It can be easy to become friends with people who seem, on the surface, to be a lot like us. They seem to have things in common with us, and they always seem to have a lot of energy. However, after a while of being friends with them, we can find out that they are draining our emotions when we are around them for any length of time.
Emotionally draining friends can be a common problem that many people have to deal with. It can be difficult to handle. This is a problem that can be solved, but first, it is important to understand how to identify emotionally draining friends.
The consequences of being emotionally drained can be felt in many ways, some good and some bad. Being drained can adversely affect your overall health. Some examples of the adverse effects include depression and feeling exhausted, losing sleep due to insomnia and fatigue, high blood pressure, frequent infections and heart disease, weight gain, and anxiety.
Identifying The Energy Drainers
The first thing to identify is who is actually draining your energy. It could be that they are just asking too much of you in terms of time or resources. It could be that they are pressing your emotional buttons or just don’t know how to express themselves well. It could be that you are tight on time and money, so you need to limit what you do in order to help them. It is important to understand the reasoning in order to avoid this happening again in the future.
It’s important to be there for your friends, but there’s a fine line between a good shoulder to cry on and being someone’s emotional doormat. It’s okay to take care of yourself and your emotional needs. Sometimes being supportive means being honest and telling your friend that you need some time for yourself.
Signs of Emotionally Draining Friendships
You deserve friends who are uplifting, supportive and make you feel good about yourself. It’s important to surround yourself with positive people who will help you grow, not hinder you. You don’t always need to be the one to make the first move to change the dynamic.
What to Expect in an Emotionally Draining Friendship
How do you know if you’re in an emotionally draining friendship?
1You start to feel like it’s hard to focus on other areas of your life that you enjoy because of the time your friends are occupying. You feel burdened by your friends’ problems and may feel guilty if you’re not able to help them You find yourself withdrawing from your friends, even though you want to be there for them.
2) When you have a concern, you don’t feel like you can confide in them.
3) You don’t feel like they’re really listening to what you’re saying.
4) You feel like they spend most of their time telling you about their problems without really having any interest in your problem.
5) You start feeling a certain way about them even though you adored them from the beginning of the friendship.
6) You don’t enjoy spending time with them any longer.
7) You always have to go above and beyond to sacrifice your time and sometimes money for their issues to be solved.
8) You start getting motionally or physically exhausted when you think about them.
Common Expectations from Emotional Draining Friends
They come to you nonstop or always seem to be in crisis.
They never express an interest in how you are doing in general.
They have an endless list of needs and expectations from you.
They will brush you off when you start talking about your problems
They seem to have bigger problems or are in worse situations than yours.
They rarely celebrate your wins with you.
They are attention seekers always looking to monopolize the conversation.
They have low self-esteem and need constant support.
They’ll never acknowledge that you helped them.
How to Solve This Problem
Being compassionate and empathetic is a wonderful trait, but if you encounter people who take advantage of you regularly, it can be draining. Try to avoid people who seem to always want something from you or who take advantage of your kindness and generosity.
No friendship is worth compromising your mental health or well-being. That said, you may not want to completely end the friendship either, especially if your friend’s struggles are temporary. But it is important to protect yourself emotionally. Here are some tips for what to do if you have emotionally draining friends.
Don’t Try and Fix Their Problem
When someone close needs understanding and support, the best way to help is to be there for them. Be there in any way they need, whether it’s a hug, an offer to grab coffee or lunch, or just a phone call.
It’s important to understand the difference between care-taking and helping. Care-taking is about solving their problems for them, and helping is about giving them the tools to solve their problems.
You can’t take their problems away. It’s important to be a friend and to support them, but they need to figure it out themselves. You can even say something like, “You’re a smart person. I am confident you will figure this out and come out stronger than ever.”
Point Them in the Right Direction
A friend shouldn’t rely solely on another person for support and advice. If your friend constantly feels anxiety, has depression, or comes to you for advice repeatedly, recommend they talk to a professional.
While it’s admirable that you want to be a good listener and a compassionate person, the best thing they can do if they’re looking for a solution to their deep emotional pain things or advice is to seek the advice of a professional.
Being a friend struggling and not being able to help is never easy, but it’s important to remember that it’s not your role to be a professional counselor for all of your friends. Being a friend is important, so make sure you are there for important moments for your friend and connect them to the resources they need.
Empower Your Friends
Somewhat tactfully, keep the focus of the conversation centered on your friend’s needs and what they think might work to solve the problem, while having patience with them and while there is nothing wrong with offering advice, ultimately they need to come up with a plan on what to do about it on their own.
If they come to you with the same problem, say something like “I don’t want you to think I don’t want to help you, but I think it’s important for you to realize that I can’t solve the same problem for you every time you come to me for help.”
Walk the individual through their situation and ask them what they think would make things better. It is essential that the individual must be aware that they are stuck in the same place they have been and are in the need for a second opinion.
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