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How do I tell my friend I want a break?

5 Dec 2019, 6:17 pm (Edited 5 Dec 2019, 6:19 pm)
TLDR; the title. How do I communicate to my emotionally exhausting friend that I want some alone-time?

Hi guys. I'm currently going through a bit of a dilemma. I have an online friend who I met on a game, and is also now my friend in Discord.

Now, whenever I play this game or go online on Discord, this person hangs out with me all the time. This is good and I enjoy spending time with my friends, but it's getting a little irritating and even draining because of two things: 1.) the fact the friend is ALWAYS trying to be with me 2.) their behavior, which I will explain more in-depth.

I'm going to talk mostly about their behavior - they seem to feel the need to slip in everything about their anxieties, about how people will judge them whenever they decide to talk, etc. etc. and while I have tried over and over to encourage this person to get over their worries, tried everything in my power in attempt to make it easier for them, and even ask them to get help because they have expressed tendencies to self-harm, they are not changing. I know it takes time to change, but it also makes it hard to hang out with this person because they seem so adamant to believe that everyone hates them when, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Thanks to this, it's also difficult to just hang out with my friend in general.

I know this person most likely has a mental illness of some sort. I'm assuming potentially anxiety, but I don't know (I'm not a therapist or even studying or learning anything like that. I know I might be wrong. I just know I'm concerned for them). I've offered for them to vent to me about stuff and all that, but they refuse to, which is OK but I think the growing turmoil in their life seems to show - even online, and even when they don't vent about it. It just shows in the way they act. I do not have anything like anxiety, depression, etc myself and therefore I probably cannot properly empathize with this person 100% - even if I do experience a mental illness, our experiences will ultimately be different.

It's been about 3 months now and I'm very tired and find it hard to enjoy my time on the game we play and discord. I also feel guilty about leaving this person alone, since I'm worried if I leave them for a while they will do something bad like self-harm or think I do not like them, which is not the case. I just want a break.

I'm just going to accept the fact here that, at this point, I am probably unable to convince this person to get help. Other people have tried to no avail. But, I want to communicate to this person that I want alone-time without sending it the wrong way. How do I say this? I do want to help this person, I want to help them by being a good friend, but I also can't do this if I can't get a break. Please help.


5 Dec 2019, 6:24 pm (Edited 5 Dec 2019, 6:28 pm)
What i would say, is simply, "┬░hey, i love you, and i love spending time with you and playing games together, but id like to try and get further ahead by myself for a bit. Im here to talk, but im going to be taking a break from talking for a while"

As some one who has anxiety and attatchment issues, along with somr major self doubt, i need to be told firmly, but also gently. Lie a little (i wont be talking to much of anyone for a bit/i really want to be left alone by everyone) if you have too
5 Dec 2019, 6:47 pm (Edited 5 Dec 2019, 6:48 pm)
I would suggest to be forward and honest. Maybe sugar coat it just a bit. If you are not forward than it'll never end.
I have been told to shut up before from a really good friend and trust me, it hurt a LOT, But if they are a good friend, than they will understand if you want time alone, as I did when I was told to stop texting them >.>...I don't actually text a lot unless I am worried or ranting but still . Everyone needs some time alone from time to time So I guess just a "Hey, I need some time alone. I need to focus on myself for a bit." should do.

Even having mental illnesses of my own, I can not read and understand what someone else feels as everyone experiences it differently and have different responses to it. so I can not give you a set in stone answer to how to respond.
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