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DEARSUGAR Needs Your Help: My Friend Needs a Healthy Push

DEARSUGAR and Give Me Space Sandy need your help. Her friend has been using her as a crutch ever since her break up. It's not that Sandy is insensitive, it's just that she feels it is time that her friend start to move on's been a full year.

I know that we have all been through this in some form or another with friends. You need your girlfriends more than ever when you are going through a breakup, but where do you draw the line when your own relationship begins to suffer from neglect? Do you have any advice for ways she can talk to her buddy to let her know that she cares, but that she needs to take her own life back?

Dear Sugar
I have a friend whom I have known for a very long time. Last year, her boyfriend of three years broke up. Ever since she has expected me to be constantly available to hang out with and to chat on the phone with all of the time. She has even called my boyfriend for a favor!

I am a busy woman; I am a full time nanny and a full time college student. I also have many other friends (that don't particularly like her) and a boyfriend of my own who is starting to grow impatient with her constant interruptions of our plans. I am tired of feeling constantly torn between them.

I really care about her, but I don't feel that it should be my sole responsibility to carry her through this rough patch much longer considering that she and her boyfriend broke up over a year ago. How can I talk to her so that I can get my freedom back without hurting her feelings? Give Me Space Sandy

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rustedwings rustedwings 10 years
I agree with Popgoes the world- but don't be surprised if a heart to heart doesn't get through. If she's still unstable after that long, it might not be because of the breakup, it might be part of who she is. If she's confident in calling you for favours regardless of your plans and expects you at her beck and call those are hard patterns of entitlement to break. The job of a good friend is to help the other person grow in their own time and way, not to put their lives on hold for others for over a year. You have a right to feel this way, but the first step to helping her move forward may be to choose when you pick up the phone, and to choose when you say yes and when you say no. Good Luck!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
She is still playing the breakup card a year later? She needs to seek some help outside of your friendship. I think you will also have to be better about managing your communication with her. She is probably so used to you saying yes and being available all the time that she takes advantage of it. I think a heart-to-heart is in order, but be gentle so she doesn't think you're breaking up with her, too!
nicachica nicachica 10 years
i had that issue with my friend a couple of years ago too but it didn't go on nearly as long! after 3-4 months of being there and holding her hand and going through her breakdowns with her, i finally told her that there was only so much i could help her with. i ended up taking her to our college's counseling center and she started seeing a therapist there. maybe it's time for you to suggest the same thing for her too? my friend is doing a lot better now and it's helping her work out other issues too. you've been a good friend now but there's only so much you can do without being a licensed therapist! good luck!
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