Going through adulthood and still coming out as a cry baby says a lot about how the person has been treated growing up. If your friend responds on their struggles with waterworks, this just shows that they believe that through their tears and whimpers they will always get what they want.
Now, as their friend who obviously acts more responsible and mature than them, you might be thinking how to help in reversing that behavior. Don't worry, we're sure that as they grow up, they can learn to manage their emotions more effectively—they might just need a helping hand for now. Here's what you can do:
1. Carefully explain to them what really is happening.
Just like kids who always whine and cry even at the smallest of things, your cry baby friend might be crying over something that's not really a big deal, too! It's possible that the reason of their crying episode is because they overthink the situation and instead of doing something to fix it, their only solution is crying. For example, they didn't pass their online exam on time. Instead of talking to their professor about it on what they can do to still get credited for the effort they gave, they just cry because they think doing this would help them get what they want when it's actually the exact opposite. Don't get immediately annoyed, it's best to explain to them what really is happening and why they shouldn't really worry about it as much as they do.
2. Don't be easily swayed.
The reason why some people are still a cry baby even if they're already a young adult is because they know that they can easily sway people to get what they want. Remember that you're their friend, not their punching bag or slave; don't ever let them take your kindness for granted. And if they make you feel like you're being a bad person just because you didn't fall for their tears, don't let it get to you.
3. Set boundaries.
There are people who want spontaneity, but there are also people who crave structure and routines. One of the things that we noticed with cry babies is that they enjoy the latter one the most. Due to the fact that they love being in control and things happening the way they expect it, once something gets out of hand, they instantly burst into tears out of frustration. In your friendship, try and put some boundaries, stating the things you can and can't tolerate. It's not because you don't want to be with them anymore or you don't understand their emotions, but because you respect yourself to understand that boundaries are actually a necessity in friendships that they should know about.
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4. Help them manage their emotions.
From meditation to daily exercise, there's a lot of things that your friend can do to manage their emotions better. Cry baby people get overwhelmed easily, that's why taking a step back from the world, taking their focus from stress to relaxing their mind and body would absolutely do the trick. Plus, it increases their endorphins which would make them feel better about their life! But if they can't physically step away, they can choose on doing it mentally. By helping them think about something that makes them happy in these situations, they would be distracted by their unwanted emotions.
5. Refrain from responding to their waterworks.
Sometimes, things get out of hand and you really can't do anything about it. If you think you had enough already, then start doing less for your cry baby friend. Instead of trying to figure out strategies and tactics to deal with them, let them figure it out on their own for a while. We're sure that you don't want to do this, but know that it isn't your responsibility to handle their emotions. You don't have to completely delete them from your life, but ignoring their waterworks wouldn't really hurt if it's something that would actually make them more accepting and understanding of the situation they're in.
At the end of the day, your friend's emotions are their responsibility. As much as they have every right to have be upset, it's still not okay for you be involved with it and feel guilty for something you didn't actually intend to happen. These tips are just things that could possibly help you handle them, but it's still up to you how you're going to comfort your cry baby friend. Just always remember that your priority is your mental and emotional health, not theirs.
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