My friends keeps saying judgmental things about the mental illness community although I asked her to stop (advice)

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My friends keeps saying judgmental things about the mental illness community although I asked her to stop (advice)

Post by littlebluedove on Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:00 am

My friend "Alice" keeps talking about how lazy she thinks people with mental illness are even though I've told her it's hurtful and asked her to stop. She has been really nice in other ways, such as how she bought me breakfast to cheer me up from family problems, so I'm disappointed in her that she keeps doing something that seems uncharacteristically mean. It came up again during that breakfast this morning, and I couldn't think quickly enough to address it again in that moment. Still, we need to have another conversation about this if our friendship is to have a chance of surviving. If she doesn't change her stance, I'll eventually have to just walk away.

She offered to call me tomorrow morning, and I agreed, but we both forgot that I have a DVR appointment (job search help for people with disabilities) in the morning. I'd feel really badly doing it at the last minute, but I'm tempted to cancel with DVR and just let that bridge be burned so that I can a) keep doing quiet activities on my couch while trying not to fall apart until I can talk to Alice and b) not have even more delays getting this resolved so that I can cut down on the time that I have to suffer through this anxiety. My judgment is notoriously terrible when I'm upset, though, so is that even a good plan?

Any ideas what to say to Alice?

Even more important than any advice, though it's appreciated if you have any, though, is some kind words to help soothe my pain from what she has been saying.

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Re: My friends keeps saying judgmental things about the mental illness community although I asked her to stop (advice)

Post by Enail on Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:51 pm

Wow, that's a really shitty thing for her to say, I'm sorry you've been having to repeatedly hear that from a friend.

I don't have any great suggestions for how to handle it, it sounds like you've already made it clear that it's personally hurtful and made a straightforward request of how you'd like her to change it, which seems like the exact right thing to do. But if there's any chance that in trying to be gentle about it or in the heat of the moment you might have been more roundabout or indirect than you intended (I often land up being less clear about this kind of thing than I realize), do give a go at saying it totally simply and clearly, just as you stated it here: "I find it hurtful when you say that, and I need you to stop saying things like that."

Since you've found her to be kind and consider this out of character for her, hopefully she's just been being a bit dense or otherwise not realizing what you're asking her and just having another go will get her sorted out. But even well-meaning people do sometimes land up being unexpectedly stubborn or defensive about this kind of thing, so you might also land up needing to set the boundary in the moment a few times before it sticks, if you value the friendship enough to do put some ongoing effort to try to change it before walking away.

I hope it doesn't come to any of that and that you'll be able to resolve things with her easily. Good luck!


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