When Narcissists Fake Being Sick to Manipulate You – Re: Boundaries, etc

When Narcissists Fake Being Sick to Manipulate You – Re: Boundaries, etc

I just blogged about this very topic just yesterday, June 25 (today is June 26) when I saw this video on You Tube today! Talk about coincidental timing!

So this psychologist, Dr. Ramani, made this 11.54 video (I’ll embed it below, you can also watch it on You Tube here) who discusses a letter by a woman married to a guy who uses (fake) illness as an excuse to leave social functions early.

The woman said her husband has a habit of faking sickness to get out of social obligations or to depart them early.

Well, the woman’s kid sister was turning 18, the family was throwing a birthday party / dinner for the young lady, and this married woman had her husband go with her.

The husband said he didn’t want to go, but the wife wouldn’t take No for an answer on this one – the husband never wanted to go to parties, and she seemed to feel like the husband would or could make an exception for this, since it was for her kid sister.

So they go to the party, the husband vomits on purpose while at the party but makes it look as though he’s sick – all so he can leave the party early and force his wife to go with him.

The psychologist who is discussing this story (she’s reading from a letter the woman wrote asking for advice) points out that so many people are quick to tell people like the woman who wrote this letter “to have boundaries,” which the woman tried on her (probably narcissistic) husband, but he didn’t heed her boundaries and instead actually doubled down on his obnoxious behavior.

I’ve seen several of Dr. Ramani’s videos before, she’s quite good, and I like her, but I always cringe a little when I hear mental health professionals who specialize in narcissism (as she does) sort of denigrate the concept of having boundaries, which she sort of does in the video embedded below.

Boundaries Usually Work And Are A Good Thing To Have

I spent 35 or so years (Link): as a severe codependent.

I believe boundaries are very important and can be life-saving and can improve one’s mental health.

Boundaries may not work in all situations or with all people, true enough, but by and large, boundaries DO work with most people and most situations and can save your self esteem, energy, mental health, and possibly your bank account in the long run.

Continue reading “When Narcissists Fake Being Sick to Manipulate You – Re: Boundaries, etc”

Help! I Think I Made a Terrible Mistake When Helping My Elderly Neighbor (The Codependency, People Pleasing Trap)

Help! I Think I Made a Terrible Mistake When Helping My Elderly Neighbor (The Codependency, People Pleasing Trap)

The letter below, and the summaries of other ones I am mentioning here (below the link and excerpt), should be a wake up call to anyone who has a difficult time saying no to people, refusing to turn down their requests, whether out of a sense of guilt or fear.

If you really struggle with turning down people’s requests for favors or for help (even if it’s someone who seems to legitimately be in need of help, such as a solitary, lonely, elderly neighbor with chronic health problems who is in a wheel chair), you may be codependent, a people pleaser, or an empath with very bad boundaries.

(And there are people out there, such as, but not limited to, Covert Narcissists who can spot nice, sweet, giving people like you in a heart beat, and they will waste no time in taking advantage of your kindness to get their needs met.
Even genuinely well- meaning, kind, nice, non-narcissistic people will and can lean on you too much, if they are very needy and you don’t put boundaries up.)

You need to learn that it’s perfectly fine to draw boundaries with people, even elderly neighbors who live alone who have health problems.

It’s okay to be straight forward and tell such neighbors that while you’re fine doing X for them every Z number of weeks, that you don’t want to do it more than that often, and you don’t want to also do Y, Q, and R for them.

The following is a letter someone sent to an advice columnist.

I will be including more comments below this link and excerpt:

Dear Prudence: Help! I Think I Made a Terrible Mistake When Helping My Elderly Neighbor

I had no idea one kindness could turn into this.

Advice by Eric Thomas
June 4, 2022

Dear Prudence,

I moved into a new upstairs apartment five months ago. I made the mistake of helping my wheelchair-bound neighbor, “Stella,” with her groceries during my move.

