What is learned from friendship advice
How to tell a friend that she should leave her partner
When a friend keeps complaining about their relationship at times, it can seem like she's just waiting for you to say, "Get out of him," although it might end the whining quickly, it's not always the best way to go Express your concerns or opinions about their relationship. If you've been in this scenario yourself, then you know how tricky it can be: you don't want to attack your girlfriend, so you have to formulate your opinion in exactly the right way. But in truth it is not even your duty to tell her to break up - not even if you are the friend on his unfiltered advice or "hard love" she can always rely on.
"It is not your job to tell anyone to leave their partner," says Dr. David Ludden, professor of psychology with a focus on languages. "This is a decision that only you can make yourself". It looks like this: Unsolicited advice is rarely welcome and often comes across as manipulation, says Dr. Ludden. Even if your friend asks you straight out whether or not to leave her partner, it is still not up to you to decide for her.
Instead, the best thing you can do is tell her about your concerns about their relationship, recommends Dr. Ludden: "Let your friend know that you are concerned about her welfare, and then make it quick and direct to say that this is her partner." For example, you could say something like, "It sounds real frustrating that he * she is never there for you when you need him * her. You deserve better! ”In other words, be honest and describe what you observe instead of imposing your own opinion on her. "Before you give unwanted advice, honestly ask yourself whether you are doing it for the other person's good or for your own," says Dr. Ludden. If you are trying, for your own benefit, to get a friend to end their relationship, it is neither fair nor helpful.
If your friend is reacting defensively to your observations, give her some time. "Just because a person may be rejecting a small part of the advice right now doesn't mean that they are largely rejecting it," says Dr. Ludden. They may later realize that your observations were correct, but it is better to let them come to this conclusion for themselves. "If you are a true friend, you will end up accepting their final decision, whether or not it agrees with your view of things," he says.
Even if it feels like you're prancing around your real opinion, you're protecting your girlfriend in the end. It's important to create a safe environment for them to talk about their relationship problems, whether it's big or small, explained Dr. Andrea Bonior. Because when you put them down and evaluate their relationship, "the other person feels like they can't talk about it, and that can get toxic," she explains. And if your girlfriend was ever in real danger, you would want her to know that you are there for her, right?
In this regard, if you notice that your girlfriend is in an abusive relationship, you should share what you have noticed and tell her that you will help her if she wants to end the relationship. But again, this can be very difficult for a person to hear, especially when they are unsafe in their relationship, explained Rachel Goldsmith, LCSW-R, vice president of the Domestic Violence Shelter Program at Safe Horizon. “Let the other person know they can talk to you and you can help get them professional help,” she says.
Just remember, even if you think you know what's best for your girlfriend and the course of their relationship, you may not. The best you can do is to be with them every step of the way - including if and when their relationship ends.
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