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April 2, 2024 38 mins

You're not going to get along with everyone and one of those people you don't get along with might end up dating someone you love i.e your friend. Disliking your friends partner often stems from one of three reasons: your dating preferences don't match, you're experiencing platonic jealousy, you're genuinely worried about this other person being bad for your friend, exploitative or abusive. We talk about all three of these outcomes in today's episode along with what to do in response: do you stay silent or speak up? 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
Hello everybody, and welcome back to the Psychology of Your Twenties,
the podcast where we talk through some of the big
life changes and transitions of our twenties and what they
mean for our psychology. Hello everybody, Welcome back to the show.

(00:26):
Welcome back to the podcast. New listeners, old listeners. Wherever
you are in the world, it is so great to
have you here. Back for another episode of the Psychology
of Your Twenties. We have a lot to discuss today,
a lot to learn, a lot of opinions to break
down and to maybe confirm maybe not. I'm really excited

(00:49):
for it because I think that the dilemma we are
discussing today is a pretty common dilemma. I think nearly
every single one of us comes across it at some
point in our lives in our twenties. And what we
are talking about today is disliking someone that one of
your friends is dating. Okay, so let me paint a

(01:10):
picture for you. Your friend has been single for a
couple of years. You know that's been really hard for her.
She really is a lover girl. She is someone who
loves being monogamous. She likes creating a bit of a
nest and a home with the partner, and that just
kind of hasn't really been part of her story recently.

(01:30):
She's just really struggled to find someone. She's been on
all the apps, putting yourself out there, and then one
day she meets someone and they've been dating for a
couple of months, and you finally get to meet him,
and you hate him. He is not your kind of guy.
He's dismissive, he's arrogant, and your friend just cannot seem

(01:54):
to see what is going on. She is like gushing,
she is super in love, and suddenly he is turning
up everywhere, as is expected when one of your friends
is in love with someone you know. You go to
the movies together, he's there. He's at every girl's night,
every group outing, and the more opportunities you have to

(02:15):
spend time with him, the more you actually grow to
dislike him. So this is the dilemma. Do you say
anything or you kind of bound into silence by the
invisible pact we all have with our friends. You don't
have to like everything that they do, but you do
have to be supportive. I think that this experience is

(02:38):
one that all of us can relate to. We can't
be friends with everybody in the world. They're not all
going to be our our cup of tea, And unfortunately,
one of those people we don't get along with may
be destined to end up with someone that we do
love and we love a lot as their partner. I
think this is especially common and perhaps felt more profound

(03:00):
in our twenties for two reasons. Firstly, this is really
a period of exploration and romantic discovery for a lot
of us, right you know, we are exploring what we like,
our type, the kind of people we see a future with,
and there might be a few duds in there. There's
probably going to be a few duds. Actually, that is

(03:21):
a big part of dating in our twenties, being open
to different people, even if they are not always the
one per se. So, just as you may have dated
people your friends despised of trust me, I have been there,
I have done that. Your friends are also going through
the same kind of romantic developmental chapter, and they're going

(03:43):
to bring people into their life and by association, your
life that you're just not going to like. Additionally, when
we're talking about this decade of emerging adulthood, as psychologists
would call it, our most important relationships are our friends
and our partners compared to in our childhood and teenage years,

(04:03):
when our parents and our families really played a bigger role.
As we kind of leave the orbit of the family home,
as we're kind of seeking independence, our friends become our
support network. They are our confidence, They are the people
that we probably spend the most time with. So sometimes
these relationships can come into conflict, right, the relationship between

(04:25):
your friends and your partner, especially if you're super close
friends and you're finding that this new boyfriend or girlfriend
or person is really getting in the way of a
pre established and very deep bond. You can't help but
dislike the disruption of the norm and this new person
because they have changed the nature of your friendship, you know.

(04:46):
Or it's just jealousy, Maybe it's personality differences. Maybe it's
because there are really serious red flags that you know
your friend cannot say. What do you do in those circumstances?
Is it about keeping the peace versus speaking your mind?
Do you have a right to get your point across

(05:08):
or is it just one of those instances where you
just have to stay silent and you just kind of
have to handle this with grace spoiler alert, it's very nuanced,
but I would say the majority of the time, I
think it's only right to bite your tongue, with a
few exceptions that we're going to discuss. That's what we're
going to be talking about, because I know this feeling.
I have been both both friends in this situation, right.

