Nervous about a scenenario I'm all too familiar with

So I made a new friend a couple weeks ago right? Bfor I get deeper into this let me give some background story…

In the past I have been used and taken advantage of waaay too many times… Bc of that I have a very hard time trusting people… I barely know this person yet, but I’m stuck in a situation idk if I’ll be able to get out of…I worry my kindness is going to be taken advantage of…

She is currently having family issues and is staying the night with me. As much as I really want to help her, I can’t help but feel like this is probably going to be a common accurence if I just let it go… At the same time tho I don’t want to be too mean and just leave her in the dust… Idk what to do. I wish there was something I could do to physically help her but there isn’t… My dad said just be there for her but I fear that I’m going
to get taken advantage of again…

So I’m kinda stuck in the middle of not wanting to be mean but at the same time I also don’t want to let myself be taken advantage of…

Any advice?

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Hi Andy

Are you able to set a time where she has to leave? Let her stay for a week while she makes other housing arrangements? You can set the boundaries and still help your friend.

You can even have your Father help you keep those boundaries too.

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Hi Andy! Thanks for sharing this post with us, as someone who also used to just say yes a lot, I understand the nerves when it comes to people using you.
I remember the first time I stood up to a “friend” and their reaction. I was genuinely shocked and a bit confused. I ended up making some genuine friends and upon discussing the situation with them and expressing how upset I was and how bad I felt, they asked me “why?! Why should you feel bad?!”
Wow, that’s a good question. Why should I feel bad?!
As rose has already said, there are options for your friend out there and real friendship isn’t about expecting the other person to fix all of your issues without boundaries. Yes, friends often go above and beyond for each other, but there are times when we shouldn’t have to fear saying no.

I’m not saying this is going to be a bad friend who over burdens you, I’m only saying that coming into friendships and having boundaries in place is okay.
It might mean “yes you can stay for x amount of time, and I’m happy to try help find somewhere else” and then making sure they are really looking for somewhere. It might mean that you also set the boundaries of not lending them money.

Being generous is wonderful and so kind of you, and you’re already being so generous giving your home for a night.

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Hi there @Andy

I think there are some folks who have a lot of compassion and it is VERY easy to be taken advantage of due to our good hearts. The best thing you can do is set very clear boundaries. It is 10000% ok to set boundaries and say no when it makes sense. If someone can’t respect your boundary then they do not respect you either and it is best to keep someone like that at arms length and not let them into your heart.

So nicely advising there is a end date on the staying over is best as others have said. I know you are so very worried about having something bad happening. Trust your instincts, if something feels off then you can cancel or tell them they need to leave.

It can be a real struggle to realize this kind of advice. I know that is tough IRL especially if you are not feeling confident. Just know you have our support and well wishes on navigating this challenging situation.

Wishing you the best outcome <3/Mish

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From: Mamadien

Andy, you are asking a great question about boundaries and being concerned about being taken advantage of by others. Please know that you are not the only one who struggles with this in life. I know that it’s not selfish to take care of yourself and to have healthy boundaries with others. I also know that we need to help others at times. The wisdom is in knowing when to help and when to set boundaries. I’ve found that I need to use my critical thinking skills and ask myself questions about why someone is seeking help. I ask if they are indeed in an unsafe situation or at true risk of harm either physically or mentally. I also set boundaries on how long I can help them as they seek to help themselves. That is critical to how much help I am willing to offer. So consider these things as you make a decision on how much help you are willing to give and once you set a boundary - don’t feel bad about that. It’s okay to stick with a boundary and keep yourself healthy and safe. You are a kind friend who is worth more than gold. I’m glad you are here with us.

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From: twixremix

hi andy,

you have an incredibly kind and thoughtful soul, my friend. i understand your concern for the potential of being taken advantage of, especially as it seems you barely know this person staying with you. there’s still a kind way to go about setting boundaries (because trust me, i have a hard time with this too and share similar concerns at times). could you support her in finding new living arrangements while she temporarily stays with you? there are shelters, maybe even family friends, who can let her stay there for a longer period of time. so helping her think through her options will be an amazing solution for both you and her.

thank you for being there for your friend by the way. family issues are so difficult to deal with, especially when she might feel alone and leans on a new awesome friend like you. i know you are concerned with the long-term of this arrangement but i do want to recognize your ability to be a good friend to people like her, through the highs and lows life brings. i hope you can both find a solution that eases both of your concerns and needs. please reach out if you need anything, andy, this whole community is here for you always just like you’re there for your friends.

love,
twix

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From: Rohini_868

Hi Andy,

It’s awesome that you want to help your new friend, but my take on it is more along the practical side. Here are the things I’d like you to think about:
1) HOW can you help your friend - is your friend moving out of their home? Do they have a plan for what they’ll be doing next? Are they working/having funds of their own? Will they be returning home? Are they safe?
2) How is YOUR mental health - helping someone is great,but you always have to protect your own mental health. If having this person stay is difficult for you, then you have to let them know that the invitation is for a fixed period of time (one night, two nights) and then they have to find somewhere else to stay. This is their Gameplan, and it’s not mean.
3) Talk to them about your boundaries - the things you expect of them while they are in your home, what not to do like touch your stuff, be loud late at night, etc. This will let everyone know how to behave, and what’s acceptable.

You’re doing something caring for someone, but that doesn’t make you responsible for them or their mental health. Support them yes, but they have to also do things for themselves. Let us know how it goes!

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hey Andy, Thanks for posting. It can be a worry when you have been taken advantage of before that it could happen again and yes of course it can happen again but at least now you are looking for the signs so you are more prepared than you were the first time and if you see those signs you can do something about it and what you can do (even if you are nice and kind and soft) is let the person know (nicely) that they are not allowed to do anything that takes advantage of your kind nature, you have offered to do something out of kindness of your heart but there is a line that you have that you will not have crossed and if it is crossed then that is where the kindness stops and so do the favors. That way you give people a choice, if they want your friendship and your help they will respect your boundaries. It can be hard to start with putting this into practice but once it starts to work it becomes easy. I hope you can practice some of it. Much Love Lisalovesfeathers x

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Hello Andy,

When it comes to kindness, it can take different forms & sometimes those forms are not what people want to see…but what they need in their lives at the time. Sometimes that looks like you need to stand your ground & tell the other person that they need to respect you. Sometimes that looks like you set up some healthy boundaries & put them in place & ask others to respect them as well as you in that regard.

Maybe, you need to sit down with your friend & talk about how you want to help out but you need to take a step back from what you have been doing. If she is a true friend, she will respect that & adjust to a new living situation. It can be easier said than done, but I believe that you can do it & it is very possible. I want to share with you a stream from Nate about friendships & setting up healthy boundaries. I hope it helps.

You are valid. You are enough. You are strong. You matter.

-StarFox :yellow_heart:

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Hey Andy,

It sounds like you are someone with a big heart, and the desire to help and please others. That can be a double edged sword - you can do a lot of good for others, but you can also be taken advantage of, too. (And it could be unintentional from the other person - they may or may not realize they are taking advantage of a situation).

What I would suggest, is to figure out what your boundaries are with this person - both in the friendship, and in the short-term requests for a place to stay. Put some time and thought into where those are before you talk to them. And when you do decide what those boundaries are, let them know up-front. You can be very nice about it, but be firm in that. Nate Tries Again recently did a stream on Friendships, and touched upon boundaries… I highly suggest you take a look. ( Twitch ) That can lay out what I am trying to get at quite nicely.

You can be both a loving, helpful person and friend, while not enabling or being taken advantage of.

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