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gworld

Member
I have meet this woman and she has many good qualities which is the reason I like to help her ( we are not involved, just friend) but I think she suffers from some kind of mental disorder.

She is obsessed with telling people how busy she is and 24 hours in a day is not enough for her and in the mean time, she has no job, no family and no real responsibility. She can go on for more than an hour on how busy she is, talking with one person after another.
I think in her mind she really believes what she says. She also abuses alcohol and drugs and blames it on her previous boyfriend. The funny thing is that she is going to different counselors herself and then complains about how they don't do anything and can not handle somebody as sophisticated as her.
I think some how she associates her own self importance with explaining how busy she is.

Any one has an idea what is this about?
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
What is wrong and how to help a friend.

gworld said:
She is obsessed with telling people how busy she is and 24 hours in a day is not enough for her and in the mean time, she has no job, no family and no real responsibility. She can go on for more than an hour on how busy she is, talking with one person after another.
I think one frequently sees this in people who are either fearful about their ability to function in a competitive world and insecure about their own self-concept. It's as if by telling people how busy they are all the time they create an illusion of importance -- look at me, I'm doing something very important so I'm not lazy or shiftless. I don't know why she is unemployed but it may well be that she's afraid to apply for work because she doesn't really believe she is worth hiring.

She also abuses alcohol and drugs and blames it on her previous boyfriend.
More on the same theme. I'm not lazy or shiftless or lacking ambition because look how busy I am. I'm not really a substance abuser... or at least it's not my fault.

The funny thing is that she is going to different counselors herself and then complains about how they don't do anything and can not handle somebody as sophisticated as her.
See? The reason I am not making the progress I think I should be making (or I worry that YOU think I should be making) because I'm so complex and complicated that even my therapists can't figure me out. So again, it's not my fault I am like this. So that means I don't have to change -- I can stay just the way I am because none of this is my fault or my responsibility. Besides, I'm getting quite a bit of attention this way and I rather like that...

I think some how she associates her own self importance with explaining how busy she is.
I think you're right, gworld.
 

gworld

Member
What is wrong and how to help a friend.

My question is how can you reach a person like this? How do you break the barrier they have around themselves and help them. She is very defensive and will avoid the whole discussion if I try to make her see the problem.
Her life is not working because of her desire to make her busy. For example, she has a small safe in her place that she keeps her daily cash in. In order to control her spending (according to her), she keeps the key to safe in her deposit box in the bank. So just to get some money out, she has to go to bank, get the key out of her safe deposit box, go back home, get the money, go back to bank and put the key back in her deposit box. then she explain for every one how busy she is and how much time it takes to go to bank.
I have suggested that I will go with her to drug abuse meetings but she doesn't want that.
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
What is wrong and how to help a friend.

that means I don't have to change -- I can stay just the way I am because none of this is my fault or my responsibility. Besides, I'm getting quite a bit of attention this way and I rather like that...
I'm not sure you CAN reach her or change her, gworld, at least not until she is ready to change. Ignore the words she says: What you describe tells me that she is getting a lot of rewards out of being the way she is. Until that changes, until the distress her behavior causes her is greater than the comfort she derives from it, there is no motivation to change.

And without that, there is no change. Indeed, your attempts to lead or guide her to change are probably helping to sustain the behavior because it adds to the attention she receives.
 

gworld

Member
What is wrong and how to help a friend.

Certainly giving up on her is one option but if I want to try to help her what is the best way to do it?

Should I be straight and tell her what I think and try to force her to see her situation or should I try to be nice to her and slowly make her realize the facts?
 

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