(05:30):
I've been the friend who's been dating somebody that all
of my friends said they hated and disliked and I
didn't want to listen. And I've also been the person
who's seen my friends in relationships like that and been like,
what are they thinking? They need to leave? And there
is actually quite a lot of psychology to pull from
to describe some of this frustration, resentment, even sadness that

(05:53):
we feel during these times, So let us get into it.
I think it's best to first identify why you don't
like your friend's partner, and how I see it is
that we often don't like them for one of three reasons. Firstly,
you don't like them personally because they just aren't your
type of person, but they are your friends type of person.

(06:15):
There is some personality or preference clash going on. Secondly,
you don't like them because this new relationship has changed
the nature of your friendship, meaning that your friend is
perhaps less accessible, less available. They're canceling plans to be
with their partner, and this kind of leads to a

(06:36):
resentment that is projected onto this new person when really
it's just coming from a place of adjustment and what
I like to call growing pains. And finally, you don't
like your friend's partner because of how they treat your friend.
You are beginning to notice some behaviors that are major

(06:57):
red flags, whether that be controlled manipulation, anger, sometimes even abuse,
weaponized incompetence. There's a long list of things that we're
going to get to, and I think that that final
class of reasons is probably the only exception to the
don't say anything rule. Right when you know that this

(07:19):
is like kind of a question of safety, I do
think you have a right to speak up, and we're
going to talk about that in a second. These three
reasons obviously differ greatly in severity, right, like one is
a matter of liking, one is a matter of insecurity,
and the final one is really a matter of, like
we said, safety, So we're going to talk about these

(07:39):
three reasons separately. I think they deserve a different kind
of response, of course, starting with I would say the
first situation, which is definitely the majority of instances in
which we don't like our friend's partner, and it really
comes down to the fact that our preferences clash and
theer and that they chose is not the person that

(08:02):
we would have chosen for them based on our preferences.
There is just something about them that sticks out that
we can't look past. Maybe they're arrogant, they're boring, they're lazy,
they're rude, they have a job that we don't agree with,
and as a result, we kind of get a second

(08:23):
hand ick. It's really so interesting to me when this happens,
because how is it that we can get along so
well with someone that being our friend and not their partner,
Because it's kind of like two limbs or branches, like
sticking out of the same tree, right, Like you would
think that they would be alike, but no, that is
obviously not always the case. And a lot of this

(08:45):
does come down to things that we independently decide for ourselves,
like our non negotiables, like our deal breakers, like our
preferences that our friends are just not always going to
share let's talk about the psychology this for a little while.
So each of us has a unique profile of what
we find attractive in someone, or what we would call

(09:07):
mating preferences in psychology. So thing is mating preferences. I know,
it sounds like super reductive. These preferences. They derive from
a number of factors such as genetics, genetic imprinting, which
essentially says that we seek out partners who resemble our parents,
really strange things like pheromones and their influence on sexual attraction,

(09:30):
attachment style, self perception, self esteem, what feels familiar and
safe to us. There is a whole number of studies
that looks at what it is that creates this unique profile.
That last factor is especially the target of a lot
of academic consideration. We are attracted to people who feel

(09:52):
like they complement us or they're similar to ourselves, based
on things like values, education level, economic status, how we
were raised, even race. This may explain why we often
see people date in their own league. And I know
that is a really weird and reductionist phrase and a

(10:14):
weird thing to say, but it kind of turns out
to be true. It's not always about physical attraction. It's
more about dating people who are aligned with you. We
are more attracted to people who are like us in
some domain, and we're seeing more research say that if
someone meets our core requirements, we may tend to overlook

(10:35):
or justify other things about them that may not be
one hundred percent what we want. There is, of course,
also the theory that opposites attract. There's obviously some I
would say some evidence for that that, you know, we
choose people based on our own weaknesses, based on their
strengths that kind of counteract our weaknesses. Better to say
it like that. So if we are insecure, we seek

(10:57):
out a partner who is confident. If I don't know,
we like the color yellow, we seek out a partner
who likes the color blue, and then we have the
full spectrum. You know, I don't fully think that that
is true. That is a much more psychoanalytic theory and
has less evidence, but I think nonetheless we've kind of
been sidelined. Everything kind of combines to create this profile, right.

