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Supporting friend with anxiety. Feeling irritated, need help

I have a friend who I met through friends of my family a while back. We don't live close so we text message most of the time. I don't know if she has PTSD, but definitely severe anxiety.

She is very kind and thoughtful, I think she's a good person but I am getting irritated and tired. I know she can't help it but whenever we talk she is always sorry about insignificant things. I reassure her a lot, and I try to communicate less flatly with her and be more affirmative but no matter what I do or say, she responds as if I am upset with her. It happens every time we talk, at some point, even after she gives me infromation sometimes. Or when we are just communicating normally.
Sometime I struggle to see what she could be sorry about, and she doesn't know either, so I find it hard to understand and comfort her properly, I don't like repeating the same things every time because it doesn't seem helpful.
I don't want to be impatient with her, but I'm finding it hard to talk to her, especially when I'm not feeling good (A lot at the moment). She also feels guilty when I'm not feeling well, as if she should've read my mind instead of asking me, and acts like I've snapped at her and told her to leave me alone for reasons I can't see.
She has a lot of very strong reactions to normal aspects of conversations and I don't know how to stop making her feel this way.

I want to keep supporting her and being her friend because it isn't her fault, and she should have people be nice to her, but I don't know what to do and how else to help her.
 
Have you tried just explaining to her that you want her to stop saying sorry all the time? That you want to be her friend and be there for her but her behaviour is just becoming frustrating. Sometimes people just need to toughen up a bit...??
 
Have you tried just explaining to her that you want her to stop saying sorry all the time? That you want to be her friend and be there for her but her behaviour is just becoming frustrating. Sometimes people just need to toughen up a bit...??
I have said that she doesn’t need to be sorry, or there is nothing to be sorry about, or that we’re just having normal interactions/a conversation.
Maybe I should put it that way though.

There are boundaries I want to place, or things I’d like to state, for example that I don’t have the energy to reply to messages very regularly (there are very few people I can message daily. This forum is different.) but she will be intensely sorry and think I don’t like her anymore. It has nothing to do with her. I am not close enough to her to share what’s wrong in my life, so I can’t use that to support.

I find intense feelings towards me overwhelming, especially at the moment.
I don’t mind her problems or being upset. Hearing about that doesn’t affect me, but that does.
 
Yes @Dark.Green.Feathers I understand and it's not easy to navigate these situations but like you say, you have your own problems and sometimes you have to just be a bit selfish and set some ground rules to protect yourself for your own mental welfare. And constantly worrying about someone else being offended by "normal conversations" would drive you nuts quite frankly.

Taking a "firm but fair" approach!!

It's really nice of you to support this person though. And friendships are 2 way of course.

I remember a time nearly 4/5 years ago that I was in a supporter/friendship with someone and I found out she was sharing my details and secrets with everyone. It was awful and I said to her over and over again stop contacting me and she wouldn't so I got the police involved for harassment. Lesson learnt!! Be careful who you share information with!!
 
Yes @Dark.Green.Feathers I understand and it's not easy to navigate these situations but like you say, you have your own problems and sometimes you have to just be a bit selfish and set some ground rules to protect yourself for your own mental welfare. And constantly worrying about someone else being offended by "normal conversations" would drive you nuts quite frankly.

Taking a "firm but fair" approach!!

It's really nice of you to support this person though. And friendships are 2 way of course.

I remember a time nearly 4/5 years ago that I was in a supporter/friendship with someone and I found out she was sharing my details and secrets with everyone. It was awful and I said to her over and over again stop contacting me and she wouldn't so I got the police involved for harassment. Lesson learnt!! Be careful who you share information with!!
You’re right, I should courage myself to do that, thank you.

I am normally the most anxious one with other people, so this is out of my comfort zone and ability to understand. I appreciate the advice.

I hope she starts therapy again like she has been mentioning doing.

It makes me frustrated. Eggshells on the ground illustration. I don’t like being grovelled to and I wish she would think outside of herself instead of going with every anxious feeling. She would be happier, I think. To try out what happens when she doesn’t apologise to me (nothing).

I don’t want this to be two way because I don’t feel comfortable sharing my problems with her.

Oh no, that’s horrible. I’m sorry for that. I can’t understand why people do it.
I am hoping my girlfriend doesn’t try to contact me like that.
 
It sounds like she's using you as a form of emotional regulation, which simply isn't your responsibility. You're being kind to her by indulging it, but as you can see you're always having to bring her back to baseline. She needs to take control of herself. People may or may not get irritated with her, that's just life. She has to learn how to handle distress.
 
Thank you for putting it into perspective. I’ll try to put a boundary next time it comes up.
This is not the same, but I feel anxious about doing it. Last time I spoke for myself it went very badly, because it was my abusive relationship. I know she can’t and won’t do anything bad to me, and it will probably improve things, but the feeling is the same.
 
I have a friend who I met through friends of my family a while back. We don't live close so we text message most of the time. I don't know if she has PTSD, but definitely severe anxiety.

She is very kind and thoughtful, I think she's a good person but I am getting irritated and tired. I know she can't help it but whenever we talk she is always sorry about insignificant things. I reassure her a lot, and I try to communicate less flatly with her and be more affirmative but no matter what I do or say, she responds as if I am upset with her. It happens every time we talk, at some point, even after she gives me infromation sometimes. Or when we are just communicating normally.
Sometime I struggle to see what she could be sorry about, and she doesn't know either, so I find it hard to understand and comfort her properly, I don't like repeating the same things every time because it doesn't seem helpful.
I don't want to be impatient with her, but I'm finding it hard to talk to her, especially when I'm not feeling good (A lot at the moment). She also feels guilty when I'm not feeling well, as if she should've read my mind instead of asking me, and acts like I've snapped at her and told her to leave me alone for reasons I can't see.
She has a lot of very strong reactions to normal aspects of conversations and I don't know how to stop making her feel this way.

I want to keep supporting her and being her friend because it isn't her fault, and she should have people be nice to her, but I don't know what to do and how else to help her.
Hello Dark. Green. Feathers.
May I suggest a new idea altogether. I have stuggled at times with over apologizing. For myself, I am so disappointed when I do it; and when the person I am doing it to, starts correcting me… It only gets worse. I know it is related to low-self esteem, from a life time of criticism (the list is too long.) Please, before you give-up on her ( many people already have, I bet!) Would you try, using a sense of humor! That will lighten the situation, a lot! Say something like, oh, oh, I know you did not want to say “that”word “sorry”. I know it keeps slipping out, it is just a terrible habit. So, do you want to start all over and tell me what it is you really would like to say. I really want to get to know “that” person inside! 😉 Humor is always a more positive way to get what you want! Criticism only creates fear… Try this before you walk a way, please. 😊💕😉
 
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