Tips for dealing with “helpless”, draining friends
Do you find yourself hurting yourself by helping an under achiever who takes sloth and excuses to new lows? Are you frustrated with being an on-call protector and rescuer to someone else’s poor decisions or dangerous behaviour?
Is bailing out financially and emotionally a loved one’s latest dip sinking rather than floating your boat? Then either train to be a coach or shrink and invoice them – or just stop.
Sometimes it’s a lifetime habit if you have grown up with that person whose neediness has become like oxygen it’s so natural and prevalent you have never questioned it. You have naturally bent with the call of duty and shouldered the load as though it was your natural path in life.
But it isn’t. Here are my tops tips to help you relinquish your responsibility for other people’s issues in a calm, caring way.
1. It’s not your problem – truly “get” that everyone’s health, wealth and happiness is 100% their responsibility. Not yours. Feels good already, doesn’t it?
2. Learn to see your needs and feelings as important – it’s not OK for people to take up your time and leave you depleted and anxious whenever they want.
3. Protect yourself – create strong boundaries with others. The stronger the boundary the more respect they will show you.
4. Be clear with others – how much time and energy you are prepared to give. “I will pop by for 20 minutes”.
5. Create distance – limit your time with them and learn to unhook from needy, controlling or manipulative behaviour.
6. Up your standards – decide not to tolerate bad/abusive behaviour. “I’m not talking to you when you are drunk”/”I won’t be lending you any more money”/“I have other things to do and can’t help you right now”.
7. Stop taking up the role of “rescuer” – understand you have more to offer than as a nursemaid or “shoulder” – you don’t have to give extreme self-sacrifice to get love, be needed or show love.
8. Remove yourself – let other people make their own mistakes.
Feeling like you need some help with this? Why not book a trial telephone call with me.
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