(11:18):
What we find familiar creates a profile. What we find
attractive based on our past creates this profile. Our education
level creates this profile. Our attachment creates this profile, and
this is going to be different for all of us.
None of us are going to be the same. None
of us are going to have the exact same background,
the exact same upbringing, genetics, emotional and relationship history. Even

(11:43):
like if you think about like your siblings, even people
who are siblings end updating people who are so different.
So their standards are going to differ between you and
your friend, and it's frustrating. But you kind of just
have to be there to watch that and be there
to accept that what you might look for someone they're
not looking for as well. I think the reason this

(12:04):
can be so uncomfortable is because you really want what's
best for them. This is someone you adore and cherish,
you obviously think is incredible. Very few people can meet
the standard that you've set for your friend in your
own mind, and we want to protect them from pain. Right.
It's very easy in those circumstances to think, you know,

(12:26):
I know what is best, I know how to protect
my friend. I know that this relationship isn't gonna work.
They need to just listen to me, and they would
avoid so much pain. I get it. You want to
be their eyes whilst love is kind of buying them
in a way, and whilst they're getting carried away in
the honeymoon stage, you want to be their guide and
you might be sitting there thinking, you know, I need

(12:48):
to do something about this as a friend. I'm going
to pause you right there. It's important to remember that
this person who they are dating, who you don't like,
may be part of their journey, which is shitty as
it is. Just because you see the potential mistake doesn't
mean that you can do the work for your friend.

(13:10):
They let you make your mistakes, I'm sure of it,
and now it's your time to repay the favor. You
don't know what this person will be for them in
their journey, right You don't know what kind of decisions
they'll make for this person, or to stay with this
person that actually might end up creating a life after
this person that's amazing. You don't know what this person

(13:31):
is leading them to, what they need to experience through
this relationship. Or you see is someone you love and
you want to kind of cushion the fall and make
their life easier. And sometimes in those circumstances, I think
you just have to bite your tongue. This is one
of those examples, If they make your friend happy, if
they are respectful and kind, that is an equally crucial factor.

(13:55):
Maybe that's all we can ask for, and your dislike
should not be a factor. I think, in fact, it
can be rather hurtful if expressed. You know, I had
a friend once say to me that an ex partner
of mine was boring and annoying, and you know what,
I interpreted that as whether this is correct or incorrect.

(14:16):
I interpreted this at the time as my friend saying,
you know, it's not that I don't like your partner,
it's that I don't think that your preferences are good enough.
I saw it as like a judgment of my standards
and that they were so low that I was willing
to be with this person because I was settling, essentially,
And so it turned from being a criticism of this

(14:38):
guy of my ex to being a criticism of me,
and it made me in my mind at least, and
it made me question the relationship but also the friendship
at the same time. Was I a bad judge of character?
Is this what this person thought? What else did this
friend think of me? Should I just break up with
this guy? Because eventually I would see what my f

(15:00):
friends saw, and there would be this endless round of
I told you, sos, I think when you criticize a
person's partner out of personal dislike, you are not helping
them and you are at risk of creating resentment. Especially
since we are seeing more research coming out of social
psychology that our friends' opinions on our dating lives do

(15:21):
impact our decision making. So there was this study published
a few years ago out of Indiana University, and what
they found was that when people knew that their friends
did not like their partner, this greatly influenced the actual
length of the relationship. Now, that could be for two reasons.
Either our friends impacted our decision and so we called

(15:41):
it quits when we shouldn't have. Or maybe our friend
recognized something before we did the relationship was doomed to fail.
We just were in you know, the friend just saw
it before we had the opportunity. True. I just think, regardless,
don't put up the war between yourself and this person
that you can care about from a place of judgment.

(16:02):
An even larger consequence I think of you expressing your
opinion and your friends disagreeing is that they will no
longer want to talk to you about what's going on
in their relationship. So if something seriously was to go wrong,
they feel too ashamed or embarrassed or isolated to tell
you anything because they don't want to deal with the embarrassment.

