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Home » How can I stay strong for my friends when I can hardly be strong for myself?

How can I stay strong for my friends when I can hardly be strong for myself?

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Q: I am a really kind person and people (my friends) tell me stuff about themselves and their families that most people would keep to themselves. I do help them to look on the bright side of their problems, but every time they tell me stuff it just reminds my of my own problems, that I’d like to forget, I know its my fault because I’m always smiling and laughing when I’m around them but I really just want to cry, because I’m the kind of person my friends look up to if I show them that I’m sad they automatically start frowning and stuff, and I don’t need that extra sadness around me. What can I do about that?

How can I stay strong for my friends when I can hardly be strong for myself?

Answered by on -

A.

What you have to do is start being yourself. It is ok to be a good listener and a good friend, but not when you are denying your own feelings to be there for someone else. This is a bad pattern to start and can lead to more severe problems later. Be honest and real with your own feelings and be willing to set boundaries with your friends. It’s ok to say, “I’m sorry that I can’t fully be here for you because I’m having a hard time myself right now,” or some other statement to let people know you are not an endless well of strength and support. Be a good friend to others but a better friend to yourself and things will be easier. I hope this helps. Good luck.

How can I stay strong for my friends when I can hardly be strong for myself?

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). How can I stay strong for my friends when I can hardly be strong for myself?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/02/28/how-can-i-stay-strong-for-my-friends-when-i-can-hardly-be-strong-for-myself/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.