Stella had her bag break in the parking lot after she got off the bus. I put down my boxes and ran to help with her items and then put them up in her kitchen.

Stella told me about how she was alone in the world and on a fixed income.

I told Stella I would be happy to run to the grocery store for her since I go once a week.

Stella calls me every day now. She has problems with her doctors, her bills, and for anything and everything, she calls me. I have tried to be kind and helpful—but now I need help.

I should have set firm boundaries earlier, but she is a little old lady, and I was lonely in a new city. But I am not her daughter or her granddaughter. I am okay with running to the grocery store or being an emergency contact or coming over for tea and a chat—but not this.

Adult services are useless.

Stella’s life isn’t in danger, and she had enough income to be disqualified from the majority of services.

She isn’t cruel or abusive or mean. She is old, scared, and alone in the world.

But she is suffocating me.

Continue reading “Help! I Think I Made a Terrible Mistake When Helping My Elderly Neighbor (The Codependency, People Pleasing Trap)”

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

A link to this article, from a site and Twitter account called “Truth Over Tribe,” came through my Twitter feed today.

I don’t think I am following these guys; this was a suggestion by Twitter that appeared in my timeline. The “Truth Over Tribe” site says on their site that they are “too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.”

Okay… I’m somewhat in the same place. I’m a conservative who occasionally disagrees with other conservatives, but I sure don’t agree with many positions of progressives.

After having skimmed over some articles on this site – the site owner and author seems to be a Patrick Miller – he seems to lean left of center.

I can tell he’s left of center from some of the commentary and language he’s used – for one, in the article below, he puts his Intersectional Feminism (a left wing concept) on full display by talking about how “self care” was really started by black people, white women love it, and these days, only white woman can (financially) afford it. (Though I didn’t quote those portions of his article below, but they are over on his site.)

(Does Miller realize that left wing darling BLM (Black Lives Matter) is misleading people financially or that they spend more on transgenderism than on race related issues?)

At any rate, let’s get on to the article on this site that alarmed me, and I will provide a few excerpts, and then I will comment on them to explain why I feel this piece goes horribly wrong:

(Link):  Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness

Excerpts:

by Patrick Miller

“To be happy, you need to leave toxic people behind.” The preaching Peloton instructor continued, “I’m talking about people who take more than they give. People who don’t care about your dreams. People whose selfishness impedes your ability to do what you want to do.”

 Oh crap. She just described my two-year-old. I guess it’s time to cut him off.

This is the gospel of self-care. The notion that the most important person in my life is me, and anyone who impedes my happiness is an existential threat to my emotional and physical well-being. …

… What’s the Religion of Self Care?

Continue reading “An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful”

The Nuclear Family Has Failed – by Yoram Hazony – Re: How the Formerly Extended, “Traditional” Family Was Better for Individuals and Societies

The Nuclear Family Has Failed – by Yoram Hazony – Re: How the Formerly Extended, “Traditional” Family Was Better for Individuals and Societies

(Link): The Nuclear Family Has Failed – by Yoram Hazony 

Excerpts:
May 13, 2022

When people talk about the structure of the family, they often find themselves arguing for or against the “nuclear family”, which consists, on most tellings, of a father and mother, with perhaps two or three children in their care for the first 18 years of their lives.

These children are then supposed to leave the house, move somewhere far away, and make nuclear families of their own.

Contemporary conservatives are especially inclined to embrace this image of the family, although it is not entirely clear why.

The “nuclear family” is not the same as the traditional Christian or Jewish family that existed before the two World Wars. On the contrary, the nuclear family is closer to being an invention of industrialisation and the 20th century.

And there are good reasons to think that this form of family is, in fact, a failed experiment, one that has done immeasurable harm to almost everyone: to women and men, children and grandparents.

The time has come for us to consider retiring the ideal of the nuclear family, and replacing it with something that looks more like the family of Christian and Jewish tradition.

What is the traditional family?