(16:25):
They don't want to deal with you being like, oh,
I knew all along. That's like the worst feeling that
you can have. I think what's best in this situation
is to really say nothing. Really kind of just have
to bite your tongue, make sure that your friend is
still still feels like they can rely on you to
talk about it, they can rely on you to rant

(16:48):
about it, they can ask for your advice, and they
can kind of come to you in times of need
without the risk that your opinion on their partner is
going to influence them or maybe hurt your friendship. I
know it's really difficult because you obviously care, but there
is definitely a level of sensitivity required. So let's talk

(17:09):
about this second reason. You may not like your friend's
partner because you are perhaps jealous. I know, we don't
like to admit it. Jealousy is an ugly word in
our brains. To be called jealous is not something that
we like to hear, and jealousy is also not something
that we're likely going to fess up to, but sometimes
we just can't help that feeling. It's like any other emotion.

(17:32):
It sometimes feels like it's coming from a place that
we don't have control over. And it's not necessarily sexual jealousy.
You are not attracted to their friend, you are not
attracted to their partner. It's more a form of platonic
jealousy whereby you feel like this previously solid friendship and
bond has been dismantled by this new relationship, whereby suddenly

(17:57):
your friend has a new set of priorities not as
high on the list as their partner is. I really
get this, I really do. It's always so much more
fun when you and your friends are all single together,
or you're all experiencing the same things, or there is
that closeness, you're always the top of each other's list,
And when that gets taken away from us because of

(18:20):
a new boyfriend and new girlfriend, we feel very instinctively,
it's a natural reflux, I would say, to feel protective
over the things that we value, whether that is a
material possession or a relationship, because innately we are kind
of greedy creatures, right, and we want people all to ourselves.

(18:42):
I know that's kind of an ugly thing to say.
That's something that I think we feel a lot of
shame for, but it's just kind of the truth, right.
Humans want more. We always want more. We always want
what's best for us. We always want more love, more possession,
more affection, And sometimes I think seeing something that we value,

(19:05):
like our friend's affection and our friend's compassion and our
friend's company get quote unquote taken away, can lead us
to feel very defensive. Unfortunately, I don't think that that
is something we have control over and it is not
something that we can voice. There will come a time
when we need to adjust and accept that other relationships

(19:28):
may be a priority for people, especially if this new
partner is someone that they're thinking about having kids with,
or settling down with or getting married. That happens a
lot more the further we get into our twenties. And
not to be like kind of tough love about it,
but you can either stay in kind of Peter Penland
and be like, no, I want to be single and

(19:50):
fun and get drunk and be all together for the
rest of our lives and watch everyone else outgrow that
dream and outgrow that version of reality, or you can
kind of adapt and grow with them in those situations. Though,
I do still feel like if you're sensing resentment coming
up towards your friend, that is something you need to

(20:12):
talk about. You don't necessarily need to say, Hey, I'm
jealous of your boyfriend because he gets more of your
attention and that's so unfair. You can be delicate about it.
I think it's worth addressing and saying, hey, like, next
time we hang out, can we just have one on
one time? You know, I'm really missing you and I
feel like we haven't had a chance to, like fully,
you know, catch up. Ask them to hang out one
on one. Be somewhat assertive that you need quality time

(20:36):
that is just you and them, or that there are
things that you don't want to share with the stranger
i e. Their new boyfriend or girlfriend. I think a
good friend is receptive to that, and they don't want
to see you hurt or bothered or upset, so they'll
listen to you. They'll notice that there is something that
is on your mind. Perhaps they'll address it, or they'll

(20:58):
probably guess it, and I'll make some change that your
relationship is being not jeopardized, but is being altered and
changed by their new priorities, and they have to decide
whether they want to continue with that priority list or
make sure that you feel cared for again. This isn't
about you expressing an opinion about their partner or wanting

(21:21):
to have some influence over their decision making when it
comes to their relationship. This is just about addressing what
is within your scope, which is the quality of your
friendship and what you feel you need and your relationship
needs in order to be sustained. I think although these
examples are tough, they do require us to have a

(21:41):
bit of sensitivity and think about what we would want
to hear in these situations. We all know what it
feels like to just be like totally enraptured with someone
totally head over heels. We have our blinders on, we
really can't see anything but them, and it is like
a wonder full time. It will also at some stage pass,

