helping your friends when it is hurting you.

@tenrajj (911)
Bhutan
July 31, 2011 1:14am CST
what would you do in such situations? If helping your friends hurts you. When rushing to the aid to a troubled friend, don't forget that you have needs to your own. Offering a shoulder to cry on is one thing; it is quite another when someone's needs begin to make serious inroads into your own emotional well-being. One has to have a set of boundaries that enable him to know what the limits are, even with close friends. There are always limits to what a friend can do. Although setting those limits may be difficult for some people, disappearing without explanation is hardly a supportive act. Instead explain that personal needs have to take precedence for a while. If you say,"I'm really tired tonight" or " i need some private time for myself"' rather than " you are draining me", the troubled friend should understand that any temporary distance is not his fault and he's abandoned to face his troubles alone.
1 person likes this
6 responses
@pbbbsra (1214)
• Philippines
31 Jul 11
I agree that there should be a limit or a line when it comes to friendship... but I am that kind of friend. I put myself after. Especially if its a close friend who is in need, I sure will forget about myself for a time until that friend gets better. I can wake up nights... if she needs a talk, she does the same to me too, so I cannot tell her I am tired. Even if Im tired, when she calls and told me needed totalk, I never felt that she is getting too much. I love my best friend and I will always be there for her.
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
31 Jul 11
Yes... it may also depend upon person to person. Helping a friend through a time of trouble can take many forms- from providing tomato soup to emotional support to a temporary place to stay. Still, no matter what a friend needs, empathy will always be the crucial element when it comes to offering real assistance. If a friend knows what someone really understands his feelings; he won't feel so isolated by his despair, and his problems won't seem quite so unbearable.
@laydee (12813)
• Philippines
31 Jul 11
I know how that feels because friends have tried to abuse me in several occasions, not that they intended to, but because they didn't know that they have. Anyhow I thought that it was so insensitive of them to not have seen the discomfort that they've done to me with their concerns being taken cared of leaving my concerns to be set undone. Anyhow, I think it's best if we just express our concerns with them instead of expecting them to understand more. Indeed there are a lot of ways to speak out instead of being rude. Have a great MyLot experience!
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
31 Jul 11
Hi there.. it is sad to know about your experiences. But it is good that you have learned something. Yea each of us needs to develop our own personal definitions of responsibility, irresponsibility and over responsibility. And each of us must be prepared to take action based on what we believe.
@lumenmom (1996)
• United States
1 Aug 11
That has always been one of the hardest things for me to do is to set appropriate boundaries when attempting to help people. I always want to completely solve all their problems and make them whole again before I can be okay. This a lot of times is a problem because it takes so much out of me and takes my focus off what I need to do to make myself be okay.There can be serious consequences to doing this over the long haul, especially to your physical and mental health. I know that a lot of what I suffer from today is not setting enough limits. The ironic thing is people tend to respect you more when you do set limits than when you let them walk all over you.
• United States
31 Jul 11
I have a bad habit of helping people even when I'm tired. I tend to go out of my way for people when I help them. If I agree to help someone (and I have a hard time saying no) I try to give 100% to whatever I'm doing. Recently a friend asked me to do something for her that I didn't want to do. She wanted me to give her a reference letter, but I wasn't comfortable doing that because I wasn't 100% sure that I could trust her to do a good job. I didn't answer her text message and then told her that I had to go to a family member's house and I didn't know when I was going to come back (which was the truth). She ended up calling me another day after I got back and asked if she could give my number as a reference. I was having a bad day and didn't feel like thinking of an excuse so I just agreed even though I didn't want to. I like the fact that you mentioned the way that you say something. You gave really good examples. Saying "you are draining me" comes off as very abrasive, whereas the other examples focus on you. They tell the truth, but not the brutal truth lol.
@minimoyz (277)
• Philippines
31 Jul 11
What a VERY nice friend you are! When helping a friend bothers you or hurts you then don't even bother to help him/her. Being a true friend is to help a friend in need in many way you can without complaining or with no doubts at all costs. This is what a true friend should be. If for instance your friend doesn't know the limit for asking help then he/ she is not a true friend too. Talking is a best solution there is so when that troubled friend understands then he/ she is a true friend. True friends are hard to find nowadays so when comes along don't let them go.
@toniganzon (53392)
• Philippines
31 Jul 11
True that sometimes we have to put limitations on what we can offer. I am one of those prone to abuses because it's very difficult for me to refuse a needy friend. But now I am learning how to refuse without hurting their feelings as well.