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Handle This: Your Friend Has One Problem After Another

If you were put in a situation like this, how would you handle it?

You and your girlfriends are really close, but one in particular has been struck with a serious case of bad luck. She recently lost her job, her relationship has been on the rocks for weeks now, and she just found out that she has to be out of her apartment by the end of the month. Needless to say, she's been leaning on her friends for support and you've been the one she's relying on most.

While you love being there for your friends, her problems seem to be never-ending, and they are starting to weigh on you. She needs the companionship and encouragement of her friends, but truth be told, you've had enough. You don't want to leave her high and dry, but you're simply fed up with putting her needs before your own, so tell me, how would you handle it?

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Chicagomarie Chicagomarie 7 years
If you were a true friend you'd realize that these are tough times for your friend and that part of friendship means that sometimes one needs to 'overfunction' in the relationship when times are tough for one, and if it's a solid friendship she'll do the same for you when you need it (keeping things even). If you REALLY can't handle it because of your own problems, maybe explain that to her, but don not just avoid her that will ruin the relationship for a long time if not forever...maybe get together with other friends and find a way you all can share supporting your friend through this really bad time in her life, I mean come on you'd expect the same from her if the situations were reversed. That's part of being true friends, when one if going through such a bad time you help her out and support her.
Chicagomarie Chicagomarie 7 years
If you were a true friend you'd realize that these are tough times for your friend and that part of friendship means that sometimes one needs to 'overfunction' in the relationship when times are tough for one, and if it's a solid friendship she'll do the same for you when you need it (keeping things even). If you REALLY can't handle it because of your own problems, maybe explain that to her, but don not just avoid her that will ruin the relationship for a long time if not forever...maybe get together with other friends and find a way you all can share supporting your friend through this really bad time in her life, I mean come on you'd expect the same from her if the situations were reversed. That's part of being true friends, when one if going through such a bad time you help her out and support her.
angelinamichael angelinamichael 7 years
Friendship is a two way street. If your friend seems to be focused more on herself and very little on how you are, well that says enough. I've been in this situation before and kept said selfish "friend" close and next to my side for awhile but it just turned sour in the end. My initial concern for her many problems (boys, drinking, job, family) in turn eventually stressed me out all the time and in the end I became resentful. I avoided her calls, pity texts, hanging out with her etc, because I knew what relations with her would entail. Needless to say I had no choice but to end it. Now that she's gone my life is stress free and I can invest my time with friends who give and receive as opposed to just receive.
Charlyparly Charlyparly 7 years
There is only so much you can do for someone. The rest they have to do for themselves I’m afraid. I exhausted “Avenue Pleasantry” first with someone like this but it reached the stage where she was beginning to make me lose the will to live and I had to be harsh and tell her. It was very much a “Yes, things haven’t been peachy but wallowing in it all is neither use nor ornament to you or anyone else. Get up – dust yourself down and start doing something positive and productive to change things for the better. I’ll help you with that but I cannot listen to you bitching and feeling sorry for yourself any more” She bawled and called me a bitch but she did later thank me for it.
Charlyparly Charlyparly 7 years
There is only so much you can do for someone. The rest they have to do for themselves I’m afraid. I exhausted “Avenue Pleasantry” first with someone like this but it reached the stage where she was beginning to make me lose the will to live and I had to be harsh and tell her. It was very much a “Yes, things haven’t been peachy but wallowing in it all is neither use nor ornament to you or anyone else. Get up – dust yourself down and start doing something positive and productive to change things for the better. I’ll help you with that but I cannot listen to you bitching and feeling sorry for yourself any more”She bawled and called me a bitch but she did later thank me for it.
macchiatolove macchiatolove 7 years
I think I would also have to distinguish whether the problems were of her making, like some of the others suggested, or honestly just bad luck.On top of that, it would depend if she generally offered advice and listened to my problems or not.Basically - how good is the friendship, are the problems her fault etc? having made that decision, I would either slowly ease myself away from her, or continue to support her, venting to my friends or family if I really needed to let off steam about the situation.If she was honestly trying to sort out her situation, rather than just whinging, well of course I would try to be supportive.