(22:04):
and you want to make sure that your relationships, your
friendships are still there when it does. So I think
just catching your friends attention and being like, hey, I
would love to just like see you one on one
I would love to talk to you one on one.
Can we do something that's like quality time. That's a
really important first step. I think that if they respond
to that positively, great. If they don't, that's a further

(22:27):
discussion we have to be like. Then you can kind
of pull out the card of like, never say you
don't like their partner, but do say like, I don't
like how our relationship or our friendship has developed since
you started dating this person. You know, I'm so happy
for you, but I also think that what we have
is important and will be around, has been around a

(22:47):
lot longer than this other relationship. Hopefully I want it
to be around for the rest of our lives, so
let's keep working on it. I do think though, there
are other instances in which we can see things that
our friend maybe can't, and you do feel like you
need to intervene, You rightfully should be saying something this

(23:08):
does happen, and we're going to talk about all of
that and more after this shortbreak. Toxic relationships in our
twenties at any age really do exist, and they are
a disaster to watch from the outside. They are so painful,

(23:30):
especially when we feel powerless to do anything to help
this person to change their situation. I think it's especially
distressing when we see a friend falling into a situation.
We know it's not good for them and we really
cannot intervene, and when we do attempt to intervene, it

(23:54):
only serves to jeopardize the connection that we have with
that person and our relationship with them as a friend.
I think we kind of take on the role of
guardian angel in a lot of circumstances. We are the
ones who defend our friends when they can't. We are
there for them when they need us most. We will
be honest with them about what matters and supportive about

(24:15):
the things that you might look small to us. And
whilst I have readily been recommending a silence as the
best policy for situations where you don't like your friend's partner,
I think that there are a series of scenarios where
you have a duty to speak up and speak up quickly.

(24:36):
Here are some examples of this. I think if your
friend is dating someone who is overly controlling and tries
to limit their contact with you or other important people
in their life, if they are dating someone who is physically, emotionally, mentally,
verbally abusive, somebody who is enabling them and causing them
to make decisions that you know are dangerous. Someone who

(24:59):
has lied to them about something, especially something important, and
you know the truth, right, So if they are cheating
on your friend or lying about something in their past
and you know otherwise, I think that you really have
a responsibility to say something. If this person is manipulating
them financially, if they are displaying signs of extreme jealousy

(25:20):
or possessiveness. I think essentially, any kind of behaviors that
are coercive, abusive, manipulative, or exploitative, you have a duty
to intervene, even if just from like a wellness check perspective,
making sure they are okay. That is the bare minimum.
There is certainly so much more that you can do,
and I want to talk you through this, but before then,

(25:41):
a quick caveat that there is so much advice to give,
not all of it is going to match your situation.
And there are so many other online resources for this,
and trusted individuals like a psychologist or a counselor, or
even a doctor or someone in law enforcement that you
should reach out to for more specialized, individualized help. I
know that a lot of us know that, but sometimes

(26:04):
I just want to make sure that you know, if
it is a really serious situation, you know where to
go and you know that there are people out there
to help you. But whilst you are trying to help
your friend, there are some things that you can do.
I think firstly, create a space for open communication. You're
not going to know or learn anything. Your friend is

(26:25):
not going to address anything unless they feel like there
is a space for them to talk and talk safely
about it. So I would say be patient, invite them
over to your place, keep the conversation light to begin with.
Ask them about their life, Ask them about how everything's going,
so it doesn't feel like an interrogation. They don't constantly

(26:46):
feel like you want information about their relationship and you're
trying to get them to leave. Ask them questions that
get them to reach the conclusion you've already reached on
their own, because that will be more meaningful and effective
if they recognize it themselves, rather than having you tell

(27:06):
them and feeling judged about it and feeling like they're
getting all this information and they're not quite sure it's
correct because they haven't reached the same point in the
same conclusion as you have. You know, if your friend
hasn't asked for help, you can't really expect to go
into this conversation and just speak your mind unfiltered, right,

(27:28):
because they're going to be like, wait, what the heck,
where is this coming from? Like my relationship is fine,
my relationship is perfect. You know, there's a difference between
wanting to help and passing judgment and statements like he
treats you so badly or you just have to leave him.
That is not going to help them articulate how they

