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DEARSUGAR Needs Your Help: Talking Down A Super Sensitive Friend

DEARSUGAR and Broken Record Roslynne need your help. Some friends are just sensitive and draining. What's your advice on how to give a Cancerian a kick in the behind?

Dear Sugar
I've got a friend who constantly talks about another one of our girlfriends. For years, they've had a love/hate volatile relationship that I wish would just end already. But because we live in a small town where everyone knows everyone else, it's impossible for them to escape each other.

Personally, I don't really care for the other girl either. I find her brass, ostentatious and aggressive, but I've somehow learned to keep my distance from her and not let her sarcasm and big mouth consume me.

I wish that my friend could do the same but she can't. She is utterly hung-up on her. I am tired of hearing about all of these nitty-gritty meaningless comments and I just wish that she could get a thicker skin about it all. I've talked to her many times about being less sensitive, but she's a cancer...it's practically in her DNA.

What can I say to her so she knows that I don't want to enable this kind of talk any longer? I want to be her friend and help her feel better, but I feel like a tape recorder who has cited the same, "I'm sorry she said that to you" speech over and over again.
Broken Record Roslynne

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Neural Neural 9 years
I would flip it back on her. "What are you going to do about it?" I would point out that she has this pattern with this person and she could choose to live with it as it is (and quit her bizatchin') or change it. It's really that simple. Live with it or change it. How she reacts to that is her deal, not yours.
findblancomeow findblancomeow 9 years
Cubadog, your pup in your profile pic looks just like my dog! =)
Lakey Lakey 9 years
I agree with Val on her first point. If you tell your friend you are too busy with your own life and aren't as bothered as she is, it will make the friend feel like she's a bit of a sad case for spending so much energy on the other friend. That might be enough of a wake-up call for her. You could also say that you really don't like to talk negatively about people because you are on an "all things positive" kick. Then change the subject.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
First I wouldn't apologize for something someone else said. She needs to develope a backbone and tell the other woman to shut the hell up if she is so offensive. If she brings her up in your prescense walk away or end the conversation by telling her your not going to talk about. If she keeps going hang up or get up and leave. My Aunt is extremely toxic and will make every attempt to go on and on about someone even after you tell her you don't want a part of it. I just started hanging up on her or leaving her in mid sentence and she finally stopped!
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
try saying "Wow! you are so bothered my her! She really gets to you! Oh i'm sorry you are so very disturbed by her behavior, you poor thing!" just let her talk until she is done. when she finally gets to how you feel about your "friend" say "i'm so busy with my own life, honestly i don't have the time" or "i don't really think about her that much". if you do this every time i promise she will stop, because it will sound like all she has in her own life is being irritated by this "friend". on the inside you'll be screaming "shut up already!" but on the outside you need to act and look as if she has just told you that she has stage 3 cancer; very serious. she'll feel ridiculous soon enough and go bore someone else with the details.
honey31 honey31 9 years
Let her that you dont want to hear her problems with this other chick.Also tell her its draining you and you cant take it any more.If that does not help than don't talk with her any more maybe she will get the hint I hope!
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 9 years
I wouldn't talk to her.
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