‘Liewe Lulu, my best friend is exhausting’

Liewe Lulu is Food For Mzansi’s no-holds-barred agri agony aunty. While she receives many letters from across South Africa, preference is given to those who are working in the agricultural sector. Yes, farmers have issues too, and Liewe Lulu’s got the tissues

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Liewe Lulu is your designated agri agony aunt. How can she help? Photo: Food For Mzansi

Unwilling to be a crutch, from Bloemfontein writes…

My friend is going through the most. She had a bad breakup this year and needed somewhere to stay, so naturally I took her in. It has been months. I have loaned her money, taken her on my family trips and spent hours trying to nurse her broken heart.

I am kind of getting frustrated at this point. I have tried to help her to get back out there and live her life but she sticks to me like a 20c Chappies. She is exhausting.

She calls and offloads her problems and gets emotional when I do not return her calls. I am a farmer, I am married and I am a mother. My cup is already running on empty, what should I do?

My dearest Crutch

A little empathy and compassion for others is not a bad thing, but shouldering another person’s problems and absorbing their stress, will eventually wear you out.

Watch yourself.


Most people need an outlet to vent about their challenges that they are dealing with in life and knowing you have someone you can turn to in times of trouble, can be comforting. But sometimes one friend does all the comforting while the other person does all the venting.

If you find yourself always having to offer a shoulder to cry on, it can get a little overwhelming and emotionally draining. Even though helping those closest to you navigate difficult breakups, challenging work situations or issues with family can be rewarding. If it happens all the time or if your friend doesn’t reciprocate by being there for you, it can quickly weigh you down mentally, emotionally and sometimes even physically.

The next time she calls, try this:

You: “Hey bestie, lovely to hear from you. How about lunch on the 24th?”

She with a stammer will likely respond:  “Wait, wait, but that is a month away.”

You: “I am booked and busy, love. I won’t be able to breathe for the next couple of weeks. I would love to chat and that is why I have penned you in for a very long lunch, babes.”

Every time she calls after that say, “See you on the 24th.”

When the 24th eventually arrives, be happy to see her, give her your undivided attention, praise her for being a tough cookie for being so strong.

By the end of next year, you’ll have weaned her, and the friendship will softly recede into a quieter kind of goodwill.

ALSO READ: Liewe Lulu: I have feelings for two men

Write to Liewe Lulu

Liewe Lulu is Food For Mzansi’s agri agony aunty. The content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical and/or psychological advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.
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