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Hi ENFPs,

I was wondering if you could give me your thoughts about a situation I'm having with a very good ENFP friend of mine. We are both single women, I am 30 and she is 33. This friend has supported me through several periods of clinical depression, has taught me that money and external markers of success are not important in comparison to friends, family and the simple things in life. Her and her family have introduced me to alternative lifestyle views, taught me how to crochet, use essential oils and lots of delicious vegetarian recipes. This friend is a great listener and very good at giving helpful advice that encourages you to consider things from a different perspective and become unstuck.

The problem is, this friend (in my eyes) is completely lacking in direction in life. Her family, being alternative, believe the state should just pay people and that we shouldn't need to work. As a result my friend and her mum have been on benefits for years. My friend deliberately sends in bad applications to jobs so she won't get employed. I can understand her aversion to work as she has had several bad experiences with previous jobs, but what I can't understand is how she has no intention to find work she enjoys. I myself have been signed off from work for mental health problems, but I am attending college part time and have been working with a local charity to help me set up a business. I'm also volunteering. I'm in no way perfect, but I am always striving to move forward with my life. My aim is to finish my college course, set up a small business to support myself and to continue to volunteer. Meanwhile my friend gets up every day at midday and spends the day reading, watching films and playing the piano.

On top of finding it hard to understand her life choices, she has also put many conditions on our friendship that I accepted for years as I valued her friendship but these conditions increasingly frustrate me. For example, she refuses any suggestion to meet up before midday as she says she 'hates getting up early.' If we travel anywhere she says she can't understand bus timetables and expects me to give her lifts everywhere (she can't drive). She will only agree to meet up for a coffee or lunch if I pay, even though she knows I am also not working at the moment. The only time I see her now is if I drive round to her house, but then her parents stop what they are doing and sit with us the whole time. I find this very, very strange and have to listen to her mum talk at me when really I just want to have a chat with my friend.

Finally, my friend is 33 and has never had a boyfriend. There's nothing wrong with that, but for the past year and a half she has been infatuated by a man who seems at best indifferent to her, who has been rude to her and kicked her out of a car. He doesn't even know she likes him. Instead of moving on, she spends most of her days lying on her bed replaying conversations they have had. Fair enough if she was a 13 year old girl, but she is 33! I have had several relationships and just don't understand this at all. If a man isn't interested I learnt a long time ago not to waste any time on him. It seems to me that she is deliberately making herself miserable by choosing to obsess about a man rather than focus on improving other aspects of her life. The other day I said that I think she needed to move on from him and focus on things she enjoys to try to help her, but she got very upset with me and we've not really spoken since.

Sorry this is a lot of text to read! I'm not sure if my friend is a typical ENFP but if any of you can help me understand her better or suggestions in how to move forward that would be really helpful. I'm starting to think that maybe we are just too different in terms of our life choices, goals and values and that maybe the friendship is unhealthy for both of us.

Thanks in advance,
Road Less Travelled
 

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Hi ENFPs,

I was wondering if you could give me your thoughts about a situation I'm having with a very good ENFP friend of mine. We are both single women, I am 30 and she is 33. This friend has supported me through several periods of clinical depression, has taught me that money and external markers of success are not important in comparison to friends, family and the simple things in life. Her and her family have introduced me to alternative lifestyle views, taught me how to crochet, use essential oils and lots of delicious vegetarian recipes. This friend is a great listener and very good at giving helpful advice that encourages you to consider things from a different perspective and become unstuck.

The problem is, this friend (in my eyes) is completely lacking in direction in life. Her family, being alternative, believe the state should just pay people and that we shouldn't need to work. As a result my friend and her mum have been on benefits for years. My friend deliberately sends in bad applications to jobs so she won't get employed. I can understand her aversion to work as she has had several bad experiences with previous jobs, but what I can't understand is how she has no intention to find work she enjoys. I myself have been signed off from work for mental health problems, but I am attending college part time and have been working with a local charity to help me set up a business. I'm also volunteering. I'm in no way perfect, but I am always striving to move forward with my life. My aim is to finish my college course, set up a small business to support myself and to continue to volunteer. Meanwhile my friend gets up every day at midday and spends the day reading, watching films and playing the piano.

