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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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Something Ive noticed about myself is that, whether Im conscious

Customer Question

Something I've noticed about myself is that, whether I'm conscious of this or not, I befriend people who "need" me. I work my issues out on them, letting them in on all my secrets and maybe overwhelming them with the intensity and depth of my experiences. I share more than anyone shares with me - this is a pattern with me. These days, I'm feeling really humiliated by behavior of the recent past in which I went around telling everyone my business. I was having a crisis, so I felt I had to reach out, but in retrospect I feel really embarrassed, and I'm hoping nothing comes back to haunt me. I look to people for a sense of support and mutual empowerment, which I get. But if I were entirely honest with you, there is a point when some people I get close to are following me entirely and not thinking for themselves, and I become annoyed to the point that I want to avoid them. It would be wrong of me to kick people to the curb, but I don't know how to ease my sense of annoyance at the patterns that seem to occur in my very close friendships. I've been able to empower friends by implicitly suggesting that they do the introspective work to get their lives to where they want them to be, but that gets tiring. I want company, but not too much and not too little. I haven't found that happy medium yet. Even knowing I have company, I feel completely alone sometimes. I am my own body and entity, and I guess I'm realizing that no one is really going to be there for me but me. I'm trying to learn to be my own best friend without feeling sad about the situation. Truth is - I can't trust anyone fully. I generally don't like people, or life, but I want to find a way to enjoy both. I wondered if you had any thoughts on what I've written.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
It is disappointing that you have such intense friendships and are bothered by that. I understand the pattern that you are describing and you will never be the only one in the world that does this. In your need to be needed you offer too much as a trade off. Your personality requires that you tell too much and get too much. This leads to a friendship that either puts it all out there or burns out. It's like a romantic relationship that is physical but burns out quickly.

I am troubled by the fact that you describe life as something you don't like. But this could partly explain why you need so much out of friendship. It's like an addiction to help make you more happy. But as you have found, relationships don't solve this. And you are left wondering if you just need to be alone.

You need to find a counselor and in the meantime put firm boundaries on the amount you share. This must be a conscious habit on your part and a way to maintain healthy friendship. You have to keep in your own mind a way to limit this information. Find friendships with those who are not needy. I know this is hard but seek out new friendships and start over.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You're very right, psychlady. I do have to start over. I think the real drains are the people in my family. My parents live only to be parents, so their happiness is dependent on me - I have to perfect all the time, or else their lives are ruined. Of course I haven't been perfect, so their lives are depressing and unfulfilling. It's an interesting situation: everyone in the family - my mom, my dad, my sister and I - each thinks that they take the blame for everything that goes wrong all the time. How can that be so? Is there even anything to be blamed for? It really has to do with each of our fundamental senses of insecurity. I'm trying my hardest to become secure, but it's difficult with poisonous influences like my parents around. I'm not being entirely fair to them; they do love and care about me deeply and faithfully. But they hurt me a considerable degree as well. I hurt them, too. I don't know how to deal with anyone's hurt. I don't know how to deal with the tremendous guilt and shame I feel when I think about them. I feel like everything I do is wrong, and I feel like I will never be able to live down the mistakes of my past. I'm sure that's exactly what they feel, but wouldn't admit out loud. Things have gotten better, no doubt, but we have a long way to go still. I feel helpless about it a lot...
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
You are helpless but I can understand why you feel that way. A lot of times dysfunction in the family are hardest and most confusing to move past. After all that love is supposed to be unconditional. When it's not we become people that are anxious, over pleasing, nervous, guilty and some other things as well. Your need to be perfect can lead to a lot of stress. It also can lead you to want to be needed excessively and disappointed when somebody disappoints you. I am really serious when I say that you could benefit from some counseling. This is helpful before you date men who take advantage of your kind nature and may make you a happier person. If this is passed down, it makes it even harder to change. It often leads to relationships in which you become codependent. Find activities that can increase your self esteem too. Try to find activities that aren't dating related so that you can increase your social exposure. Find something that you enjoy and build on that. You deserve to work on you