• Keeping Friends

In the Media – When your friend complains about her boyfriend (Verily)

Published: January 19, 2017 | Last Updated: January 19, 2017 By | Reply Continue Reading
Verily Magazine (screenshot)

Verily Magazine (screenshot)

How do you respond when your friend complains about her boyfriend?

You may have had an experience similar to this one: Your close friend is unhappy with her boyfriend or her husband. She’s constantly complains about him to you. You feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place. There are risks of agreeing with her. He upset may dissipate and she will get angry or upset with you when it’s all over. She also might be so embarrassed, that she backs away. If you disagree with her, whether she’s right or wrong, she may feel as if you aren’t a supportive friend.

In an article entitled, “How to React When Your Friend Vents About Her Boyfriend” in Verily Magazine notes:

For women in their twenties or early thirties, there is one topic of conversation that reigns supreme among girlfriends: love. At this stage of life, many of us are looking for it. A few of us have found it. But all of us are talking about it. 

If you’ve ever found yourself sitting across from a friend who is venting about her relationship (which you have, of course), then you know this is dangerous territory. You want to offer you opinion, some advice even, but you don’t want to say too much or say something that could affect the friendship. 

Through a series of interviews with experts, including Dr. Levine, the writer offers some suggestions for how to handle this tricky situation.

Irene S. Levine, PhD, trained clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine is the founder of TheFriendshipBlog.com and author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving A Break-Up With Your Best Friend.

Often called “The Friendship Doctor,” she tells Verily, “Many times, people gain insight into a problem by talking about it and working it through with a friend. It can be very helpful for you, the listener, to reflect back what she is saying, rephrasing it for her.

You can read the article in its entirety on Verity.

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