Sasha Answers: Being your friend’s life coach
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Hi Sasha, I'm writing to you about my friend. You've heard this story before: she's pretty, smart, ambitious and could have any guy. However, the guys she picks are well, the exact opposite of her. She spent seven years in a relationship with a guy who spent all his time on his couch smoking pot, drawing heavily from the unemployment fund and bank of mom and dad. His first priority was never her, hell she was never second or third. Finally she broke up with him but it took her a solid two years before she was ready for a relationship again. Lo and behold, she meets a new guy and guess what? He's exactly like the guy before. He's a functioning alcoholic who smokes like a chimney and works sporadically. They started dating and she started drinking heavily and gained a lot of weight. She knows that none of her friends approve of this relationship. I've tried talking to her about it but she's stubborn. Is there really nothing I can do but watch my friend repeat the same mistake over and over? T
There’s a fine line between being a true friend and trying to be your friend’s life coach. T, let me tell you, I’ve crossed the line into the coach-zone many times and you know what, it never pans out the way I hope. I mean, yes, my friends who were in sh-tty relationships eventually ditched those sorry sacks o’ sh-t, and while I’d like to think that I may have expedited their decisions, at the end of the day, they made their decisions on their own accord, in their own time.
We’ve all heard it before: you cannot make plans for another person’s life. Everyone is responsible for their own choices and that’s been an annoying existential nugget that I’ve had to swallow as well. The good news is that it's situations like this that raise you up to the challenge of being a good friend because T, sometimes you just have to eat it and stand by your homie even when she’s making really dumb life choices. You’ve obviously said your piece many times, but if you want to give it that last college try, then go for it. You can tell her that this will be the last time you will ever say anything about their relationship and then flat out barf up how you feel and how you’ve seen this relationship bring her down. After that, for the sake of your own sanity and your friendship, you’ve just got to let her be the big girl she is and leave her to figure this out on her own.
Thanks for writing in and keep me posted! xx