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20+ years as a Therapist
20+ years as a Therapist, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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I have a good friend, who also happens to be my roommate.We

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I have a good friend, who also happens to be my roommate.We have known each other for more than 10 years. Thoughout those ten years I have seen this girl loose friends, and recently her mother has been dodging her. I know exactly why. She is a sweet, almost naive girl, who is very sensitive and caring but who is clueless. This cluelessness results in inappropriate behaviour. Nothing upsetting or illegal. but by being totally unaware that her actions affect other people. She will talk about her boyfriend problem for 6 hours straight (literally) asking for advice, over and over, but then not taking it. Or getting so wacky drunk on the weekend that people hide from her. But when you say "you talk about your breakup too much" or "you party too much", she rightly says that everyone does that talks about breakups and parties. She doesn't understand that when she does it, it's extreme. What is this cluelessness and is there anyway to point it out to her? I hide from her, and it's sad.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  20+ years as a Therapist replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

Welcome to Just Answer.

 

People who don't seem to have much of an awareness of other people, their feelings, or experiences, are sometimes just young - emotionally immature. WHen that's taken to an extreme, it can be a defense mechanism - sort of a denial of other people and self- focus. It takes on narcissistic traits.

 

Chances are, no matter what you say or do, she is not going to really get it - she does this to not see what's going on in her life - it's a defense mechanism.

 

If you do "confront" her on her thoughts and behaviors, you risk losing her friendship - so my suggestion is to just either put up with it, or gently remind her now and again that it would be nice if she talked about other things, or had other concerns - like you, or other issues in the world.

 

Some people take longer to grow up and part of growing up is being able to see outside ourselves - it just sounds like she isn't there yet... but we all do grow up eventually and sometimes need little gentle, loving pushes in the right direction.

 

You've been a good friend for many years - help her to grow up :-)

 

Nancy

20+ years as a Therapist, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience: PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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