On top of finding it hard to understand her life choices, she has also put many conditions on our friendship that I accepted for years as I valued her friendship but these conditions increasingly frustrate me. For example, she refuses any suggestion to meet up before midday as she says she 'hates getting up early.' If we travel anywhere she says she can't understand bus timetables and expects me to give her lifts everywhere (she can't drive). She will only agree to meet up for a coffee or lunch if I pay, even though she knows I am also not working at the moment. The only time I see her now is if I drive round to her house, but then her parents stop what they are doing and sit with us the whole time. I find this very, very strange and have to listen to her mum talk at me when really I just want to have a chat with my friend.

Finally, my friend is 33 and has never had a boyfriend. There's nothing wrong with that, but for the past year and a half she has been infatuated by a man who seems at best indifferent to her, who has been rude to her and kicked her out of a car. He doesn't even know she likes him. Instead of moving on, she spends most of her days lying on her bed replaying conversations they have had. Fair enough if she was a 13 year old girl, but she is 33! I have had several relationships and just don't understand this at all. If a man isn't interested I learnt a long time ago not to waste any time on him. It seems to me that she is deliberately making herself miserable by choosing to obsess about a man rather than focus on improving other aspects of her life. The other day I said that I think she needed to move on from him and focus on things she enjoys to try to help her, but she got very upset with me and we've not really spoken since.

Sorry this is a lot of text to read! I'm not sure if my friend is a typical ENFP but if any of you can help me understand her better or suggestions in how to move forward that would be really helpful. I'm starting to think that maybe we are just too different in terms of our life choices, goals and values and that maybe the friendship is unhealthy for both of us.

Thanks in advance,
Road Less Travelled
That's exactly how I behave when I'm unhealthy mentally, and if I spend a lot of time alone without doing anything purposeful. She needs to be part of something that's bigger than her and to which she contributes. Weirdly, she probably doesn't realise something is wrong in her life. Try to persuade her to go to volunteering with you. That should be good for her. And you need to know if she's depressed. Her parents are probably just worried.

Just realise you're doing all you can for her. Don't let her problems be yours or drag you down.
 

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As I see it, friendship is marked by mental and emotional love, things you may have in common and the positive you bring each other. It would be unhealthy for you to maintain the friendship if she demanded you pay for her, as opposed to simply not going unless you did. It is good to be true to your values, though I must say that I've had a few friends who are quite conservative and yet still people that I love dearly. (Not saying you are, only pointing out the polarity as I'm fairly "socialist" in my own ideals"

That isn't to say you need to agree with her life choices - sometimes, distance is key. Perhaps you should spend time apart from each other and come back together at a later date. Regardless of her type, she seems a difficult friend to keep and it isn't unreasonable to desire effort on her part.

That being said, I can understand why she wouldn't want to take the bus - I wouldn't even take the bus to see my sick father in the hospital. I scrapped money together for a cab, there are certain things I simply will not subject myself to. Such as, in the name of getting a job, taking on any old job that I can get. She does seem to need to reevaluate her priorities, but I am almost certain that she isn't well. And that needs to be accounted for on your part, heavily. It doesn't seem to be the lack of job, but rather the lack of motivation and laziness on her part that bother you - and that is ultimately the most important facet. Questions to ask yourself: What does she mean to me? What can I offer her while remaining healthy? Is there anything I can do to motivate and inspire her? Such as the user above suggested, perhaps taking her along with you to volunteer would be acceptable. Sure, you'd have to pick her up and take her, but it might spark and ignite the desire within her to change what needs to be changed.

All in all, you have to ask yourself what rules and boundaries you want to set and just how much this friendship means to you. Dumping her entirely seems cruel and grossly unjust, so be wary of what bridges you may burn. Talk to her about it, express yourself, tell her how you feel. The worst you can do is keep it to yourself. Don't tell her what to do, instead, ask her questions, get her thinking, peel at the layers she protects herself with. Don't accuse her, simply be honest with how the situation is impacting you. If she continues to lash out, feel accused or get angry, then you'll know you've done all you could do.

If I were in her shoes, I imagine I would feel very much like I had given up - even still, it's not impossible to maintain a smile. That doesn't mean the smile reaches my core.
 

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Um. Someone is growing her food, making sure water comes from her tap, building the roads that you give her rides on, etc. I'm curious why she thinks she needn't work when those people do.

I wouldn't date someone with that entitled attitude either. I can see why she's been single so long.
 
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