OMG! Dramatic friends.
April 20, 2007 12:51 PM Subscribe
What are the best ways of dealing with dramatic friends, to give them the love and support that they need without rewarding their dramatic strategies?
posted by xo to human relations (29 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I like people that are unusual and/or artistic and so, at any given time, I have a few "dramatic" friends. These are people in their 20s or 30s who will abruptly stop emailing when they're feeling low, go to parties and sit in a corner glowering if they had a bad day, delete their LiveJournal or MySpace accounts when they perceived they've been slighted by other friends, etc.
In the past, when a friend suddenly stops emailing me, I get in touch right away and ask them how they are, give some listening and attention, and follow-up every few days with little notes and things so that their inbox isn't empty. It always results in my friend cheering up and communicating their feelings to me, so I feel like I've done a good thing. But at the same time, I feel like a sucker, because invariably the friend was just peevish or depressed in the way that strikes all people, and the drama wasn't necessary. So I feel like I'm being tested to see if I care about them, because it's on me to notice their mood or behavior and then come to them and ask how they are.
I like lots of the other attributes of these friends, so I don't want to ditch them entirely. Also, these snits or depressions never directly have to do with me (I've never caused the slight/hurt); I'm just the compassionate listener and advice-giver. So I'd like to continue to contribute to these friendships in a caring way, but I'm really tired of the tests and drama. How can I be a good friend without rewarding or playing into the dramatic tactics of these people?