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anbuend
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30 Jun 2010, 8:16 pm

Yeah, generally true. Although friendships can have long periods of lopsidedness in either direction. There's a lot about intent that matters but that's much harder to quantify.

Also meant to add -- the person I've been dealing with (referred to by her other main target as an "energy leech") has that same thing about people being jerks. She basically... well she was always complaining about people bullying her, and since that really happens I assumed it was true. But then I started finding out more about it, and she would be like... walking up to people and demanding they do things for her, and when they wouldn't, she'd start harassing them to the point she's lucky she has no restraining orders out on her. And she would then call their unwillingness to do things for her, and attempts to get the heck away from her, bullying. She also called people really ugly names, and then said they were mean to her. It was really... just wow, quite messed up.

The interesting thing was that back when I first met her, someone told me that the circumstances of our meeting meant she had no boundaries and that I should avoid her at all costs. I didn't, because I didn't understand. But now I realize that she was sensing the ability to take advantage of my own lack of understanding of boundaries (as in, I'll let people do nearly anything to me). And that a person who isn't as passive as me would have realized in the first place what was wrong, and gotten the heck out of there. Well I've gotten slightly less passive, and started taking my gut feelings of discomfort seriously instead of suppressing them, and I'm not attracting so many people like her.


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conundrum
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30 Jun 2010, 8:32 pm

Aimless wrote:
Setting boundaries with people I sincerely do not wish to hurt is one of those social things I have never learned how to do. That's the point of the thread really is to get some input. Not what I should do, but how.


Start by asking yourself: do they care (or even realize) what they are doing to you by dumping their garbage on you?

The probable answer is NO.

From there, you could say to the person(s) in question: "You know, I'm really sorry you're going through all this, but I really don't know what I can do to help. Maybe I can help you think of something." (I know, sounds slightly patronizing--sorry.) The person might actually be open to the idea of doing something constructive. How can anyone just want to whine incessantly without accomplishing anything?

(Oops, dumb question. :roll: )

However, if the person gets huffy and accuses you of "not caring," say "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I can't just listen to this without trying to do something to help--that's just the way I am. If you don't want help, then I can't continue to listen to this--it makes me feel ineffective." (Change the wording if you like--this is just off the top of my head.) Then, walk away.

In this manner, you have made the "problem" about yourself (but not in a bad way--you just can't stand it if you can't actually help resolve this) instead of the "vampire."

If he/she continues their behavior, do what Mr Xxx suggested and stop taking their calls, at least for a while. Eventually, answer him/her (but don't allow interruptions) and say "What can I do to help?" If there is no concrete answer, say that you have something else that needs your attention and hang up. Period.

Eventually, the person will get the message.

This is how I react when people try to do this to me. If there's nothing constructive to be done (or even attempted), I don't want to hear it.

Hope this helps.

Again, if I came across as harsh, I apologize. There are some behaviors I cannot tolerate. Whining/self-pity is at the top of the list. :evil:


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zen_mistress
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30 Jun 2010, 9:55 pm

I must admit I used to be one of these sorts of people. Some people are no good at processing their personal problems on their own, and feel the need to bounce them off other people to get ideas, opinions, sympathy...

Of course this can be very draining on people who are not designed to process a lot of negative emotion or verbal information...

Aspies may end up attracting these people as many aspies are quieter people and attract these sorts of people who think because they are quiet they must be a good listener and full of wisdom they can share, which is of course true, but they might be limited in their ability to listen and be there.

Sadly I think I must have drained a lot of people in the past as I couldnt read what people were feeling and they never told me that I was making them feel that way so i was oblivious.... :(

Anyway, perhaps you could say to that person, "look, Im really not good with stuff like this, I never know what to say or do." Perhaps recommend self-help books.

They really helped me stop taking my problems to other people all the time, as they gave me an outlet in which to read and consider my problems.

What could also be helpful is if she posts her problems on a forum, or does google searches for articles related to the problem she is having.

