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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Question How to let them know gently? - February 8th 2014, 04:13 PM

So as it's the start of a new year, there are the new 'little kids' of the school Anyways, I now have an entire group of friends instead of just two friends. But one of them is REALLY pushy, clingy and bossy, and flat-out annoys the rest of us. In fact... No one really has a nice thing to say about her. She's also really melodramatic and seems to think everything revolves around her.

There's also this guy, and no one really likes him. I'm nice to him, because well he really hasn't done anything wrong to anyone. He just lacks people skills. He's one of those ones who constantly go on and on about their horrible lives.

These are two people who I do care about, although they frustrate me a lot. I know that I could just find better friends (which I already have), but I remember that I used to be a mixture of them. I was selfish, pushy, clingy, and constantly going on about my horrible life. The thing is, I didn't realize I was doing it! But later, people's words finally got through to me, and I began the LONG, DIFFICULT path to change myself, because at the rate I was going I'd have no friends. I managed to get back the friends that I lost during that annoying stage, well most of them.

That's the thing, I don't think these two know that what they're doing is considered socially unacceptable, or that they're even doing anything different to us (me and my other friends who get annoyed by them)

Now, the girl is the type who gets offended WAYYY too easily, and will hurt you but get upset when you do the exact same thing back. I can't think of a way to approach her about it gentle enough, because she'd probably get upset and avoid me before I managed to tell her.
The boy is really stubborn. We've offered our help and advice many times (he doesn't get offended as easily). And no, we don't just randomly say what he needs to change. When he's complaining that he has no friends, we explain that I used to be JUST like him, and tell him what he needs to do to get friends. Now I see how difficult I was to work with

Anyways, I have no intention of changing people when I don't like something about them, I have equal respect for everyone's opinions. But I'm worried that these two individuals, at the rate they're going, will end up with no one at all, as I did. Then, they'll probably take up some form of self destruction, like me (cutting). I had the willpower and strength to not go as far as suicide, but the thoughts can become constant and overwhelming, as many of you here know. I really don't want them to get hurt like this, even though they can be annoying and frustrating and a pain to be around. When I was alone and depressed like that... The feeling... It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of it. You know how depression goes, you feel trapped, worthless, like there's no hope. When I was in that position, I promised myself that whenever and wherever I could, I'd try to assist people to avoid or get out of that place. So far I've kept my promise to myself

All I need is a REALLY gentle way to approach the girl, and a persuasive way to approach the guy. Please help? Like I said, I'm quite afraid for them... I can't stand them, but I do care for their safety.
Sorry if this post is really repetitive, but it's like 4 in the morning Any help is appreciated!! Thanks so much in advance!! <3


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Re: How to let them know gently? - February 9th 2014, 06:01 PM

I commend you for going above and beyond to help these two friends see how they're sabotaging themselves! Many people would have thrown their hands up in frustration by now. Even people who have had similar experiences might have pulled away by now, out of concern for how the friendships might affect them on an emotional or psychological level.

Before I offer some suggestions, I want to encourage you to continue monitoring your own well-being. If you begin to find that these friendships are harming you emotionally or psychologically, then you need to think about yourself first and take time away from these friendships. After all, if you want to serve as a positive role model, then that's something you'll need to demonstrate (appropriate boundaries)!

For both friends, it sounds like they may be more receptive to a letter. If you try to talk to them about what you're observing, then they may become defensive, avoid you, or stubbornly dig their heels into the ground. If you give them letters, they can read what you have to say while no one else is around. It will give them time to ponder over what you're saying, and maybe something you've written will "sink in."

For both friends, I think it would be helpful to start off with acknowledging how they're feeling, and empathizing with them by sharing your own story of healing/recovery. Afterward, you can give a few examples of things they've done to sabotage themselves, and offer concrete ideas for how they might be able to act differently. It's important to be concise and not ramble on and on about how your friends make lots of mistakes - just give a few recent examples (not "you always do ___________," but "yesterday, you did ___________") and how they could have acted differently. Again, you could demonstrate how you've made similar mistakes, and talk about what you did differently that improved your life and friendships. Finally, offer your support and any other resources you can think of! A school counselor might be a good resource, as well as local support groups for teens, your friends' physicians (who can assess for various issues that might contribute to their overall moods), child protective services (if there's abuse), etc.

Good luck to you and your friends! Remember, there may come a point where your friends simply won't want to accept your support, no matter how you offer it to them. If that's the case, then you need to acknowledge your limitations and understand that your friends may not be ready to change. Unfortunately, that CAN be the case. You can still "plant ideas" in their minds, though, and hope that other people will eventually help your friends see what they're doing to themselves.






   
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