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Black Hole Relationships

by Pennie on August 29, 2013

 

I recently became more closely acquainted with someone that I have known for a while.  She is a very sweet person.  Really sweet.  She is older, probably about 15 years older than me.  She tends to be forgetful and will repeat stories, events, etc., that she has already told me.  And she is a world class worrier.

After spending more time with her, I realize that she is one of those people who is a positive energy black hole.  No matter how much support or positive feedback or ego boosting I try to give her, she will continue to worry and fret.  She rehashes negative things that have happened to her (which have happened and make me sad or mad for her).  I always try to be upbeat around her and shore up her confidence, but I’ve come to realize that while it doesn’t fall on deaf ears, it doesn’t have any positive effect on her.

I also realize that it is having a negative effect on me.  It’s tiring to have someone around who sucks any positive energy out of a situation by worrying about what negative thing could happen.  And hearing the same sad stories repeatedly is also draining.  I’ve begun to dread spending time with her and that makes me sad as well.

What can I do?  I want to politely say, “I’m sorry for all the negative things that have happened in your life.  I wish things had been better for you, and I hope  things will be good for you going forward.  I just feel drained every time we talk, because I spend a lot of time feeling sad or mad for you and that is not how I want our relationship to affect me.”

And then what?  What can I say to maintain the friendship but not have it drain me?  Any ideas?

 

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauralee Hensley August 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Unfortunately if you tell her it still may not make any difference and she may still want you to hear all her bad or sad stories and still want you to bolster her spirits, making her feel better. I don’t think you’ll lose the relationship if you tell her, but don’t be surprised that within a couple of months she is right back to doing what she is doing now. I had a person draining me like that, I finally couldn’t take it. I would try to re-focus her over and over again, even for several months after I told her I couldn’t listen or be responsible for her sad or mad feelings about past situations anymore. Finally I changed my phone number, didn’t give it to her, didn’t answer the door when she came by (looked through peep hole). I felt bad at first for doing such, but my spirit is lighter now that I don’t have to take on a non-relatives problems, or helping someone refocus or be happier that clearly doesn’t want to change. You can tell her, you might lose her friendship, but more than likely you’ll not lose her friendship and she’ll not change. People have to change because they recognize the problem and want to change. You might tell her you do not feel qualified to deal with her feelings and think she can get some sort of long term resolution if she sees a professional trained in helping people with problems/feelings like hers. However my friend did see professionals, yes more than one, she didn’t really listen to them either, and only ended up being a drug seeker. One of them gave her some meds and then she went and saw more to get more meds, until a pharmacist ratted her out to all the doctor’s involved. So they got together and said “No” to the meds because she ended up being a seeker of prescription meds instead of dealing with her own emotions. GOOD LUCK.

2 wendy b August 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Sometimes you just have to walk away. It’s not easy….but protecting your own psyche is important.

3 Jennifer M August 29, 2013 at 11:10 pm

I have a friend like this. You have to distance yourself a bit, but still be there if she needs you.

4 Blessed Assurance September 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I always thought I was the only one who could get energy sucked out of me by someone else. So glad I’m not alone in this.

5 Lisa Kerr September 2, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I have someone in my life like that as well, but their really isnt much you can do to change those kinds of people!

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