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When a friendship turns toxic? Treat or release?

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Treat or release?

  1. 1. Treat or release?

    • 3
      Treat
    • 21
      Release

24 members have participated

We are in our last semester Jr. year and we have formed a very tight knit group. We have all pushed and challenged each other in a great way. We are at the top of our class and I know I wouldn't be where I am right now without them.

Here's the issue: one our "members" has been slowly dropping of the radar for the last semester and a half. Not coming to classes and when she does she's miserable. She says she wants to be there but just doesn't show. Of course when it come to the night before the exams she's calling late at night crying that she doesnt get the material, she's studied SO much but shes lost, she doesnt X,Y,Z (honestly does it matter what excuse she has?)

I would normally cut my losses and move on but she has helped each one of us, and we all feel like it's our turn to help her. She just doesn't seem to want help until the night before the exam. We spend hours studying while she's out partying or worse just "taking a nap". It's starting to feel like she wants to ride off our work. She wants us to take time from sleeping and being calm the night before and spend hours reviewing material that toke days for us to learn.

The kicker is that after our last test she called us out for "holding back" material from her. She cried and said that we intentionally set her up to fail. I dont know if something is up w/her home life or if she has some other issues nor does she want to come up with a valid reason for not participating. This has turned into a one-way relationship and to be honest I just dont have the energy to deal with her. It's breaking our group apart, and I honestly dont know what I would do without everyone.

Any advice on what to do? Just ride it out and let her fall away or take the plunge and cut the cord?

Jory, MSN, APRN, CNM

Has 10 years experience.

To me, this isn't even a valid question...if she didn't do this until the last semester, there is obviously something going on.

I don't understand what is so hard about one of you that is closest to her going to lunch with her one day and say, "Hey, you have had it together this whole time, and this semester everything has changed. Can we do something to help?"

One of two things will happen:

1. You'll find out what is wrong and try to offer a solution

2. She won't tell you.

If the second option happens you have to level with her..."Jane, I have to be honest with you...we love having you as part of our group but you have to do your part. We don't mind helping you if you put your own time in, but we don't have time ourselves to carry you...we aren't going to be able to help you if you don't help yourself."

If she still balks then let her go...there isn't anything you can do about it and your conscious will be clear that you tried.

^^ Jory that's great advice! I second that.

hodgieRN

Specializes in ER trauma, ICU - trauma, neuro surgical. Has 10 years experience.

If she's going out and partying all the time, it sounds like she's more concerned with getting hammered and enjoying the last of her college days. If she was sleeping all day, never leaving her apartment, and crying all the time, then I'd be worried. Yeah, talk to her. But I bet she gonna make a case that requires more studying from your end. And I don't stand people that blame others for their procrastination. If there's something really bad going on, she doesn't need to be moving ahead in nursing right now anyway.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Talk to her and throw her the rope to save herself but if she still refuses....cut her loose.

Have a heart to heart with her and listen to what she has to say. Voice your concerns. Something is going on and sometimes we need a friend to help get us back on track. Good luck.

Appreciate the feedback. All of us have tried to talk to her, she says everything is fine and there isn't anything wrong. Like I said in my very long winded post was that "nor does she want to come up with a valid reason for not participating". This is an adult student not a 19 year old and she's worked hard to get where she is so we all felt something was going on. She's normally open but hasn't said anything is going on that would change her normal pattern.

This is the way I see it (which I know may not be the truth but when she wont say whats going on we have to form our own opinion) I think she's just gotten caught up in going out and having some fun after years of studying it feels good. She doesn't even answer any of our class but the nights leading up to the exams she's calling all of us. And this has been building up for the last semester and a half.

I guess the truth is none of us want to just walk away. It's kind of amazing the friendships you build going through all the stress together builds a tight bond. I think that all of us are hurt that she blows us off and then irritated that she reconnects when its good for her. It's emotionally draining and frustrating.

rubato, ASN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/hematology.

