Do you have a friend who is exhausting to be around? She’s needy, demanding of your time, stomps on your boundaries. And yet there’s enough “fun” in the relationship to keep you going back for more and giving her yet another second chance to stop being so self-absorbed. Maybe you feel sorry for her, and her situation tugs at your guilt-strings. Maybe you feel there’s nothing you can do to change the interactions with her. Perhaps it’s a long-time friendship and you feel stuck, helpless to get out of it. At some levels, you realize she bullies you into doing things her way, but since it seems harmless enough, you find it easier to go along with her—you’re the “Ethel” to her “Lucy.”
She might be a neighbor, a family member, or someone at work you can’t avoid. What do you do about it? Just suck it up and continue being her listening ear for every drama? Should you get used to the idea it’s never going to be reciprocal? Even though she always claims to be your number one supporter, do you have the feeling she doesn’t even understand who you are and what you want out of life?
Do you constantly find yourself going along with her plans because it’s easier than standing up for your preferences? Maybe it seems you’d be making a big deal out of nothing so you resign yourself to always seeing the movie she wants, eating where she wants, going into the stores and to the parties she wants to drag you to because she doesn’t want to go alone.
Sound familiar? You, my friend, are in a toxic relationship. We tend to think that’s only a description for a romance gone bad, but codependent friendships are all around us.
And you may be in one, if the above description is making you feel a little sick inside with realization about a particular person, or even persons that you interact with and call “friend.”
If you feel trapped, this book will show you the way to heal the situation and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
I’ve been unwittingly drawn into friendships like that — and I hope you’ll let me show you the way to heal what caused you to be attracted to this type of relationship.