Missing Pieces


Dear Dharma,

I am at my wits end with one of my best friends. She is a wonderful person but she has the tendency to portray herself as the victim whenever something happens.

She will tell me about things that happen to her but leaves crucial parts of the story out. These missing parts would often lessen her victim role and when I find out afterwards what really happened, I feel so stupid because I am spending so much time comforting her, trying to help her, etc.

I feel emotionally manipulated and see myself withdrawing from her because of it. I don’t want to lose the friendship but what do I do about someone like that?

Thank you,

Truth in Pieces

Dear Pieces,

Well, that’s aggravating.  I can definitely see why you would feel manipulated by this type of storytelling.

If the decision to stay in this relationship is firm, then we have to find some different ways for you to handle these situations.

After she tells you her next sob story, are you comfortable saying something like, “Oh, that sucks, but it seems like maybe there’s more going on here than you are saying?”

Of course, she may stick to her story, because to tell you the whole thing would limit the amount of sympathy she’ll get from you – but aha, you can do that part yourself, right?  The amount of time trying to comfort and help her is completely in your hands – what good news!

If she keeps up with her theatrics, try using lines like, “I’m sorry you’re going through this.  I hope it all works out.  I’m going to grab a coffee, can I get you anything?”

As she starts to learn she can no longer manipulate your emotions, I’m hoping these shenanigans will happen less and less and that you can spend more time focussing on the positive parts of this friendship.


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  • Anonymous says:

    I say that you should ask so many questions that she will think twice about sharing anything with you….did you call for an ambulance, police, doctor, pizza?
    Can you sue someone, I know of a good lawyer that is starting parole next week…you should have a reporter do a story on this or at least start a support group so others won’t suffer as you did, are, will, am still….
    You will probably loose the friendship but, you will definitely get the last smile.
    (This will only work if you are sure she is victimizing herself, otherwise you appear to be a self absorbed bitch)….decisions, descisions!!!! Good luck…
    Signed: Where did all my friends go?

  • Meetoo says:

    Good to hear I am not the only one with friends like that. It annoys the crap out of me!!! I am pretty much fading these people out.
    I know they are just doing it for attention. I don’t have time for that anymore.

  • anon says:

    Well if she’s your friend, you’ll just have to accept this part of her. Maybe she’s just making up the story because deep down inside she just wants to have someone who’s there for her and she doesn’t know how else to ask for help/friendship/sincere care etc. If you plan on keeping her in her life, maybe suggest her to do some counselling sessions… but don’t stop being there for her when she needs you most. Even though her needs don’t make any logical sense.

  • Regina F says:

    I always tell people to look the story from both sides. It’s how I give advice to my friends. She is clearly not doing this… I would be honest with her and tell her how you feel about the friendship. That sounds incredibly exhausting.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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