I'll be the other side. Cut her loose. If you've tried to talk to her, she says it's fine, still parties and has no interest in coming to class; then you've done your part. Move on. I would never, ever, help someone out the night before an exam. I'd help them out any other time, but if they can't bother, then why should I? I understand your history, but it sounds like you guys have tried, and for a long time. Let her fail once and see that her new strategy just isn't going to work.

I think you already knew what you needed to do before making this post. You just needed the validation. The truth is none of us know this girl like you do, and you must do what you think you must do.

Stephalump

Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

I think you already knew what you needed to do before making this post. You just needed the validation. The truth is none of us know this girl like you do' date=' and you must do what you think you must do.[/quote']

I agree.

There aren't a whole lot of options here. You're either going to keep helping this girl on the night before, or you're not. Either way it seems like you've lost a friend, so it's really about you and what you're willing to keep giving.

Time to release....

She is out partying while you are studying and then she wants help while she is cramming? Sounds to me like she has her priorities wrong...you can't spoon feed someone nursing material..forget it...you don't want to go down with the ship do you?

Tait, MSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 14 years experience.

To me, this isn't even a valid question...if she didn't do this until the last semester, there is obviously something going on.

I don't understand what is so hard about one of you that is closest to her going to lunch with her one day and say, "Hey, you have had it together this whole time, and this semester everything has changed. Can we do something to help?"

One of two things will happen:

1. You'll find out what is wrong and try to offer a solution

2. She won't tell you.

If the second option happens you have to level with her..."Jane, I have to be honest with you...we love having you as part of our group but you have to do your part. We don't mind helping you if you put your own time in, but we don't have time ourselves to carry you...we aren't going to be able to help you if you don't help yourself."

If she still balks then let her go...there isn't anything you can do about it and your conscious will be clear that you tried.

I agree with everything above.

Additionally, for me, partying and sleeping are BOTH signs of potential depression. If things have changed this dramatically there is something else going on.

I said treat, but only if treating means having a "come to Jesus" talk with her. That you are willing to help her in study group, but by the time it's the night before the exam, it's too late. That you gave her lots of opportunities to study with you, and she sure could have showed up to class, but didn't. Basically, she can get help on your study days. The night before the exam, you're not going to answer calls from her. Either she wants to pass or she doesn't. Only she can decide if she'd rather party or graduate.

Sounds like you did help her and she was unable to bounce back. Going as far as blaming you for her failure.....sounds like she needs professional help. As others have indicated she is most likely depressed and not finding the most therapeutic coping mechanisms to handle it all.

I don't know how your school operates but at mine if a student starts having "issues" we can go to the director or any faculty member to help that student. Also if there is an on-campus counselor available the group or just the two of you can make a visit.

I understand you feel you should stick with her but there is only so much you can do for her. And ask yourself if you are really helping her when she only comes to you for exams. If she needs to fail in order to see how far down she has gone, then maybe that's for the best.

Good luck!

Edited by Jennybrie
Removed quote

My first thought was, Is this woman in an abusive relationship? Not your problem, certainly, but if you do have that one more talk before you cut her loose, ask if she feels safe and if anyone is trying to hurt or control her.

beckyboo1

Has 30 years experience.

My first thought was, Is this woman in an abusive relationship? Not your problem, certainly, but if you do have that one more talk before you cut her loose, ask if she feels safe and if anyone is trying to hurt or control her.

I thought about that too....also Clinical Depression.

HM-8404, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma. Has 8 years experience.

As a student you need to decide what is most important to you, getting through nursing school or getting her through. I am a student also and I see all my classmates as adults. They are not my children. When I enrolled in nursing school I never agreed to take on any additional dependents. I will help someone that is having trouble with certain subject matter, but ensuring they understand is NOT my responsibility. That is what the faculty is for. We were warned during orientation not to allow any nursing school friends to get us into their drama or drag us into the ditch with them if they go off the rails. We were told you will have to cut some people loose along the way, or end up in the ditch with them. They told us to keep focused why we are there, TO BECOME NURSES!!

Your classmate may have problems, but are you qualified to help her, do you even have the time?