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My friend won’t stop ranting

And it’s stressing me out! 

Tune her out or let the friendship slide, says our elder. You deserve real friends.

 

Dear EWC

Hello! So my friend rants to me a lot. She tells me a lot of information about her life because she feels like I was the only one she could talk to. However, the rants just started getting out of hand and were overwhelming to me. I’m not used to telling people my emotions so I never told her how I felt about the rants. But her rants got even more overwhelming and started stressing me out. I would come up with a solution to her problems and she’d either come up with a reason why it wouldn’t work or she’d completely ignore my advice and go to somebody else. People started telling me that I need to express my emotions more so I did and told her everything in the nicest way possible and she was understanding but tried to tell me why she ranted to me everyday and started guilt tripping me even though she wasn’t intentionally doing it. It’s been weird ever since I confronted her. What should I do and am I in the wrong?

 

Good-Listener replies

I understand (as much as anyone can understand another person’s dilemma) what you’re dealing with. Something similar has happened to me – so it can happen at any age! Here’s the thing… it can stress you out, since it’s a lot of negativity and drama that you don’t need. That’s different from being a friend who will be there in good times and bad. Your friend seems to thrive on the drama and attention it gets her. You can give her great advice “until the cows come home”, but it’s unlikely she will listen, because the point of her rants is to, well, rant! The better the advice, the better chance she will reject it, because it does make sense and you might be offering a sane solution. I would decide if you can either tune her out – or let the friendship slide. I’m not saying she’s a bad person, just that her negativity is affecting you, and likely others. Life is too tough these days, who needs it? I would not tell her off – that doesn’t do anyone any good, but I’d look to hang with people who are less focused on themselves, and perhaps want to get attention by doing worthwhile deeds and by demonstrating good character.

Short story – I had a friend who meant well but also ranted and was full of negativity. One day she went on so badly I started to have an anxiety attack and had to call another friend to calm down! She’s not a bad person, but, while I occasionally see her at a monthly book group meeting, I don’t make plans or talk to her outside of that any more. She’s just a downer. And, both in our 70s! So, my best advice is to try and drift from her. She’ll find someone else to rant to… and after that person gets tired of her carrying on, she’ll get yet another soul to rant to, and so on. You deserve real friends, where there’s a give and take – and a lot less drama! Good luck.

Article #: 473814

Category: School

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