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Thread: how do you politely tell someone that you can't help them anymore?

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    how do you politely tell someone that you can't help them anymore?

    i mean, i know how to tell someone to F off. but how do you do it while still letting them know that you care about what happens to them, but YOU simply cannot be in charge of their life/problem solving anymore? i can't figure out a way to say this to someone (a very needy someone) without it sounding like an f you. but i can't go on having all my free time taken up by someone else's needs, and i feel like if i give one yard she takes 15. my husband has basically already done the F off thing and i don't want to follow suit.

    i think i'm too nice. what should i do?
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    Honestly I don't know. I had this same situation come up with an old friend when I was pregnant with my first son. She had always been very needy and she has mental problems. I was having complications with my pregnancy and finally just snapped and told her not to contact me anymore because I couldn't deal with her problems and mine at the same time. If you find a way to do it nicely let me know so in the future I will be better prepared.

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    profesora (03-13-2009)

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    That's a tough situation. Maybe just try avoiding that person a little until they realize that they can't depend on you so much. If that doesn't work, I would simply say something along the lines of what you said. That you care about them but that you just don't have the same amount of time to invest in her situations as you used to. I'm not sure...good luck!


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    profesora (03-13-2009)

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    Well since your husband already did the f off thing he probably doesnt care if you blame it on him. Say he does not agree with you taking time to do this and that for this person etc.
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    and why don't you want to do the "F* off" thing? That's what I would do if it got on my nerves
    You could always just avoid/ignore them, until they get a clue... and you need learn how to say "NO" sometimes, that's ok too.
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    Ditto...what everyone is saying...Sometimes keeping yourself MORE busy can signal to that person that your not interested anymore...at least that's what I did with my sister on sunday. Actually,we both basically said that to eachother...(she started to tell me,then I hung up on her which led her to keep on calling back).

    If both persons can recognize there's nothing else to be said or done,then it should be obvious and that's it...period.

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    I believe in never burning bridges.

    Not totally against the F off but I feel it the last trick that should be whipped out of the bag.

    I too have a had a very needy friend. When I couldn't spend time with due to other functions like work/family she admitted to stalking me to make sure I wasn't lying. If I didn't answer her phone call ASAP she would then start calling me with ID blocker. At first it was funny and then became annoying. She also seemed to be much needier in between boyfriends.

    I told her that although I like being her friend it was sometimes mentally exhausting. I needed my downtime and set parameters on how many nights per week we would do things together or with our families. BTW hubby thought she was psycho. It took some reminders at first but I eventually got my point across.

    It is never what you say but how you say it. I try to articulate myself very carefully and clearly because I often come across as abrasive when that is the furthest thing from my mind.

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    If you have tried being polite and that didn't work, then tried being rude and that STILL didn't work, I don't know if there's much more you can do besides ignoring her. Some people can't stand the word "no", even if you say it, just like that. It's up to the other person to respect your wishes, but if she doesn't listen, it kind of shows the lack of respect she has for you. It's probably good you are telling her to back off a bit.

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    This is a really difficult situation. If it were me I would first have a conversation about this and say that you have a lot going on in your life and that you no longer have the time to deal with her problems too but that you care a lot about the person.

    If that doesn't work I would try to avoid her and make yourself more busy...
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    i guess i neglected to mention that she LIVES IN MY HOUSE. i can't avoid her; i don't want to use the f off because i don't want to have tension every day when i walk in MY house that I bought to be MY sanctuary!!!!!!!!!!!! it's bad enough i've started shutting myself in my room and coming home late just to avoid her--it's MY HOUSE!!! i should be able to do what i want!

    ok, enough of the soap box. i just feel bad cause it's like she's helpless. if i tell her no, whatever she needs just won't get done (even if it's something like medical care for her baby or going to buy food).

    i guess what i'm trying to say is, i can't let her starve... but i'm at my wits end. how do i make her see that she needs to LEARN LIFE SKILLS? to do that teach a man to fish instead of giving him a fish thing?
    starting out? click here and here for the guides~~~read my approved hardship letter and other approved HSLs
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