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Posts Tagged ‘boundaries’

An intriguing question from “A”:
My boyfriend’s ex has gone through therapy one on one and in a group setting.  She now thinks she can diagnose and help anyone.  In her mind she is “helping” but in reality she is being intrusive, causing more problems, trying to find out secrets.  I see this as someone who is in a delusion that she can fix anyone and is looking for someone who is in her opinion broken.  She thinks that she is bonding with people by “helping them”.  She even tries to make you feel comfortable by saying she is a “bleeding heart.”
I see it as she is prying into to people’s lives looking for dirt to use against them.  I guess being trusted with someones secrets somehow makes her feel that she has created an unbreakable bond.  My instinct is to run away as fast as I can from this person.  I think she is dangerous, manipulative, untrustworthy, and only motivated by money not true friendship.
This is the second one of his (my boyfriend) female friends that I don’t like or trust.  The first one was in love with my boyfriend and trying to break us up.
I know that everyone needs friends but I cannot help her.  I cannot be a true friend to her because I don’t trust her.  Life is hard enough without someone playing the therapist game.  Does she realize that this game she is playing is dangerous and can have severe consequences? What does it say about me that I don’t want to have anything to do with her?

And here’s my answer:

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

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Check out The People’s Therapist’s new book: “Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy

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“A” wrote in with the following question:

I wanted to know your thoughts on the imbalance in power relationships at law firms.

My boyfriend, J,works for a partner in a firm. They’ve worked together on and off for 5 years. The partner was an associate when J joined as a trainee. They’ve been ‘friends’ but the friendship is not balanced. There’s an increasing tendency for the personal and professional relationship to blend, and not in a good way.
The partner will abuse his ability to prevent certain social situations from happening by increasing J’s work load. If we don’t agree to socialize on the weekend with him and his wife then the partner can make life difficult as well. He has a very controlling and dominating nature, and will often send emails which are childish and aggressive to J if he doesn’t get his way.

My question is … Is it ever appropriate to have a personal relationship with anyone who is in a position of power over you?

I find that it is not, and as a by stander in this merry-go round of their relationship with one another find that I am a helpless player who gets dragged in from time to time, but is unable to stand up and defend herself because, according to J, ‘he’s a partner and it’ll make work more complicated for me if we upset him.’

Also how to extract ourselves from this? J is in the process of applying for a new position elsewhere, but he still intimates that in the future he’ll want to continue being friends with this partner. Is this some kind of negative symbiotic relationship, whose negative side he cannot recognize because he’s been in it for so long?

And here’s my answer:

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

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It turns out that A.M.’s question was a two-parter. Here’s part two:

What strategies can you suggest for dealing with passive-aggression, in both the workplace and in intimate relationships? Is there an effective way to set boundaries with a person who is setting out to undermine them? How can you best maintain your integrity and self-esteem when subjected to it, and avoid being a target in the future?

And here’s my answer:

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

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