How to Help a Friend With an Obsession Over a Guy

Set your friend straight with an open conversation about her infatuation.
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It's 10 at night, and you're on your third hour of listening to your BFF drone on and on about the "cutest, hottest, nicest, most perfect" guy she's ever met and how she has his school schedule memorized so that she can casually show up at his locker or on the quad when he does. If this scenario sounds familiar, helping your friend with her guy obsession is a must. While it might seem challenging, you can step up to the plate and help her separate fantasy from reality.

1 Positive Peer Pressure

While you might think peer pressure only refers to negative influences -- such as the pressure to drink alcohol or try drugs -- it also can have some positive effects. Friends, classmates or other peers can act as role models when they demonstrate positive behaviors, according to the article "Peer Pressure." Instead of begging your friend to oust her obsession, show her the way -- literally. Model a more acceptable type of dating behavior and talk casually about guys you like or show your friend how you refrain from stalking boys through social media. The more she sees how you can "like" a guy without obsessing over him, the more likely she'll stop her out-there ways.

2 Feedback Loop

As a friend, you have the duty to provide your BFF with honest feedback and advice when it comes to her poor choices. While she might not want to hear it, sitting back and keeping mum won't do anything to help her. Take advantage of opportune times -- such as when she asks you if she should text the guy for the 20th time that day -- to offer an outside opinion. For example, if she asks, "Do you think I should just show up at his frat party even though he didn't invite me?" tell her "No." Gently explain that her obsession is causing her to make poor decisions or act out of character and that she needs to stop herself from going overboard.

3 Show Respect

Although you may feel like your friend is acting like an out-of-control lunatic, telling her that she's crazy or stupid to her face shows a clear lack of respect. Respect is essential in every relationship, including a friendship. Keep in mind that a true friend respects the other friend's opinions. Show respect and understanding for your friend's interest in her guy, while helping her to bring her obsession back to reality. For example, instead of saying, "You're insane. He doesn't like you and you're acting like a fool" try something more respectful such as, "I understand that you have strong feelings for him, but maybe if you backed off or spent some time with your friends you might feel better."

4 Direct Redirection

When you were younger, it's likely that your parents, teachers or other adults used redirection to remove your attention from an unwanted behavior to a more desirable one. You can use this concept with your friend to help her focus on something other than her obsession. While it's unlikely that she'll quickly flutter over to another guy you introduce her to, try redirecting her energies to more positive activities. For example, instead of sitting with her as she browses her obsession's social media pics, get your group of girls together and go bowling, ice skating or hit the gym. Likewise, if the conversation keeps winding up back at the guy, redirect it to another topic such as your upcoming chemistry quiz or a new project at work.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.