Cancer diagnosis necessitates grief circles
In short, you are not supposed to be worrying about how to be gentle and polite, comforting your friend through your crisis.
You could say, "I understand that this is hard for you, but I can't help you through this. I've got too much on my plate. I hope you understand." Encourage her to contact someone else in an outer ring when she is upset.
Dear Amy: I'm in my early 20s, and I always wanted to be in a relationship.
Lately, I've been feeling that whenever I get a guy's number, I feel like the guy only wants to use me for one thing. I know two guys who want to use me.
I met up with one guy last year. He has a girlfriend, but he's using me as a side chick. There is also a guy I met last month. He has a girlfriend, too, and wants to use me as a side chick.
Amy, I don't want this. I just have no idea how to tell both of them that I don't want to be used as a side chick anymore. What do I do?
-- Done Being Used
Dear Done: When you find your voice -- and use it -- you will finally be able to be in a heathy relationship. The fact that you don't know how to tell these men what you want means that they have all of the power.
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Your neediness is showing. Neither of these guys is good for you, so you would benefit from a personal and relationship reset. When you reveal your own positive values, respect will follow.
Ditch them both and read, "How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving," by David Richo (2002, Shambhala).
Dear Amy: The letter from "Sad and Mad in California" broke my heart. This sister was wrestling with her homeless alcoholic sister who was basically camping on her property with her alcoholic guy and their dog. Thank you for counseling her to get to a "friends and family" support group. Al-Anon could change everything.
-- Worked for Me
Dear Worked: Al-Anon has helped countless people to find a path forward.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)