How to Support Good Friends with Bad Choices

A good friend who sticks by you through thick and thin is a rarity these days. But if our friendships have taught us anything—and acclaimed HBO favorites like Entourage or Girls verify—certain friendships, where one friend continually makes bad decisions can be frustrating.

We all have someone who is true blue, kind, and always caring but tends to make unhealthy choices by never thinking straight or of repercussions. When those kinds of friends make such decisions, it often feels like our options are limited. So how do we help them?

We often believe to be compassionate, we have to listen and not say anything. But that’s not how good, solid friendships work. We never act cowardly towards a friend—especially if you know they will understand you. If anything, we always want the best for them and want to ensure their decision is one that doesn’t emotionally or mentally stunt them, or cause heartache.

Of course, it can take a toll on us. The back and forth of their choices, making us wonder why they just can’t get it. But by ensuring healthy and impartial boundaries in our relationships, we are able to uphold our own emotional reliability. There are ways to be a friend and still be supportive without becoming a habitual enabler. By setting limits on what isn’t good for you, you’re able to take care of your friend and the friendship.

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