I Need Space From My FriendRelationshipsI Need Space From My Friend<div class="ExternalClass03908C70D084405A8B285CBED871B9DA"><p>​<span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:"times new roman", serif;">I'm really overwhelmed right now. I have a friend who constantly becomes upset with me because he feels like we are not as close as we used to be. I've tried explaining that I am really stressed and emotionally disconnected right now, and that maintaining all my relationships right now is hard, but he doesn't understand. I need space but he won't give it to me. He also constantly invades my physical personal space and says things that make me uncomfortable, but I don't want to end the friendship because I know he's in a tough time in his life right now. I don't know what to do. </span><br></p></div><div class="ExternalClass037E6AD6B38A437E8E78940E305E3180"><p>​Thanks for emailing in. Yes, it sounds like you are trying to hear your friend out, but are a little fragile with feelings of being overwhelmed with life right now yourself, and he is not listening. Whether he does not understand what you are trying to explain to him or his need for you to be there for him is overriding his need to respect your request we do not know. Either way, here are some strategies you can try with him, so that your time and need for a little solace is respected too.<br></p><p>1. Plan ahead by scheduling a neutral time to talk with him in private. Let him know that you value his friendship, but that you are balancing a lot right now. Prepare him that you are NOT going to be as available as you have been in the past. This might be easier if you tell him what you CAN do. Of course you need to identify what that looks like yourself, but some ideas would be a planned phone call 1X weekly, sitting together at lunch 1X a week, or planning an activity/outing with him.<br></p><p>2. Set boundaries if there are some topics that you are not open to discussing, be open about it and tell him. You have to be direct when it comes to your personal space and some things that are making you uncomfortable. That might feel awkward to have this conversation, but if it is not discussed it is sure to be something that eventually will get on your nerves or affect that way you feel towards him. If you need to tackle it with a little humor that sometimes can help with a touch topic.  <br></p><p>3. Be clear. You can't be his therapist. You're there for friendship, not to give professional advice or counseling. You certainly can encourage him to go that route if you feel it would be good for him. If he is not familiar with our website, and you like it, share it with him. It's nice to have an outlet when friends and family are not available at any given time or if you just want a neutral party to talk with.<br></p><p>Be sure to take care of yourself ok.  Remember there are going to be ups and downs in life but like they say on airplanes, you have to put your air mask on first and take care of yourself if you are going to help others too.<br></p><p>Laura, Crisis Counselor<br></p></div>14

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