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My friend is entirely too codependent


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She's a great person in a lot of ways, but lately I find myself wanting to hang up on her because I honestly can't listen to her complain any more. Every single time she calls me (once a day or every other day), it's always to vent and/or ask advice about some ridiculous problem, some of which aren't even real -- she will make up hypothetical situations and freak out about them. Even when *I* call her for advice, she will inevitably turn my problem into her problem and I wind up consoling her instead of the other way around.


She suffers from PTSD and has a habit of inviting bad people and situations into her life, further exacerbating an already intense problem. I have tried to give her the best advice I can time and time again, but I am just tapped out.


I'm afraid to tell her she's being a bad friend and that she complains too much about things she should be able to handle on her own. She is a sweet and sensitive girl, and I don't want to hurt her feelings... but I just don't know what to do anymore. I find myself avoiding her 'cause I just can't handle it anymore.


So, if anyone has any advice on what I can say to her without hurting her feelings or our friendship, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

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Wow. I felt like you were writing about me, but I don't see myself as codependent.

If you feel this way and want to salvage the friendship, then you need to talk to her. Try and be gentle, but honest. Let her know that if things don't change then you can't be in touch with her anymore. I feel that friendship means that you're there for each other, but one can only take so much. Let her know that you love her and care about her but think she has a problem.

Maybe you can buy her a book on codependency and tell her that you've heard good things about it and think she should take a look at it?

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I see it as codependent behavior because she is too reliant on me for things she should be able to handle on her own. I certainly don't mind being there for a friend in need, but it has just become so frequent that it actually irritates me. I have suggested she see a counselor and she agreed, but has not made much effort towards doing so.


I think the book might be a good idea. I will look into that, thank you. I'm thinking about calling her tonight to discuss things, so hopefully she will be receptive.

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I would not say I am as bad as your friend, but I understand where she is coming from. She should read Byron Katie, The Secret and practicing " a thought is just a thought." This is a difficult thing to suffer through because she is probably totally stressed out all the time. Whatever you do, do it gently. Maybe she doesn't even realize he has a problem??


I think if you approach her sweetly, you have done all you can do. If you fell you have to cut her off a bit, at least you know you tried. Be there for her though.....You can always silence her phone calls and only pick up when you have time.

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The "a thought is just a thought" thing is something I learned from a psychologist. Byron Katie explains all of this in laymen's terms. Anyway, this psychologist was trying to get me to stop jumping to conclusions all the time and they were usually negative outcomes--Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. It is actually a pretty hard thing to do--change the way you think that is, and some of us are just wired to be "worriers." Good luck!

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Stop working so hard to muster up advice and just ask her what she wants to do about it.


Another trick is to turn the tables and monopolize the next conversation with some pure whining of your own. Keep bringing her back to your topic and focus on it like a laser beam.


That often cures people who want nothing more than free therapy.

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So I had a talk with her about all this a few days ago. I was kind but honest and I thought she understood. She claims to have changed her behavior but is still doing the same thing. I was out of town and busy over the weekend, but she texted me three times, two of which were once again to complain about small things she should be able to handle on her own. I don't even want to talk to her anymore because I am so tired of hearing about all her drama. I don't know what to do. I don't know if maybe I've just been too nice about it or what, but she doesn't seem to understand that she needs to give me some space from her issues. If she could just contact me ONCE to say hey or have a normal conversation, I wouldn't mind so much, but she never does.


What am I supposed to say to this girl? Sorry I can't be your friend, you complain too much?

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