Life Advice



Ask Amy: Friendship is sucked up in a tornado of drama

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I moved to a new city, and work remotely. I'm trying to make friends.

One person I’ve met, “Shelley,” has offered way too much information about some abusive relationships in her life.

I've tried to be supportive, but every time I see her, I get an onslaught of truly disturbing drama about her exes or other relationships. Everything in Shelley’s life is really intense.

I don't want to be a crappy friend, but these conversations are incredibly triggering for me; I have an anxiety disorder that I'm trying to manage.

Shelley texts day or night to talk about some new drama or problem. There never seems to be an opportunity to redirect her or talk about anything else.

My ability to be supportive is wearing thin. She is exhausting. There is nothing about this dynamic that suggests that she cares about me as a person or that she is trying to find her way out of her tornado of drama.


There seems to be an expectation that I am supposed to be here for her to observe her life without judgment.

I feel like I've been recruited into some kind of weird dynamic that I never agreed to. Shelley is taking up so much more space than I want.

Is there any graceful way to back off without incurring even more drama?

– Drafted into Drama


swipe to next page




Ed Wexler Steve Kelley Eric Allie John Deering Ginger Meggs For Better or For Worse