Continue reading “The Nuclear Family Has Failed – by Yoram Hazony – Re: How the Formerly Extended, “Traditional” Family Was Better for Individuals and Societies”

More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World 

More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World 

I did a blog post about this about three weeks ago:
((Link): When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship).

I had more I wanted to say about this.

This guy’s blog post – Joseph Burgo’s post – about “The Toilet Function of Friendship” that I blogged about previously really hit home with me…

 especially since I am a recovered codependent who, over 35+ years during the time I was codependent (and used to have clinical depression and had low self esteem), kept attracting abusive, mean, nasty, self absorbed, pessimistic, depressed, emotionally needy and psychologically wounded or personality disordered people to me,

…and the comments left by people at the bottom of his post were also very eye opening or informative.

I wanted to discuss a few comments visitors left to his post, above all, a post by someone calling herself “Rachel,” and a comment by “Fletcher.”

I’ll probably save Fletcher’s and Rachel’s comments for last.

I notice a lot of the people who left comments below the post on Burgo’s blog say that they have been on the receiving end of this situation, where they attract negative or hurting friends who cope with life’s stress by “dumping” and venting about their problems to a sympathetic listener.

I too was in that position for many years, and it left me resentful, exhausted, and with nothing to show for it.

I’ve always been a very good, attentive listener.

I’m not the sort of person who attempts to pivot every conversation back on to herself, so… meaning…

If you’re my acquaintance or friend, and you stop by my cubicle during the work day or call me at home to confide in me about some problem you are having, I used to just sit there and let you talk for how ever many hours you wanted to rant and confide.

Even if I was wanting to get off the phone after 20 to 40 minutes, I was reluctant to end the phone call, so I’d sit there while the emotionally needy friend or family member droned on and on and on (or ranted and ranted in anger) about whatever problems they were having.

(I used to never, or very rarely, put time limits on people when they would complain to me, which left me utterly exhausted.

In my codependent years, I felt guilty if I tried to end people’s “complain and gripe” fests prematurely (because I was getting physically tired listening, or they were interrupting my work or whatever the reason), and I was afraid they’d break off friendship with me if I refused to allow them to use me as their “emotional toilet” or “free therapist.”

Only in the last few years, as I reflect upon my past, do I realize HOW UNFAIR this was to me.)

My habit was to just sit and listen thoughtfully, to nod my head in sympathy as you would rattle off your life’s stress to me, whether it was about your lazy, selfish boyfriend, or your ex-husband who wouldn’t pay child support, or your jerk boss making your work life awful – whatever it was.

And when I would finally speak up, after listening to you vent, I would only make empathetic, non-judgmental comments.

Back in my codependent, people pleasing days, I would tell you I was sorry you were under so much stress, and I hoped your situation would improve. I would validate your feelings, validate your situation, so you would feel heard and understood.

I rarely, oh so rarely, would give people who talked to me to complain to me, advice, judgement, criticism, or platitudes.

All of those relationship habits and qualities of mine that I had for many years made me very, very attractive to needy, angry, depressed, narcissistic, pessimistic, or unhappy people.

I now know better.

I think it does take a lot of life experience to get here, to be able to look at my past, to see where my Mom and church were in error to teach me as they did, (with their teachings being largely responsible for turning me into an attractive target for hurting, angry, or emotionally needy people), to see clearly the patterns of behavior.

Most of the people who used me to get their emotional needs met (but who seldom met mine in return) had very deep psychological problems or maladaptive coping skills.

Some had clinical depression (which I also had myself for over 30+ years), some may have been Covert Narcissists, some choose to cope with pain, disappointment, or anger in life by complaining to someone else – and I was often that “someone else.”

Some of these people have deeply entrenched psychological issues, and there is no amount of me listening to them and consoling them that is going to heal them. That concept took me much later in life to figure out, and that point was confirmed in various articles or books I read by psychologists and psychiatrists in the last few years.

These types of people really need to see a psychologist or licensed therapist over a period of weeks or months to work on their inner problems and relational styles that lead them to cope with their frustration or anger in life by constantly “dumping” them verbally on to a trusted friend for months or years.

