We all need a shoulder to lean on from time to time, but sometimes, an emotional friendship can be very overwhelming. If your friend is overly emotional, they can be clingy, teary and difficult to manage. While you want to be there for your friend, you can feel the strain, knowing your friendship is suffering under the weigh of their issues. It also sucks all of the fun out of your relationship. So what can you do to cope with an emotional friendship? Here are some top tips.

Try and show your friend the brighter side of life

If your friend is constantly down in the dumps, it’s time to show them that there’s more to life than moping around feeling miserable. While it is very difficult to change a person’s mindset, reminding them of the joys of a good life can help heal an emotional friendship. Take them on some fun trips, have a girly night in and do all of the things your friend enjoys the most. Then, the next step is to talk it through with them. Point out all the good things you enjoyed as a pair, and how much more easy-going things are when your friend takes the pressure off. Let her know that even though you’re there for her whenever she needs you, she should also attempt to make positive changes to her life, for the sake of herself, but also for you.

Make time away from the emotional friendship

An emotional friendship is exhausting, and you need to make time for yourself to recharge. Don’t feel guilty for hanging with other friends, or spending time with your family. Whatever you need to keep yourself afloat should and can be used to your advantage. A clingy and emotional friend may condemn you for taking time away, but this is exactly the kind of problematic behaviour you need to target. Your mental health is just as important as that of your friend, so ensure you take care of yourself as well.

Remain calm and collected

The last thing you want when you’re dealing with an emotional person is for them to have a breakdown. When trying to get them to change their mindset, they will be prone to strops, rudeness and defensive attitudes. You are free to defend yourself and your motives, but do it in a way that makes them let their guard down. You don’t want your friend to take it personally, especially as they often think they’re the centre of everyone’s problems. Calmly explain where you’re coming from and offer your unconditional support, even when they’re being difficult. There’s a reason you’re friends, and you don’t want to lose them over something menial.

Be honest

Edging around a difficult topic never makes it easier, and you want your point to hit home first time if possible. Let your friend know that while they may be overwhelmed, so are you. Let them know you need them to change, and offer them help. Once they see that you’re suffering because of them, they should make more efforts to change their behaviours.

Recognise that some people are emotional, and that’s okay

Your friend is never going to change completely. While you can ease them off so that they’re less clingy, and you can show them ways to live life to the full, they’re still going to be a sensitive person. There’s nothing wrong with a show of emotion, or being in touch with your feelings. You may not be the same as them, but learning to appreciate them will help you cope with an emotional friendship.

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