What To Tell Meddling Friends
Last week we talked about what marriage is and isn’t. One of the topics that come up every time we talk about relationships is boundaries. On a weekly basis, we get emails and comments that mention family and friends who are, in a word, interfering with relationships. Every week, we write people back telling them to ‘stop it’. And yet, we still get them. Is anyone listening?! We will discuss this topic again but this time, we will also provide you with what to say to people in the future.
Today, we will deal with meddling friends:
1. How to deal with the ‘I am telling you this for your own good’ friend
You have a friend right now who thinks he/she knows everything. Perhaps they have had lots of relationships that have gone badly. Perhaps they have read some Deepak Chopra and opened their third eye and reached enlightenment while trekking through Outer Mongolia with a guru named Stan. Regardless of their experience, your relationship is unique. You know your partner. And, if this is not clear to you, no one is allowed to give you advice unless you ask for it and then it is up to you to take it or ignore it. You tell this friend, “Thank you for your pearls of wisdom however, if I want your advice, I will ask for it.”
2. How to deal with the ‘Relationships are for suckers’ friend
Everyone has a friend or acquaintance that has had the joy beat out of them and is quite content being bitter and cynical. Maybe a woman stomped their heart while grinding her heal in their gonads. Maybe a guy ripped out her soul while ruining her credit and posting naked pictures of her on the internet. Whatever the sad story is, that is something they need to work out with their therapist. These people make the belief that all relationships are the same and are more than willing to share their bitterness like a broth of cynicism with chunks of hate. You tell this friend, “I love you and I get you are hurting. Maybe it’s time you sought some professional help.”
3. How to deal with the friend who just wants to keep meddling
Some people just don’t take a hint. Sometimes it is necessary to set a boundary with an emphatic, “BACK THE FUCK OFF!” Sometimes instead of using our nice words, we need to be very clear when someone is violating our boundaries. This is especially true if you have asked politely for a friend to cease and desist giving you advice or filling your head with scary vignettes that make you question your relationship. In these cases, raising your voice and/or using adult words is necessary to convey a clear message.
So to recap the meta-messages you are giving these meddling friends.
1. Thanks for caring but BACK THE FUCK OFF!
2. Maybe you should get some professional help and BACK THE FUCK OFF!
3. By the way, BACK THE FUCK OFF!