Setting Boundaries in Relationships: The difference between Friendship and Self Appointed Therapist

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1) Do you have a relationship where you are perpetually the listener? The one who always picks up the phone and provides the support shoulder for the arguments, frustrations and worries of the day. Are you feeling repetitive conversations in which it feels as though you infuse moral support, yet the individual is not learning, growing or making any changes to improve their situation? Perhaps the communications are grossly lopsided in that you serve as the listener, but lack reciprocating support when you need to vent.

2) Have you assigned yourself as the one who listens and provides advice because it comes naturally? Do you qualify intimacy in friendships and relationships by the details of others hearts and lives.

3) Are you in relationships in which you are not able to reflect your genuine opinion or feel obliged to hide a component of who you are?

4) Consider the sweet and thoughtful things you do. Would the individual who you are doing them for return the gesture?

5) If a friend was feeling dissatisfied with an aspect of the relationship, would you want them to just suck it up and not address the issue? Would you prefer a partner stay solely for the purpose of not breaking your heart although they were not fulfilled.

6) Assess the friendship, what are the qualities that are valued? If some aspect of the relationship changed or was eliminated, would the remaining aspects be worthy of maintaining? What are your deal breakers?

Some individuals naturally see dynamics between people and turn into a self appointed therapist. This is NOT true friendship. If the relationship is repeatedly bringing you heaviness and leaves you feeling drained, it is likely healthy for both parties to leave it behind or redefine this friendship. If necessary, connections can be lovingly let go. Consider carefully:

· If the love you feel is from being able to “assist” but there is no reciprocity

· If there is a significant disparity in communication (consistent one giver, one receiver)

· If either party is unable to speak their truth or accept the others truth

· Are all your interactions focused on therapy based conversations and never involve an activity

· Is there a fundamental mismatch – perhaps no one is wrong, it’s just not a good fit anymore

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Alyza LeBlanc

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Lifestyle insights on work, parenting, and relationship balance from the perspective of a business professional and solo parent to an adopted teen.

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