she was in ! I didnt even know the name of her child at this point.

juniperdewdrop Wed 19-Jan-05 13:36:35

You sound like me jampot, must be our caring nature eh?

I think she's taken the hint. she's phoned today but didn't come home with me after school last night as I said I was busy.

The other night I rang for a take away and the girl on the phone taking the order got chatting and then proceeded to tell me all about her dysfuncional family!! Dh couldn't believe it when I came off the phone lol. She was only young tho bless her.

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