HOW TO BE A GOOD FRIEND TO SOMEONE THAT CONSISTENTLY MAKES QUESTIONABLE CHOICES?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My friend is a bombshell and is smart and talented and employed and also goes for the worst kinds of guys. Plural on both counts. Many wonderful men ask her out and she always ignores them. I am sick and tired of listening to her cry and complain about her own self-created drama but what kind of friend would I be if I ignore her in her times of crises (plural)? I have tried to warn her about some of the men but she never listens. What do you advise someone who is trying to be a good friend to her friend who makes questionable choices?

—Bewildered in Brazil

DEAR BEWILDERED:

She’s lucky to have you as a friend. As she obviously doesn’t listen to what you tell her, I would simply ask her various questions along the process of her picking out unsuitable men. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t go out with that guy. He has a reputation for using women,” ask a series of questions.

For example, the dialogue might go something like this:

Friend: “I really like [User Guy].”

You: “I heard he tends to use women. What is it about him that attracts you?”

Friend: “He’s so sexy [or cute or funny or whatever].”

You: “What about him do you feel is sexy [or cute or funny or whatever] as opposed to [Guy That Treats Women Well]?” or “Why do you think you are interested in him even though we’ve both heard a lot about how he hasn’t treated his past girlfriends well, do you think?”

I suggest asking her questions that make her think rather than trying to tell her what to do or how to think or whom to love. Ultimately, recognize you have no real say or control over what she does.

It can be very difficult for us when we see people we love making bad choices and then living the consequences, even more so when we know we will be helping pick up the pieces. However, recognize that she is creating the situation out of her soul’s desire to learn things such as discernment and what the consequences of one’s choices can look like.

It is up to you to set boundaries on what you can do to help and support her. When you see her continually making poor choices, it is not your responsibility to stay up with her on the phone comforting her every night till 3 a.m., for example. Decide what you can do without hurting yourself or draining you and stick to those boundaries while doing what you can.

Bless you. May all your kindness and support come back to you a millionfold.

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