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How do you deal with friends who self-sabotage?
I love said friend very much. There is nothing wrong in our friendship - I get emotional support, fun, intellectual stimulation. But he's very good at making decisions that are harmful to him and his life. That being said, he has a history of depression and therapy. He's extremely intelligent and spends a lot of time in his own mind. I already know I cannot help him and he would never ask anything like that of me - he takes full responsibility for all of his actions. It's sad watching him getting into his own way. How do you deal with this? "Breaking up" is not an option as this friendship enriches my life immensely. I treasure what we have.
31-35, F
15 replies
Nov 20, 2016
tynamite · 26-30, M
You should be more specific. For all we know, he could be self harming.
LunaInvicta · 31-35, F
Well, either way... what he does exactly is not that important, I would just like to know (better) how to deal with this.
MikefromEP · 51-55, M
Can you handle being pulled down the rabbit hole?
LunaInvicta · 31-35, F
Depends on who's pulling, haha :D
MikefromEP · 51-55, M
@LunaInvicta: Touche
Datdudeblack · 31-35, M
If his actions are upsetting to the point that you need to cut ties with him then do so. but if you can tolerate his self-sabotaging then be there for him as best you can. you cant force him to do something hes not ready or doesnt want to do. if anything try to for him and you to understand why he self-sabotage.
LunaInvicta · 31-35, F
Thank you. I realise that I have to take care of myself first and that I'm not responsible for him.
SW User
Intervention time? Well, you could bring up, if you haven't already, how this affects you, too. You care about him. This is also like how people don't want to hear the ones they love genuinely self-deprecate, just as they don't want to hear someone bullying the one they love. One wouldn't let others do that, so why should you let them do it to themself?
I don't know what all you've tried, but maybe the route to take now is to say that it hurts you because they already seem fine with hurting themself..
LunaInvicta · 31-35, F
Thank you. I am working on how to communicate my feelings about all of this. And to keep my distance when I have to.
Basically all that you can do is continue to be his friend; enjoy what you share, give your honest opinion [b]when he asks for it[/b] and be there to pick up the pieces when things go wrong.
LunaInvicta · 31-35, F
Wise words. Thank you!
ajsk13 · 46-50, M
you can't change people so does the enrichment outweigh the drama?
LunaInvicta · 31-35, F
At the moment it still does.
LucyFuhr · 51-55, F
Unless you have the intestinal fortitude of a Saint, there's only so much you can take...
Can you at least tell him how his behavior makes you feel so that if you do "break" at some point, he won't be blindsided by your reaction?

Saying nothing at all is like saying, "I'm good with this."
LunaInvicta · 31-35, F
I do communicate my feelings. I however am pretty careful about what I say. And keep my distance when I feel he's getting me down.

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