She will likely be offended if you suggest this though. Perhaps because she is an extroverted person she doesnt understand that some people are drained by a lot of "sharing" etc. So, be gentle with her...


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Friskeygirl
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30 Jun 2010, 10:21 pm

I prefer the term Emotional Vampire, seems to fit these sort of people better



CockneyRebel
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30 Jun 2010, 10:51 pm

I wish that I would have said something along those lines, to my ex- soul sucker, last summer. I would have had a lot more time, to spend with you guys. That was than, and I'm spending time with you guys, now.


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Kiseki
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30 Jun 2010, 11:06 pm

I had an experience with such a person recently. Well, for the past year and a half or so. One of my friends. Actually I really loved her and she knew it, told me she had no interest like that, but kept making out w/me and touching me whenever we met. She had a LOT of personal/mental issues (I always seem to attract these kinds of people) and basically used me to feel better about herself. I kept giving her the benefit of the doubt cuz I really wanted to help her. But whenever I had some problem, or just wanted to talk about daily life stuff, she would mysteriously be busy.

6 months ago things between us got too close for her I guess and now we barely speak. In a way I am really sad that our friendship died, but I guess it was never a real friendship anyway. I'm bad at being able to tell such things.



anbuend
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01 Jul 2010, 1:19 am

As for how to do it:

Be direct. Tell her that you need to only spend a certain amount of time with her (or none at all). Make sure you let her know that this is a maximum time you are willing to spend with her. And that sometimes you will need to spend less time with her. And that this isn't something she gets to decide for you.

Be consistent. She will not be consistent. She will try to push through your boundaries. It's up to you to make sure that doesn't happen. Never let her spend time over the time limit you've set, no matter what. If you do, she will try to recreate that situation later to get you to spend more time with her. I cannot count the number of times one person has violated my boundaries in ways that were outright dangerous to me, and then told me it was okay because she was really really upset. And I have had to set and keep the boundary up from my end because she refuses to respect anything I tell her on that topic. Remember that intermittently getting what she wants, will mean that she will try more and more because there's always that one little chance it will happen again (just like gambling and other stuff like that). Do not allow this to happen.

The tricky part that I haven't figured out yet, is how to make it unpleasant for the person if they persist in crossing lines, without doing anything unethical myself. That's one step beyond what I know how to do, but believe me if I could do it I would do it.


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lacoste79
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01 Jul 2010, 2:38 am

I think that the book "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker, even though it is not specifically geared toward your situation exactly, is really good for learning about the different behaviors that people with various personality disorders exhibit, and how to anticipate them & defend yourself psychologically when one of these people crosses your path.

Also, some good self-help books about dealing with borderline personalities might give you some good ideas. Extreme neediness and "waif" ("poor me") behavior is a classic hallmark of borderline, esp. in women.



lacoste79
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01 Jul 2010, 2:39 am

Oops, double post- sorry! :oops:



Darkword
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01 Jul 2010, 2:49 pm

Anyone else have parents like this?

My mother has been almost constantly complaining about how she is going to die alone/how she doesn't get dates/how she should just kill herself to me for the last few years. I think she believes that I'm an ideal target because I've been there before, but christ, I never complained about it to anyone. Such a downer, and you're bringing misery to those who had nothing to do with the whole thing.

It's even worse when something actually negative happens, then I hear it all week. There is just no escape, she's totally incapable of seeing the positive side of things. Especially at night, then she brings it up whenever I don't snap to and do chores immediately at 2:00 am. "i'm so alone, no one will help me." When I do the majority of the damn work, it's so absurd, I can't get a break.

She goes to a psych already, if someone is about to recommend that. But I don't think she's totally honest to them, because she barely ever visits him/her and she is a total wreck most of the time.



Aimless
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01 Jul 2010, 7:22 pm

What do you think it is that marks someone as a "soft touch"?



Kiseki
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01 Jul 2010, 8:04 pm

Aimless wrote:
What do you think it is that marks someone as a "soft touch"?


I think it is something in the face. I've had people tell me before I looked kind or I seemed like a good listener. I don't know why.