If you are a people pleaser, an empath, or a codependent (whatever label you use for yourself), you need to accept that you will not get your needs met by ignoring your own and running around meeting other people’s needs, if that is one of your secret motivations for why you help others or act as their “emotional toilet” or “free therapist.”

(Some codependents think it’s not acceptable for them to get their needs met; they got the message from their family or church while they were growing up that it’s supposedly “selfish” for one to get one’s own needs met.

And no, it is not selfish to get one’s own needs met, or to expect people who say they are your friends to sometimes meet your needs in return. It’s part of a normal, healthy childhood or adulthood to get one’s needs met.)

If you’re a people pleaser, a codependent, you will have to be more intentional about when, to whom, under what circumstances, and for how long you will show someone else care, compassion, concern, or give them financial assistance.

Because if you do not learn to get comfortable with putting limits on your time, compassion, finances, and energy, you will be exploited and taken advantage of by many people who never (or rarely) meet your needs in return. All these people over decades will drain you dry and leave you exhausted.

I do think there are some times in life where it’s appropriate to grant people more emotional support than usual and not expect much in return.

But such occasions should be exceptions, such as, if your friend is in the grieving process over the death of a loved one, in such occasions, it may be acceptable to allow them to complain to you for hours over two to four years as they process the loss.

But if you have a friend who more or less contacts you regularly to complain a lot about every issue (and I mean the non-exceptions – just to rant about how they hate their job, their boyfriend is inconsiderate – your more tedious, normal life situations that are not as stressful, as say, a death in the family) – or maybe the same two or three (trivial, mundane) issues repeatedly – you really need to put limits on that person.

Most people who do this venting are only using you to get their emotional needs met, and they will NOT return the same non-judgmental emotional support to you that you granted them for weeks or years.

SAMPLE COMMENTS

From the (Link): Burgo blog post, some comments left by some of his blog visitors:

Tracey

by Tracey
Dec 10, 2020

Wow! What a powerful article and one I, too needed to hear and to equally recognize both sides.

I have ‘friends’ who dump on me that I should un-friend, but I have been loathe to do so for myriad reasons.

Continue reading “More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World “

Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You Special by Freddie Deboer

Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You Special by Freddie Deboer

Before I get to the link and excerpts to the essay by Deboer, which are below, I wanted to say this:

I had clinical depression for around 35 or more years (I was diagnosed by one psychiatrist, and it was verified by more psychiatrists as I got older and moved from state to state), I still have an anxiety disorder, and I used to have social anxiety disorder, so I know what it’s like to deal with mental health issues. I had to deal with these issues largely all by myself for years.

I also know that most people who’ve never had depression, anxiety, or any other type of emotional or mental health conditions are clueless about it, and they tend to be insensitive about it, or make insensitive comments and suggestions.

But in the last few years, I have seen people – usually people in their teens or 20s, and some of the adult, far left mental health professionals – almost act as though having depression (or whatever mental health condition) makes them unique little snowflakes and deserving of lots of attention and pity.

This attitude and behavior makes me want to barf.

I used to have a friend named Mary (not her real name) who I met online (who I now suspect is borderline – borderline personality disorder), and while I briefly mentioned to her early a time or two in in our friendship that I had depression for years, I never made a big fuss out of it, nor did I tell her for years that I also had suicidal ideation.

(I mentioned having depression to her a time or two after Mary began sharing with me that she had mental health issues.)

It was not something I was proud of.

I spent years researching depression and how to get rid of it. I also read up on tips on how to get rid of anxiety. I did not like having either condition. I did not use either as pity ploys or to get attention from others.

But this suspected BPD friend of mine, Mary – who was a drama queen – often would come on to our forum where we participated to complain about how life was so unfair, and she was going to kill herself.

I took her suicide threats seriously for many years – until around the 6th or 7th year of this. It was then that my intuition was telling me she was using such threats as attention-getters, as pity ploys.

