My friends keep asking me for advice about the same issues what seems to be over and over again. How do I gently tell them that these problems seem like a bigger situation if they keep on happening, and that I keep giving them the same advice and don’t know what else to do? Especially when the problems are related to family.
To start, props to you for repeating the same advice over and over again – that can be beyond annoying and if you’ve been keeping a level head ever after giving the same advice over and over you’re truly a great friend. I think the next time your friends come to you to talk about this problem you need to be honest with them. Before you answer ask them if you can be completely honest with them, even if that is what they’ve been expecting from you, you should still address that that is what you are going to do so they are warned when the advice is something they might not want to hear. Then you need to tell them straight up that the problem they are describing seems like something bigger and maybe worse than you can help and that there is only so much you can do but that you personally think that they need to talk to someone else about this situation, a professional. Whether that means a therapist, guidance counselor, or even the authorities (depending on the severity of the situation). At this point I think you have done everything in your power to be a good friend and help them out as best you can, but at the end of the day there is nothing more you can do if you’ve been giving the same advice over and over.