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Old 02-21-2013, 03:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Friends with boundary issues

Has anyone found that they trigger when their friends show poor judgment in dating or close relationships?

I almost freak out when those I love have crazy people in their lives and won't set boundaries. Is this codependence talking (me wanting to manage my friends)?

or is this me recognizing that my friend isn't really safe for *me* when they keep crazy people (dramatic, users, insecure, needy) close to them?

It's as though my friend becomes the gateway to crazy and I have to step back. Does anyone else experience this?
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am in the middle of a friend revolution.

Most of the same life skills that got me into the intimate relationship with a loved one with alcohol problems has gotten me into (and kept me in) some wacko friend relationships. That is what I am working on overall in my recovery right now.

What are you getting from these relationships? I am realizing that for me the friendships I struggle with like this was a way to express my need to fix....but when my friends were in their crisis I also did not have to look at my own stuff. I am not trying to say that is what is happening for you....just what I am finding.

I have some great relationships....but they are not usually drama filled and there is a balance to them that I don't have in a lot of my relationships.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think it's probably similar to the way recovering alcoholics feel when they are around old drinking buddies. Sometimes we have to distance ourselves or give up relationships if they are not good for us.

If you want to keep the friendship, try using your detachment skills. Try just being a friend without getting sucked into the drama, enabling, etc.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I went through a "friend revolution" (nice term, Life Recovery!) when my late partner died of cancer. Before he got sick, I had a huge amount of friends... or so I thought. As soon as he got sick, almost every single one of them disappeared into thin air! I remember trying to call a few at some stage when I could do with a kind word or two during the most stressful times only to find myself ignored. It was absolutely awful and as my partner's full time carer, a huge job for one person without an ounce of support. When he died, I came to a lot of conclusions about a lot of things I had been very naive about. One of those things was friendship. Once he died, some of those friends reappeared as if nothing had happened. I couldn't believe I had gone through utter hell and they wanted to resume our friendship as if I had just been through a break up or something minor. Needless to say, I have been very selective when it comes to friendships since then.

One thing I have noticed is that my partner has a LOT of terrible friendships. I guess this is a common things among alcoholics. Since he quit drinking, I am finding these people more and more difficult to be around. I realise I should detach myself from his decision to be around these people, but they really make it hard for him to work through his recovery. It's not that he hasn't got any "good" and supportive friends, it's just that for some reason he neglects them and tends to focus on these "bad" friends who drink heavily around him, hit him up for favours, generally treat him pretty badly. His family are included in this list. Needless to say, all of these so-called friends have the most ridiculous dramas going on in their lives that are all considered normal.

My RBF is finding it harder and harder to see these people but he still grins and bears it most of the time. His choice. As for me, I have now stopped acompanying him and leave him to it while I do my own thing. I refuse to waste my time around people I don't like and who create drama and stress. I've had my fair share of that.

Unfortunately, as I write this, my plan to avoid the negative is somewhat thwarted by the fact a rather aggressive couple from abroad is staying with us at the moment. They were supposed to come for a couple of days but just turned up for five instead on the expectation we would take time off work to chauffer them around! Seriously! I set some ground rules before they came that I would not take any time off work, would not wait on them hand and foot, and that my partner and I would share cooking dinner. Of course, he got defensive as his emotions are all over the place at the moment, but I've stood firm. This couple speak to each other appallingly, telling each other to shut up, bitching, saying inappropriate things about their sex lives etc etc, and try to pass if off as a joke. I am pleased to discover my partner had a word with them about it today and told them to tone it down! He rarely stands up to people but could see how upset I was getting and actually did something. Big development.

Anyway, in my case I just don't want or need this negativity and dysfunction in my life anymore, so I am choosing my time and friendships wisely.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've experienced this and wondered the same. I love my friends--they are successful in their careers, well spoken and well dressed; however, most of our times spent together with 3 or four of us over drinks and them wondering why the "can't find a man" or complaining about their ex, or exactly what you are saying--not setting boundaries with those in their lives (which is so obvious to me but not to them). And it's the same stuff over and over. Nothing ever changes, except maybe the face of the man in their life. i say to ad nauseum "get your focus off finding the right one and BE the right one"

Anyway, I've been saying for a while need to get around new people--people that are at a higher level than I am--I believe it is the only way i will grow. SOOO I joined a local group here--it is a business group, however, their focus is on the community and how they can help--I went to dinner with them for the first time this week and I was amazed--the entire conversaiton--no complaining, no gossip, no small talk, just where is there a need and how can we help to fill it--sending backpacks of food home with low income kids so the can be fed over the weekend, things like that. All about "how can we move forward and help others". 100% REAL positive energy.

It was so refreshing. I left feeling alive, full of possibilties, and not drained and depleted.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't feel this way because I am the crazy one!
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I want to add I don't mean to sound so darned high and mighty! I am the crazy one, too! My issues are different than my friends, but heck yeah, they are there. That's why I am trying to grow with those doing more than I am :-)
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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WritingFromLife - you're absolutely right. Volunteering is a good way of removing yourself from nonsense and surrounding yourself with people who are actually doing things for others without an agenda. After the aforementioned "friend revolution", I devoted my time to raising money for cancer research before volunteering in a children's home in India. It certainly set my thinking and priorities in life straight. There's little meaning in trying to help those who continue to create silly problems for themselves, and great meaning in trying to help those who have real problems simply as a byproduct of being born.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I also like to surround myself with friends who are smarter than I am so that I can learn something, be inspired, reach upward.

My male friend has a former girlfriend who went through his computer without his permission, read emails between him and me (platonic), contacted ME about how I could have him if I wanted him...

I did not respond because I flee from crazy as a (new) rule.

Now my male-friend (let's call him C) tells me that former girlfriend (call her A) is being stalked by a former boyfriend.

A's former boyfriend is now fixated on my friend C.

All I want to say is "WTF do you expect when you date crazy people?" but that sounds maybe a little bit harsh. Anyways, I just trigger from the vicarious drama, and wanted to know if I'm normal.

Thank you for reminding me that there is health out there and to trust my instincts and wait for it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i like the saying "when you see crazy coming, cross the street!!!"
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have pretty good detachment skills when it comes to friends or associates, I can step back & observe without reacting in any way. I trigger when it comes to my sister. (This is a new discovery for me in my own recovery over the last couple of months so it's my most recent work-in-progress ) I have definite FOO/ACoA issues that flare up when she makes poor choices in her relationships/personal life.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stella27 View Post
I also like to surround myself with friends who are smarter than I am so that I can learn something, be inspired, reach upward.
Whenever I hear someone say something like this I get a shocking pain in my stomach! Why would you ever think there is someone out there smarter than you and that you should spend time with them to "progress"? It's like that awful saying "out of my league" when someone is romantically interested in someone they think is better than them. I don't understand that at all.

No one is better than you or worse than you. Give yourself a little credit. Progression will only come from the changes you make within you, not by hanging out with "smarter" people. The key is to just ensure the people you do spend time with are positive and forward-thinking so you are in a relaxed environment with fewer obstacles, and that is more conducive to moving forward.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't think they are better or worse than I am, but have a history of making better decisions than I? Yes, there are people like this.

I don't think anyone is so out of my league that they are slumming to hang around with me, but I like to surround myself with people who have shown that they can implement the values that I hold dear in their own lives.

These people are very different from the A who says one thing and does another, which is another red flag for me!
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