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Unmotivated Bestfriend...


One of my best friends is almost 21 and seems to me to be completely unmotivated. She frequently complains about not having money for anything, and gets really stressed when an unexpected cost comes up (medical bill, car bill, etc). But despite this she still shows very little desire to go out and look for a job. There were even a number of easy jobs right on our campus this semester that she was unwilling to even try for, stating that she would 'never be able to work on campus' for a variety of reasons. She also told me that she was afraid she wouldn't be able to get her work done (even though she has almost none to do for classes-she spends most of her time sleeping, hanging out with friends, or playing games).

I've talked to her about this several times, and she says she's going to try harder, but I've yet to see much effort...it's always more of her saying 'yeah, I'll try harder...tomorrow...I promise' and then, nothing. I am getting frustrated, because I have anxiety problems that are getting worse because I am worrying about her. Others I have talked to think I should just start distancing myself, but I am finding that difficult, as we are good friends and she has always been there for me. I'm not sure I would be able to just stop being her friend, as I do care about her, but I don't know what else to do. Does anyone have any ideas? Is there anything else I could do to motivate her to get herself more motivated, or should I just stop trying?
Nov 25, 2009 @ 02:37 pm

6 Replies


Up to her

You sound like a good friend, trying to encourage and help her. However, I think you're the wrong person to get her keyster in gear. The right person? Herself.

It's like trying to "help" someone quit smoking - if he/she doesn't want to quit, no amount of persuading will really make a difference. Your friend will only get a job when she has no other alternative.

How is she making ends meet now? Do her parents pay for everything, or does she rely on student aid? Or worse - does she constantly hit you or other friends up for a loan? If so, she may have little motivation to actually change her circumstances because there will always be a handout waiting.

The only way she'll learn is if she struggles through it. I'm not saying you should distance yourself or refuse to help. What I am saying is, allow her to fail. Tell her that it's frustrating to constantly listen to her money worries if she is not willing to do something about it. It's like that downer friend who's always crying about men, family, and the universe in general. You just want to say "enough!" It becomes a one-sided relationship really quickly.

Tell her you'd be happy to help with her job search if she promises to interview for promising opportunities. Your help ends if she is constantly pessimistic and/or doesn't actively help with the job search herself. Why should you be doing all the legwork when all she'll say is "oh, this job isn't right for me because ____". That's a copout.

You sound like a great friend, and she's lucky to have you! Best of luck to you both!
Nov 26, 2009 @ 11:46 am


Thank you very much for the wonderful advice, I think you are
absolutely right about pretty much everything! So thank you for taking
the time to respond, I really appreciate it :)
Nov 28, 2009 @ 04:35 pm

just wait...

soon your friend's actions and behaviour will catch up to her. She'll realize sooner or later that she can't just coast by on other people. She's still young and hopefully soon something will knock some sense into her and make her realize she's gotta put on her big girl panties and get on with it.

All you can do is continue to be a good friend. I know it is hard to watch her whine and complain about struggling yet does nothing to better herself. But if you keep doing what you are doing, making your life grow and prosper she will soon come to realize that you have the better end of the stick and she's gonna try and keep up. There is only one way for her to go and that's UP!

Good luck! Be strong and keep on truckin'.
Nov 30, 2009 @ 09:25 pm

It's about you

I wouldn't suggest distancing yourself from her, but I do suggest to perhaps loosen the worrying strings you are holding on her. She sees that you are worried about her, and may be taking advantage of that. If you weren't as available to her as you are, she might see how valuable you are to her and want to show something for it by making some changes in her life.

Concentrate on yourself for a while, do what makes you happy and this won't seem like as big of a deal anymore.
Dec 02, 2009 @ 03:59 pm

lol MissLissa!

"put on your Big Girl panties" - I love that! And also very true.
Dec 03, 2009 @ 07:50 am

I agree...

...with mamaluv, it is really up to her... As for what julieanne said, I agree and I would try to loosen the worrying strings if possible. All the best!
Dec 03, 2009 @ 09:40 am

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