It became a predictable pattern with her: about once every 8 to 9 months, she’d storm on to the forum complaining about how life was so terribly unfair, and how she was going to go kill herself.

So after several years of this, I stopped addressing Mary’s posts where she threatened suicide. Once I stopped doing that, she would come to the forum later, behave sheepishly, and admit she was being a drama queen and just wanted attention.

I do see more and more people in the past few years wearing their mental health problems like some kind of strange badge of honor.

They feel that having a mental health problem makes them “special,” “unique,” and they want attention and sympathy for it – this is never how I approached having anxiety and depression, so I find this very foreign, weird, and off-putting.

Unlike today’s mental health sufferers, I didn’t get a sense of identity or purpose from having depression or anxiety, either, nor did I want to, because that is not a healthy thing to do.

I also didn’t go around frequently, loudly, broadcasting all the time that I had depression and anxiety. When I did discuss it (online), it was under a pseudonym.

I have grown to dislike the word “neuro-divergent” that these people who act like fragile, attention-seeking snowflakes have developed. One can no longer just say that she “has depression” but one now is expected to say that she is “neuro divergent” or “not neuro typical.” It is to barf.

I’ve met people over my life, whether they have clinical depression, a personality disorder – whatever it may be – and some of them absolutely use their mental health problems (which may be accompanied by a personality disorder) to as a way to get attention and compassion from others.

It’s almost as though they don’t really want to be healed, be cured, and move on – no, they take a perverse sense of comfort in having whatever mental health problem, and they may even use it as an excuse about why they supposedly cannot get up and move on in life.

I’ve written posts on this topic before, so I won’t go into detail here, but during the years I had clinical depression and was very codependent (a people pleaser and a good listener),
I kept attracting other clinically depressed (or other types of troubled) people to me, and while I was there for these people, offering them months to years of emotional support, most of them offered me little to none in return. I’ve since learned to detach from such troubled people, which I’ve written of before in other posts.

(Link): Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You Special

Excerpts:

Why do neurodiversity activists claim suffering is beautiful?
BY FREDDIE DEBOER
April 29, 2022

Marianne Eloise wants the world to know that she does not “have a regular brain at all”. That’s her declaration, on the very first page of her new memoir, Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking.

The book catalogues her experience of a dizzying variety of psychiatric conditions: OCD, anxiety, autism, ADHD, alcohol abuse, seasonal affective disorder, an eating disorder, night terrors, depression.

By her own telling, Eloise has suffered a great deal from these ailments; I believe her, and wish better for her.

But she would prefer we not think of them as ailments at all. And that combination of self-pity and self-aggrandisement is emblematic of our contemporary understanding of mental health.

Continue reading “Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You Special by Freddie Deboer”

Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher

Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher

(Link): A relationship expert reveals the best ways to get over someone

Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and author of “Anatomy of Love,” says heartbreak has physiological effects on our minds and bodies. There’s a scientific reason it hurts so much.

(Link): Why Breaking Up is So Hard, and How to Cope

Excerpts:

by Kelsey Chun
Feb 2020

There’s science behind a broken heart—but recovery is possible

…  Research has shown why our biology makes breaking up so hard for us, but thankfully it has also provided some helpful tips on what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

… one can better understand the unfortunate aftermath if a romantic relationship should end; it’s something akin to a drug withdrawal. Dr. Fisher and her colleague Lucy Brown also did research on people’s brains after they had just been broken up with, and their findings are in line with Dr. Fisher’s previous research.

While looking at images of their exes during MRIs, three brain regions light up in these heartbroken people: the first is the same brain region that lights up when someone is in love.

Dr. Fisher explains the meaning of this in her TED talk [(Link): The Brain In Love], “When you’ve been dumped, the one thing you want to do is forget about this human being and then go on with your life, but no, you just love them harder.” That brain system is the reward system, and it only becomes more active when you can’t get what you want—a loving partner.

