How to Create Boundaries with Friends Using You as Their Therapist

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Playing Are Your Friends Using You as Their Therapist?

Giving your loved ones life advice is commonplace but is there someone in your life who is crossing a boundary and treating you like their therapist?

Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho warns that empathy fatigue can set in when someone relies on you too much. She says this is particularly common and frustrating with someone who repeatedly seeks out your advice and then doesn't take your suggestions or someone who continues to repeat their mistakes again and again. 

So how can you remain supportive to the people close to you, while also maintaining your own well-being?

Dr. Judy stresses the key is having "good boundaries and direct communication." She explains creating boundaries might seem or feel like you're being rude, but the clinical psychologist notes clear boundaries in your comfort zone will allow your relationships to flourish while also giving you time to take care of your own needs.

When giving someone advice, Dr. Judy suggests using the "sandwich" technique. This starts with saying something kind, then something constructive, then followed by something kind again, stressing that you hope to approach their issues as a team.

She also says to avoid using words like "always" and "never" because this can cause someone to shut down. Dr. Judy says another approach is asking the person seeking advice what they think the solution might be. This can help remove yourself from the burden of having to solve their problem alone.

Check out even more amazing advice, tips, and suggestions from Dr. Judy on her podcast SuperCharged Life.   

Watch: How to Fix or Ditch Your Friendship

Watch: Should You Remain Friends with Your Ex?

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