— Ann S., Chicago
Readers everywhere are shaking their heads, wondering why you want to be a carpet for someone else to walk over? That's the issue here. You wasted years indulging your friend's many self-inflicted problems, a role that's about as thankless as any I can think of. You've permitted yourself to count for very little while she magnetizes every conversation to herself. Now, to top it off, you're looking for ways to feel guilty about not doing enough.
Please, try to develop the quality known as strength. Otherwise, you will be somebody's carpet again. The first place to start is with boundaries. Your friend trampled on you because you let her, and when you—feebly and gently—stood up for yourself, she was outraged. Let her go her own way. Learn when to say no by first checking in to how you feel. If someone is taking advantage of you, the feeling is never good. Notice when it doesn't feel good and put up limits, such as, "I can only talk for a few minutes." Then, when you find your limits are respected, you will discover that, as good as it feels to help others, it feels just as good to be strong.
Next question: Should I stop settling in my marriage?
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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