[Self Care Tips After a Break Up]

…While manicures and shopping sprees are certainly nice, real self-care is about taking care of your own emotions, which often looks like being kinder rather than harsher with yourself, letting yourself cry, or saying “no” to activities that might overwhelm you more easily.

On the other hand, self-care might also include doing more, such as getting involved in more activities, hobbies, or projects.

Continue reading “Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher”

When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship

When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship

🧻🪠🚽

There are several sites or blogs carrying the same essay by the same guy (or very similar content – looks to me as though one author copied the work of this Burgo guy but didn’t credit him that I could see).

I very much related to this guy’s essay, because over the course of my life, I have often played the role of being the “toilet” for friends to dump their emotional problems or complaints into.

I think what a lot of what this guy describes is more common among women than men.

Women are socially conditioned to be warm, nurturing, and to console other people when they’re hurting, sad, frustrated, or angry.

The phrase “emotional labor” came to describe this “empathetic listening” type role a lot of women are expected to play for the people around them, whether those people are men, women, or co-workers, strangers on the street, friends, or family members.

And if you’re like me and played that “empathetic listener” to other people for decades, it is mother clucking exhausting.

And as you grow older, you will look back on your life and realize all that kind-hearted listening and consoling you dished out to your hurting or angry friends didn’t do anything for you or to help you in your life.

Continue reading “When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship”

There Are Five Types of Toxic Partners – Are You Dating One? by Ellen Scott

There Are Five Types of Toxic Partners – Are You Dating One? by Ellen Scott

Word of wisdom: although the following web page discusses dating, you need to be aware that these same exact dynamics can and do turn up in platonic friendships, co-workers at your job, or among your family members.

Take what you read below about dating and apply it to non-dating relationships as well.

(Link): There Are Five Types of Toxic Partners – Are You Dating One? by Ellen Scott

Excerpts:

April 9, 2022

…But we all know that crushing hard can make you not notice glaring red flags, let alone the more subtle signs that something isn’t quite right.

The early warning signs that a relationship could become unhealthy can be even harder to spot.

Cathy Press has been working as working as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor for over 25 years, specialising in domestic and sexual violence and abuse related issues, so she knows her stuff when it comes to love turning sour.

 Her new book, When Love Bites: A Young Person’s Guide To Escaping Harmful, Toxic and Hurtful Relationships, aims to equip people with the knowledge they need to avoid abusive partners, and the tools they need to escape the pattern.

A key part of this is understanding the five toxic types of partner – and then avoiding those at all costs.

Continue reading “There Are Five Types of Toxic Partners – Are You Dating One? by Ellen Scott”

Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make

Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make

I have a quibble with #14 on the list. It says you’re not supposed to “keep score” in a relationship.

I think I see what they mean, but…. there are times in your life when you’re in a relationship, whether it’s dating, a work relationship, friendship, marriage, whatever type of relationship, where the other person is in fact self-absorbed, selfish, and/or narcissistic, which means, you will start to notice after so many months or years that you are definitely doing most of the giving most of the time but the other person hardly gives back.

When you’re in an imbalanced relationship, you can’t help but start to notice and feel resentful, and that type of relationship is not sustainable. It’s NOT petty or immature to start noticing and getting angry, resentful, or tired of being exploited by another person. That’s actually a normal reaction.

Point 3 below reminds me of a variation of friendships or other non-romantic relationships: when you, for example, call a family member because you’re upset, sad, stressed or angry about X, but the family member uses YOUR phone call about YOUR problem to say something like, “That sounds bad, but let me tell you about MY bad day / week / month / marriage / job problems.”

And before you know it, you end up listening to THEM talk about THEIR problem for an hour and a half, when you phoned them seeking a sounding board or empathy for YOUR problem.

I’ve had numerous friends and family over my life pull that on me, and it’s totally infuriating.

I was too bashful for years to do anything about it, but a few years ago, when one of my Aunts tried pulling something similar on me – she tried to commandeer the phone call to make it all about HER.