macchiatolove macchiatolove 7 years
I think I would also have to distinguish whether the problems were of her making, like some of the others suggested, or honestly just bad luck. On top of that, it would depend if she generally offered advice and listened to my problems or not. Basically - how good is the friendship, are the problems her fault etc? having made that decision, I would either slowly ease myself away from her, or continue to support her, venting to my friends or family if I really needed to let off steam about the situation. If she was honestly trying to sort out her situation, rather than just whinging, well of course I would try to be supportive.
mack2600 mack2600 7 years
oh the irony of this posts' timing! in general i definitely give all the advice in my group of friends, which is especially hard when two of them are fighting within the group and i have to listen to both complain about each other separately for hours on end. but at the moment and for the past 5 months actually, my very best friend whom i've been best friends with for many years is going through a rough time and has been venting//crying to me every single day for months. her psychotic borderline abusive ex-boyfriend, wanting to drop out of classes, the culture gap between her and her parents, blah blah BLAH! in fact one of our mutual best friends and her have had a bona fide falling out and don't speak to each other any more because our friend was tired of listening to her bitch and moan all the time. i'm so sick of being supportive and giving advice, and i've been understanding and so disgustingly sweet and helpful and attentive to her for months now because i've felt so bad and i'm almost pushed off THE DEEP END! i need to get away, i need to have my own problems to complain about! i'm suffocating.
eowynnie eowynnie 7 years
I'm going through this right now. Well, have been going through it for the past... 5 years? Nearly all my friends come to me to complain, which is fine, because I would like to know what they're going through. It's just hard because when I would have something I need to talk to someone about, it's like suddenly they all dropped off the face of the earth. After so many years of having to listen to everyone else and keeping all my problems pent up because no one was willing to return the favor and lend an ear, I've become totally apathetic. It's terrifying.
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 7 years
If you are as close friends as it seems and she's just having a hard time in her life, then stick it out but be firm about boundaries. There are certain things where you can't put her first and she should understand that. Me and my girlfriends are married with children so while we are there for each other in the ways only girlfriends can be, at the end of the day we understand that our families come first. Sure, I might sacrifice a day of peace and quiet for myself to help out my friend but in the end, I feel like I'm doing what a good friend should do by being there.
dm8bri dm8bri 7 years
Ugh, I have a friend like this. I use the term loosely. Anyway, she is a drama machine and shows no interest in stopping production - consistently dating guys she knows are bad, instigating fights with people, complaining about everything, not doing anything to change it...now she's about to have an abusive man's baby. Really the only thing you can do with people like this is limit contact if you feel too guilty to cut them out of your life. I cut my friend out for 4 years and she begged me to be her friend again. She's still full of drama, but our contact is wayyyy less frequent and more limited. It helps that she moved across the country. Sooo, I say don't return her phonecalls as much, and be busy when she asks to hang out and cry. She'll either get the point or move on to other people who have more time on their hands.and, Tidal, I would get out of this roommate situation. If she lost her job and is unmotivated to find another (indifference is especially toxic in this economy), you don't want to be stuck paying her part of the rent AND being her unpaid counselor.
dm8bri dm8bri 7 years
Ugh, I have a friend like this. I use the term loosely. Anyway, she is a drama machine and shows no interest in stopping production - consistently dating guys she knows are bad, instigating fights with people, complaining about everything, not doing anything to change it...now she's about to have an abusive man's baby. Really the only thing you can do with people like this is limit contact if you feel too guilty to cut them out of your life. I cut my friend out for 4 years and she begged me to be her friend again. She's still full of drama, but our contact is wayyyy less frequent and more limited. It helps that she moved across the country. Sooo, I say don't return her phonecalls as much, and be busy when she asks to hang out and cry. She'll either get the point or move on to other people who have more time on their hands. and, Tidal, I would get out of this roommate situation. If she lost her job and is unmotivated to find another (indifference is especially toxic in this economy), you don't want to be stuck paying her part of the rent AND being her unpaid counselor.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
depends on if their "bad luck had to do with their own poor choices or not. if they got a dui and are accidiently pregnant, that's different than getting laid off and being the vicim of a hit-and-run.
geebers geebers 7 years
I know exactly what you mean by toxic vs. true. But it is very hard to distinguish especially when you have been friends for years. Or your friend has had some rough stuff happen -you don't want to turn them away. On the other hand, if this much stress happens at once, the person should probably seek therapy or counseling. I would really recommend therapy or something a little more serious if a friend kept coming to me. I would do it because I would feel like I could not really help her the way a professional can. While a friend should be there for support and emotional matters, if someone experiences several things and seems to be falling apart no matter what you do, being a good friend means recognizing that being there for them all the time is NOT helping them to move on.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Ouch Tidal. Ya that sounds like a bad friend. You do all the work to help her on the resume and she can't even send it out? That takes uhhh a minute?!
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
Well it depends on why she lost her job..... In my situation, my roomate had a crappy service job that she complained about every single day -- even though she has had this job for about two years. She always talked about wanting to send her resume out to a real career-based job so I proofread her resume and sent her tons of links to jobs at least once a month to really give her incentive. Not once did she send out her resume in the 9 months I have lived with her. So just yesterday she announced that she lost her job and now she doesn't know what to do and her life sucks so much. For me, it is frustrating because I tried to help her so much so she would not be in this situation and, since she ignored everything I did for her, she is stuck and is asking for my help, once again, to look for jobs for her. It is extremely frustrating!
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
Well it depends on why she lost her job..... In my situation, my roomate had a crappy service job that she complained about every single day -- even though she has had this job for about two years. She always talked about wanting to send her resume out to a real career-based job so I proofread her resume and sent her tons of links to jobs at least once a month to really give her incentive. Not once did she send out her resume in the 9 months I have lived with her.So just yesterday she announced that she lost her job and now she doesn't know what to do and her life sucks so much. For me, it is frustrating because I tried to help her so much so she would not be in this situation and, since she ignored everything I did for her, she is stuck and is asking for my help, once again, to look for jobs for her.It is extremely frustrating!
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
I think it's best to be honest. I mean I personally haven't had an easy life and when hardships fall on me I am surely one who will complain. I can't help it, it's just how I am. I think it's healthy to be able to complain and have friends listen, even if they can't help you out and any advice won't do the trick either. I don't think if a friend gives you advice you need to take it or they're :wasting your time." I mean if everyone did as their friends suggested we would be a bunch of zombies, I think it's best to listen to your friends but in the end you need to do what works for you but always using them as the voice of reason, outside of the issue at hand. Not everyone has an easy life and it sounds like the story above isn't just some girl whining about trying to lose weight or something so minuscule it makes me want to puke. The situations above are real life altering things that I think a TRUE friend should be there for and offer support. I could see if she constantly complained about trying to lose weight as she stuffs a cupcake in her mouth, but losing a job, getting kicked out of your apt and having relationship issues to seal the deal, to me, are pretty BIG problems that you should be able to turn to a friend on and not get the vibe you're annoying them.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
I think it's best to be honest. I mean I personally haven't had an easy life and when hardships fall on me I am surely one who will complain. I can't help it, it's just how I am. I think it's healthy to be able to complain and have friends listen, even if they can't help you out and any advice won't do the trick either. I don't think if a friend gives you advice you need to take it or they're :wasting your time." I mean if everyone did as their friends suggested we would be a bunch of zombies, I think it's best to listen to your friends but in the end you need to do what works for you but always using them as the voice of reason, outside of the issue at hand. Not everyone has an easy life and it sounds like the story above isn't just some girl whining about trying to lose weight or something so minuscule it makes me want to puke. The situations above are real life altering things that I think a TRUE friend should be there for and offer support. I could see if she constantly complained about trying to lose weight as she stuffs a cupcake in her mouth, but losing a job, getting kicked out of your apt and having relationship issues to seal the deal, to me, are pretty BIG problems that you should be able to turn to a friend on and not get the vibe you're annoying them.
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
This is my roomate!! Provocative Girl, that is really interesting. I never thought about a "toxic friend", mainly because I only let positive people into my life. Unfortunately, my roomate is involuntarily in my life and is definitely a toxic person. I have learned that she is not a friend I ask advice from (she only cares about herself) or give advice to (she ignores it then later complains that nothing has changed or things are worse). I simply listen to her complaints because that is all she wants - attention.
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
This is my roomate!!Provocative Girl, that is really interesting. I never thought about a "toxic friend", mainly because I only let positive people into my life. Unfortunately, my roomate is involuntarily in my life and is definitely a toxic person.I have learned that she is not a friend I ask advice from (she only cares about herself) or give advice to (she ignores it then later complains that nothing has changed or things are worse). I simply listen to her complaints because that is all she wants - attention.
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