(27:48):
feel and therefore get to that same point that you have.
So when I'm talking about these questions that help them
reach their own conclusion, this includes things like do you
think that that's normal how they're acting, or how do
you feel about that? How do you feel about it
when she does that? When he acts that way? Is
that what you wanted in a relationship? Is that what

(28:10):
you like in a relationship. All of these questions seem
innocent enough, but I think if the person is unhappy
and experiencing a difficult situation, it will reveal a lot,
and it also keeps the focus on them and their feelings,
not on your dislike for their partner, which I think

(28:31):
can kind of make it seem like, oh, well, you know,
they're only talking about this with me because they hate
my boyfriend and they just want them gone. That's not
what you're trying to do, right You're trying to get
them to open up, and if they are opening up,
if they do, don't judge them, Like I said before,
statements like how could you not say this? How did
it get this bad? What do you think was gonna happen?

(28:53):
You need to break up with him. I've known this
since the beginning. Dump him that, first of all, is
like a very shallow way of saying things that doesn't
take in the complexity of the situation. But it also
puts you on opposing teams when you want to be
in the same corner and you want them to see
you as an ally, not as someone they need to
justify their choices to alongside that, I also think don't

(29:17):
try and force their hand by creating ultimatums or forcing
them to really like have to come up with a
plan straight away, Like I think that sense of urgency,
I like, what are you going to do about it?
You have to break up with them right now. This
is terrible this is a disaster. I know that you're
trying to do the right thing. I know that that's
where you have the best intentions in mind to help

(29:40):
guide them out of what you see as a terrible situation.
But I think that sense of urgency is going to
set off so much panic an alarm that if it
was me, would probably result in a complete mental and
emotional shutdown. They may have just realized that something was wrong.
They may have just realized that what this behavior, this

(30:01):
behavior they're experiencing, is not right. They're going to need
some time to adjust because they probably do love this person.
You cannot go from loving someone to hating them in
an instant just because your friend has said something right like,
it's a lot, It's a much more complicated journey than that.
It could be take months. It could mean that they

(30:23):
just need some more evidence to understand what is going on.
And I think that that urgency created by forcing them
to make a decision can create a lot of cognitive dissonance.
They obviously value your opinion, they know how they want
to be treated, but they also know that they love
this person and they believe that this person loves them back.

(30:44):
So it's hard to square all of those different and
contradictory beliefs into one small space. Right, It's hard to
believe all those things at once. They're going to experience
some mental discomfort while they work through that, and they
want we want them to choose the two former beliefs
that your opinion is valuable and that they know how

(31:06):
they want to be treated. We don't want them to
choose the two former beliefs of like, oh sorry, the
two latter beliefs ladder former last beliefs of like, oh,
this person loves me and this is normal. Also, I
think it's important in these situations to have empathy for
why people may accept what you don't think they deserve.
It's really crucial to be aware of what keeps people

(31:29):
in bad relationships. It's very easy for us to, you know,
say that that's bad and say that they shouldn't tolerate that,
and that's that. You know, there it is. The logic
is sound. But you're not the one experiencing the attachment.
You are not the ones still reflecting on the good memories.

(31:49):
You are not the one who sees this person's potential
and has imagined a future. You're an outside party and
We all know the feeling of giving someone advice we
know we could never take, or knowing that something is
easier said than done. People stay for a lot of reasons.
They're scared of the unknown. This situation may not be great,

(32:14):
but at least it's the devil that we know. We're
fearful of what it could mean to be alone. There
is so much uncertainty to a life without this other person,
without the comfort of a partner. And although it is
maybe a toxic relationship, a negative relationship, at least it
feels comfortable and familiar, and leaving feels really scary. It

(32:35):
may also come down to poor self esteem. They might
not think that they can do better. We all have
our own sense of self worth and our self concept.
And although you may be looking at your friend being like, literally,
you are the most beautiful, magnetic, intelligent, wonderful human to exist,
they may not share that belief or see it from

(32:55):
your outside perspective. I think also sometimes we are blind
to the problems in our relationship because we need to
be in order to survive, in order to you know,
from a place of self preservation, you know, being able
to recognize that things are wrong would mean that we
would have to leave, which could jeopardize our safety, which

