When friends make poor life choices

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  1. I have a girlfriend who is very, very close to me. I've known her a long time, we lived together, and she's like a sister.

    However, she makes really poor decisions that really screw up her life. It's none of my business except that I have her best interests at heart, but she's constantly complaining about a lack of money, her horrible boyfriend, etc. What do you say to this?

    Money causes huge issues for her because she clearly can't manage it. She pays $100 a month for tanning... I didn't even know it could get that expensive. She pays $80 a month for a gym she doesn't go to. She took out a massive loan for a new car, and she took out loans for college but is taking her sweet time finishing. However, when she's venting about all this stuff to me, which is frequent, I do suggest she cut back. She never does.

    I don't mind hearing her complain, we all need somebody to vent to. I'm not into being pushy but I wish I could make her see her situation a little more reasonably... but there's no way to remedy this, right? Or is there?
  2. It's her life and someday reality will hit and she'll be forced to make some decisions. You've done what you can, and she won't listen. It isn't up to you to fix her life.
  3. Just try to talk about something else if it really bothers you. When you tell friends what to do you usually loose them.
  4. I know someone in this position also. There is no way to help her except to listen. Hopefully she will see her way out of this. Its horrible to sit and watch your close friend struggle thru life when yours is going so much better. You can only hope that the struggle turns into something positive.
  5. Yeah, exactly. I hate to see her miserable, especially when it seems SO DAMN EASY to change a few things and improve her situation a hundred-fold!
  6. I don't think so. You can point things out to her, as you have been doing already. But only she can make real changes. It's really impossible to influence people towards doing things that they really don't want to do -- and I'm sure you don't want to stand in that role, anyway, as this is a a dear friend. As long as a person's behaviour isn't horribly self-destructive... but, in general, it seems like people have to make their own mistakes and figure things out on their own.

    Not that I'm an expert, or anything. I've definitely made my own share of mistakes (sigh)... and even in spite of the best of counsel from wonderful friends, who (happily) continue as good friends no matter what.

    Just continue to offer good advice, when it is requested -- and be supportive. That's the most that a friend can do, it seems.
  7. unfortunately most people can't see the forest for the trees. they have to fall flat on their butts before they realize they may be doing something wrong. THATS when you need to be there for her. Not to bail her out, but to help her help herself.
  8. I agree. You know that if you say anything, she isn't going to listen. So, when she does fall flat on her butt, if you're there for her, you've done your job as a good friend :amuse: People are going to make their own choices, regardless of what anyone says. I've been that person, the one who is making all the wrong choices, while not listening to friends and family. I hope your friend realizes the choices she is making aren't good for her, and that she has friends like you who are there for her.
  9. You can listen, you can change the subject, but she has to find out on her own and make her own decisions. Some people are actually addicted to drama, if their lives aren't crazy, then they feel there is something missing.
    Also, some of us grow up a lot later in life. I may still be working on it at 42!
  10. It is always hard because after a while you get sick of listening. It is great she confides in you for help, but if she takes absolutely nothing from it it begins to waste your time! I hope this doesn't seem awfully pessimistic, but it is really hard to keep trying to help someone who says they need help but could care less to change!

    If you can tell, it happens to me often too!

  11. I'll testify to that!
  12. Yep. You guys ever heard that saying about people always hit rock bottom before they ask for help? It's probably said much more cleverly than I can repeat now, but just let her come to you, help her along the way. . .sometimes just being there makes a world of difference.
  13. I don't mind hearing her complain, we all need somebody to vent to. I'm not into being pushy but I wish I could make her see her situation a little more reasonably... but there's no way to remedy this, right? Or is there?[/quote]

    Does she ask for advice or does she just vent?
    I know it can get tiresome when a friend vents and complains about the same problems over and over but does nothing to change things in their lives. I give a friend a yr...if they make no changes in that time I just tell them I don't want to here about it anymore :smile: