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Author Topic: How do I help her?
Isolde Blythe
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My best friend is stuck on a guy. We've all been there, or we know someone who has - your bestie is mooning over someone totally wrong for her. I'd let it go if that were the end of it, but not only is he wrong for her, but he treats her terribly. He's lied to her, emotionally manipulated her, ignored her and stalked her in turns, sent his best friend to mock her. What's worse, she KNOWS all of this and realizes that she ought to leave him alone. So she finally has, but she's still hyper-focused on him, going so far as to avoid end-of-the-year parties because she'll see him there.

Everything she asks me about him is some variant of "why does he treat me so badly?" or "why won't he let me love him?" or "should I confront him?" All of her friends have told her the same thing for months, same as I have: the whole spectrum from "you're to good for him" to "he has no respect for you" to "maybe this is god's way to showing you that you need to learn how to protect yourself and distinguish from people you can trust and people you can't." The whole shebang.

She's even gone to counseling. The worst part of this is that they aren't even together, never even went on any sort of date. A huge part of the reason why she's such a mess is because this is the first guy she (and the rest of us) had assumed returned interest in her, and she's the type to go hard or go home - very intense, and to be quite honest, obsessive. So she's not gonna let him go easily.

Long story short, what in the world can I do more? I'm at my wit's end.

Posts: 10 | From: Tuscaloosa, Alabama | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Molias
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I think when someone's stuck in an unhealthy place, whether that's an actual relationship or a fixation like you're describing, you can be supportive but there isn't much you can do to actually change the behavior. The fact that your friend is getting counseling sounds like a great start; hopefully she's learning some techniques there that will help her focus less on this person.

Maybe you could try deflecting and redirecting her comments for now? It sounds like you've said about all you can about this guy and your friend's feelings for him; how about the next time she tries to bring him up in conversation you say "you know my feelings about him, let's not go over that again. What do you think about [fun shared interest]?" Or whatever sort of engaging distracting topic you can think of. You can't change how she's feeling about the situation, but trying to steer conversations away from it will probably be a nice break for both of you.

(Also, if your friend's avoiding situations where she might run into this person, that doesn't sound like a problem to me. It might be sad for her to miss out on stuff, but if she's aware that she still feels an attachment despite his behavior towards her, avoiding him may just be a way she can back off from the situation while she tries to sort out her feelings.)

Posts: 1316 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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