How can you put a limit on support?

Now, I realize there are lots of different kinds of support. What I’m questioning is how a limit – or more specifically, conditions – can be placed on emotional support.

I have a friend going through a rather tough time right now. She’s had to make some very difficult decisions, and while I don’t think I would have made the same choices in her shoes, I respect the fact that, as an adult, she is capable of making sound decisions that are right for her. More importantly, I support these decisions because right now, more than anything, that’s what she needs. Well, that and a winning lottery ticket, but don’t we all?

But I got a very frustrated message from her today indicating that some of her friends don’t view the situation the same way, and they think she needs to do things their ways. So, I pose the question again: how can you put a limit on support? How can you make it conditional? I’m sure they have her best interests at heart (they don’t want her to get hurt any more than she already has been, for example), but can’t they see their own actions are causing her even more grief? It’s not like these recent decisions have been easy to make – she’s had to weigh a lot of factors before making her choices. I think the least I can personally do as her friend is (a) respect her decisions regardless of my own thoughts or feelings about it, (b) be supportive of her decisions, and (c) make myself available to her when she needs to celebrate the positive things, making sure to bite my tongue if she needs me to commiserate with her on the not-so-positive things.

[sigh] And I thought angst was just a teenage thing!


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