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How to Help a Friend With an Obsession Over a Guy

by Elise Wile, studioD

Lately, it’s been impossible to have a conversation with your friend without at least half of the conversation being devoted to descriptions of the guy she’s obsessed with and projections about their future together. You’ve wondered if you should stage an intervention, but chances are, the obsession will die on its own without you having to take any radical steps on behalf of your preoccupied friend. Nevertheless, there are still a few actions you can take to help both your friend and your friendship.

Have a Frank Discussion

If your friend’s obsession is hurting your friendship – say she won’t stop texting him every time you’re together – be honest and let her know how you feel, says educator and coach Rachel Simmons on her personal website. You’ll want to keep the ball in your court so she doesn’t take offense or become defensive. You might say, “Whenever we’re together and you spend a lot of the time texting Jeremy, I feel like our time together isn’t important.” If she’s able to see how her behavior is affecting you, she may decide to stop.

Distract Your Friend

Keep your friend distracted with other activities and she’ll have less time to obsess over the guy she likes. Distractions can help to remind your friend that there are other things in life that are important, notes author and physician Alex Lickerman, M.D. in an article in “Psychology Today.” Grab your friend and take her to see the action flick she’s been wanting to see, or schedule a manicure for the two of you. Taking a vacation from her obsessive thoughts will be healthy for her and will give your friendship a respite from her obsession as well.

Give Your Friend Time

While it may be painful to listen to your friend go on and on about a guy, realize that unless the behavior has continued for years, it will probably go away in time. Give your friend time to get over her obsession on her own. With time, obsessions tend to lose their zest, says Lickerman. If you get tired of hearing the story – yet again – of how Arnold looked like he wanted to kiss her after dinner two weeks ago, patiently change the subject.

Recommend Professional Help

If your friend’s obsession is causing her to make poor life decisions – perhaps she is ready to quit her job and move to Belgium because the guy she likes is relocating there – suggest that she discuss her impulses with a qualified life coach or counselor. While your friend may resent your suggestion that focusing all of her energies on this man is counterproductive, an objective professional might be able to help her sort things out. Recommend someone and tell her that you’ve heard people have great success prioritizing goals when they see life coaches, and you want to see her get everything out of life she deserves.

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images