Am I fueling my friend’s negativity?

Jan 30, 2023

 

QUESTION

Dearest Venerable Robina,

 

May I please ask you for advice again?

 

If a person is really full of frustration and mental struggles, is it wise to stay around them? I rented a room in a woman’s house: I want to be there, I know it’s hard for her alone, even if she says she needs nobody. 

 

I guess she feels more angry than usual because she is always comparing herself and has the idea nobody likes her. 

 

But perhaps I make it more heavy for her. She gets so angry. I know I am not the reason, but perhaps it is putting oil on the fire?

 

Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am a bodhisattva or something like this. But I learn a lot from her. I am thankful and like her. And for me it would be fine just helping her, carrying heavy stuff etc., without personal talking or anything, just be there. 

 

Lovely Robina, is it possible, you can tell me something to make sense of it?

 

With regards,

H

 

ANSWER

I am happy to hear from you again, dearest H!

 

I understand well what you are saying. The only thing I’m not clear about is who this person is — your mother? Your sister? Your partner?

 

Nevertheless, it seems to me you are good for her. But you just need to be there strong and clear. No need to respond, no need to argue, no need to expect her to be different. Just wish her well. That’s it!

 

Even though she behaves and talks the way she does, you are good for her.

 

But if you’re feeling a bit like a martyr, that’s no good for you.

 

What do you think?

 

Much love,

Robina

 

QUESTION

Dearest Venerable Robina,

 

Thank you so much for your answer! 

 

No, I don’t feel like a martyr, not at all. I want to be there for her and I can. There is no sacrifice. There are only moments I feel irritated and it is hard for me, but I can handle it. And as long as I see it this way, I am fine with it.

 

No, she is no relative, no partner. I was working for her, saw she needed help and having someone she can finally count on in her tough life.

 

So when the woman asked two years ago, I rented the room and moved in. She was thankful, trusted me a bit and we even had funny moments. I think we were friends.

 

Everything would be okay for me. But, dearest Robina, I am still not sure if it is good for her that I am staying.

 

Robina, what is happening to her? Her thinking has been only negative for over a year. Am I giving her the fuel for more negativity or not? There are moments she realizes how selfish and destructive she acts, and she feels more guilty. And more hate grows. Hating other people and herself.

 

Could you please tell me how this might be good for her? Perhaps my good intention can’t reach what seems to be closed up in her totally. Even turned into a weapon.

 

With greatest gratitude and much love,

H

 

ANSWER

H, I understand.

 

For her, her own anger and unhappy mind are the cause of her suffering, so just let her be. Love her for who she is. You’re not causing it!

 

You are being her friend, it seems to me. Most people would be really mean to her and make it all worse. You are not doing that. That is wonderful! Be content with that. And, again, do not think that your presence is adding fuel to the fire. No! 

 

So, if you enjoy being there, if it’s good for your mind, then stay. But you don’t have any particular responsibility to stay if you don’t want to. 

 

Love,

Robina

 

QUESTION

Dearest Venerable Robina,

 

Thank you very much for your answer!

 

I will go one step at a time, as you say!

 

ANSWER

Keep moving, dearest H, you’re doing beautifully!

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