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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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Magic. Offline
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Being selfish - September 2nd 2011, 10:28 AM

Sorry this is a long one ...
I have a friend who just got out of juvie, he stabbed his ex (not fatally, 3 small wounds to her arms/legs, not that that makes it any better). He's been inside for almost 4 years, and really regrets what he did. I was very depressed at the time and has had through that.
The thing is now he's out he's relying on me. I live in Aus now and he's in the UK. He was told by some people that his ex had pictures of him on facebook and was asking me what it meant etc etc. And a few of our friends have (understandably) cut him off. I want him to be happy and get on with his life, which he seems to be doing well ... but whenever something comes up, whether it's her, or issues with colleges / work, or his family he wants to talk to me. And that would be fine, apart from the fact it's all the time. He facebooks me even if I'm only on a few seconds to check mail, saying he desperately needs to talk, calls me despite time differences a few times a day.
I feel awful but I can't deal with it all. I know he's gonna have trouble adjusting to the "real world" again, but I can't be there for him all the time. I have a lot going on with me, I have a lot of health problems at the moment, work commitments, uni work to do, and my own social problems to deal with. I want to be a good friend to him but the constant neediness is making me want to ignore him ...
Any advice on how to be a good friend, but tell him to back off a bit? I hate being so selfish but I just can't handle this right now

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Stupidity Kills
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Re: Being selfish - September 2nd 2011, 04:05 PM

You're not being selfish at all. Tell him exactly what you posted here, that you have various health problems, work, university and social ailments to deal with, so you have little free time for anything. Tell him you will help him out with a few things to start but you'll wean him off and have him be more independent. Also, tell him that it's no problem if he talks with you, but make it more about conversations as opposed to one-sided "help me please" requests. Lastly, tell him you'll be there for emergencies and ensure he understands what an emergency is, from the sounds of it, nothing he has said to you constitutes an emergency.

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Re: Being selfish - September 2nd 2011, 05:38 PM

I don't think you're being selfish at all. You just need to tell him how you feel about this situation. Tell him that you're his friend, and you're here for him, but at the same time, you have other things in you're life going on too. Tell him exactly what you told to us. YOU have to come first. It's great that you're trying to be a good friend to him, but make sure you're taking care of yourself too. Good luck<3

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Magic. Offline
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Re: Being selfish - September 2nd 2011, 08:42 PM

I've told him about being really busy and sick and hardly having any time, my subtle way of saying "back off a bit" but all he said was "oh that sucks" and carried on. Guessing I need to be more obvious than that.
He even dictates what I say. Like he complained that his ex has new friends at uni and a boyfriend, and he has basically noone, I brushed it off and said I'd met her friends and boyfriend and they were all dull. He then snapped at me and said not to talk about her new boyfriend when he was the one who brought it up. Things like that just make me annoyed with him, but when I point out he brought it up, expecting him to understand he just says "well you should know what you can/can't say around me" ...
Sorry for the rant I'll try talking to him when I next can and explaining things to him more clearly.

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