(33:16):
could put us in the place of a lot of
doubt and fear. So it's easier to think that this
is normal. It's easier to accept what is happening to us.
There's also shame, a lack of resources, or the fact
that what they're experiencing has become normalized. There is this
theory in psychology actually called and learned helplessness that we've

(33:38):
spoken about on the podcast before, and essentially psychologists came up,
but researchers discovered this idea when looking at experiments with dogs,
and it was pretty pretty nasty. But they would tie
these dogs up and they would essentially abuse them, and
they couldn't escape because they were restrained. They would then

(33:59):
let the dogs go and they would continue to abuse them.
So even though the dogs weren't chained up, even though
they really were free to go over they wanted free
to escape the pain, they stayed because they had normalized
the experience and they had learned that they were helpless
in changing anything. Sometimes these things are so ingrained they

(34:20):
take time to dismantle, So you just have to be
there for them. You have to be gentle offer support,
a shoulder to cry on, a place to be heard,
enless the help of others they trust in. Love to
get them to a point where they feel secure enough
and safe enough and supported enough to do something right

(34:41):
if they do make the decision. Keep them focused on
the future, how much better it is going to be,
how much you love them and believe in them, how
much they have waiting for them in the next few months,
that is going to be so beyond their wildest dreams.
Pain a picture for them and their choices. Affirm that
this is the right decision, that they are making the

(35:04):
right choice, that you are proud of them, but don't
lose hope if you know they go back a few times.
Your job is not to force them into a decision
they're not prepared for, but to love them and aid
their decision, even if it's you know, not the one
that you would make. These situations are hard for everyone.
I know that we started off talking about like just

(35:25):
personally not liking somebody's partner, which is such a common experience,
but it can get more extreme than that. And I
know you feel a supreme sense of duty and you
want to do something and you wish that you were
in charge and you wish that you could make this
change happen. But it's also not about you. I think
in all of these examples, whether you dislike your friend's
partner for arbitrary reasons from a place of jealousy or

(35:47):
from a place of genuine concern and safety, that is
not about you. None of that is about you. It's
about your friend. It is about what you feel they deserve,
what they do deserve the relationship that they have with you.
And I think sometimes we can let our own ego
get in the way and make us feel like we
know best and make it feel like we could just

(36:09):
do this all better, and we should. They should just
let us take the wheel. And they don't know anything,
and they're making these mistakes, and what were they thinking.
It's not our journey, it's not our life, it's not
our decision. So you just have to be there to
support them and pick up the pieces at the end
of the day, because you know your friend will only

(36:30):
listen and accept help when they are ready. And if
you alienate them by judging them by being like your
partner is such a loser, they're annoying, they're awful, you know,
like I said before, we know what it feels like
to be in love. Whose side do you think they're
gonna choose? It's not rational, it's definitely not logical, but

(36:51):
it's very human to let ourselves be guided by emotion.
So I hope that this episode has been of some help.
I'm gonna leave some resources the description. I know that
this was kind of ended up being a really vulnerable
and intense conversation, but I also hope that it helps
because I know that a lot of us in our
twenties are witnessing this or have experienced this where someone's

(37:12):
just in that kind of relationship where you're like, do
I need to say something? And it's hard to decide
whether you do or whether you need to stay silent.
So I hope that this has kind of guided you
in that dilemmaon in that experience. I've been there, I've
done that, I've got the T shirt. I have been
both friends in this scenario. And you know, there were

(37:34):
things that I think I've said in the past to
friends that I shouldn't have said that have tarnished our friendship.
And there has been things that have said to me
that have made me really isolate myself and not want
to talk to those people. So hopefully I've brought that
experience to the table, You've taken something away from it,
You've learned from it. And if there is someone you
think needs to hear this episode, please feel free to

(37:54):
share it with them, share them a link, let them
know that they heard, let them here this advice for themselves.
Maybe if you have an episode suggestion, or if you
just want to get engaged with the community, please follow
along at that Psychology podcast on Instagram. We would love
to see you over there, and make sure to leave
a five star review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you

(38:17):
are listening right now and make sure you're following along.
We've got some really cool episodes coming out, some that
are a little bit less serious than this. But once again,
I'm wishing you love and luck and we will be
back next week with another episode.
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