I listened to a moment for her to talk about her, I made a brief comment about “oh, I’m sorry to hear about that,” but then I said, “but anyway, like I was saying to you a moment ago, I’m upset lately, because blah blah blah…” (I pivoted the phone call BACK TO ME).

I didn’t let this Aunt, who is notorious for hijacking of conversations to turn it all back to her and her life, to get away with it yet again.

Here is the list:

(Link): Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make

Excerpts:

March 23, 2022
by Ieva Gailiūtė and Mindaugas Balčiauskas

Anyone in a long-term relationship can tell you it’s no easy walk in the park. Just think about the heated arguments, compromises, and misunderstandings — navigating the ups and downs is quite a task right there, especially when it comes to marriage. Well, no one is immune to the occasional blips and bumps in the road, and this viral thread is here to prove it.

Reddit user Zorra_ decided to find out what blunders happen after people tie the knot and say “I do”. They raised a question on the Ask Reddit online forum: “Marriage counselors, what are the most common mistakes couples make?” Hundreds of professionals rolled up their sleeves and typed some of the things they witnessed during their careers.

…..1. [Relationship Should Take Priority Over Marriage]

I’m not a marriage counselor but my wife posted a very meaningful and controversial article the other day and tagged me in it because I agree with its philosophy.

It was titled “Your kids should not be the most important part of your marriage.”

Continue reading “Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make”

Women in the Regions Turn to Social Media to Find Friendships and Community 

Women in the Regions Turn to Social Media to Find Friendships and Community  (Australia) 

Oh this isn’t just an issue in Australia.

Middle aged (especially single women) find it difficult to make platonic friendships with other adults in the United States.

I’ve seen a lot of articles in the last few years that more and more Americans are either deciding not to marry at all, or are postponing it until they’re older.

Some married adults have found marriage unfulfilling and lonely – so they’d like to make more platonic friends to get their emotional needs met.

(Link): Women in the Regions Turn to Social Media to Find Friendships and Community 

ABC Goldfields / Elsa Silberstein
Feb 2022

April Garforth, like her other female friends in their 40s, is sick of going on online dates with underwhelming men.

She’s created a small Facebook group — open to friends-of-friends — to find people in her region of outback Western Australia to accompany her on spontaneous activities.

“With dating apps like Tinder, and things like that, you can meet a significant other. But with friends, it’s harder to reach out and make those connections,” April says.

“So I was talking to a friend of mine and I was saying, ‘You know, there really needs to be a Tinder for friends’.

“I’m really just looking for people to go on adventures with.”

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Why Making Friends in Midlife Is So Hard By Katharine Smyth

Why Making Friends in Midlife Is So Hard By Katharine Smyth

(Link – article on The Atlantic): Why Making Friends in Midlife Is So Hard

I thought I was done dating. But after moving across the country, I had to start again—this time, in search of platonic love.

January 12, 2021

[The author discusses meeting with some other adults and feeling socially awkward at moments. She mentions breaking up with a guy she moved cross country for, and she found herself alone again.]

But I saw now that I would have to start that dispiriting process over again, this time in search not of love but of friendship—and at the age of 40, no less, a decidedly late time in life to be seeking new soulmates.

According to “The Friendship Report,” a global study commissioned by Snapchat in 2019, the average age at which we meet our best friends is 21—a stage when we’re not only bonding over formative new experiences such as first love and first heartbreak, but also growing more discerning about whom we befriend.

Even more important, young adulthood is a time when many of us have time.

The average American spends just 41 minutes a day socializing, but Jeffrey A. Hall, a communication-studies professor at the University of Kansas, estimates that it typically takes more than 200 hours, ideally over six weeks, for a stranger to grow into a close friend.

As we get older, the space we used to fill with laughter, gossip, and staying up until the sky grew light can get consumed by more “adult” concerns, such as marriage, procreation, and fully developed careers—and we tend to end up with less of ourselves to give.

Continue reading “Why Making Friends in Midlife Is So Hard By Katharine Smyth”