By Martha Beck
Cecily and Gwen hit it off on a Caribbean cruise after they realized they lived close to each other. Back home, they began meeting for coffee and conversation. Gwen told Cecily about her troubled marriage, her sciatica, her intrusive mother, the trials of parenting. Cecily told Gwen...almost nothing. Somehow, Cecily's life just never seemed to come up. But one stressful morning, Cecily finally decided to share.
"My dad's got cancer," she told Gwen, clutching her coffee mug. "I'm really scared for him."
"Oh," said Gwen. "That reminds me of the time my boyfriend-well, ex-boyfriend-thought he had skin cancer." She went on to tell the tale, in tragic terms, with herself as the dramatic heroine. Later Cecily told me, "That's when I realized that Gwen is kind of self-absorbed." Kind of? The "friend" Cecily made is an emotional pirate.
You've probably encountered similar brigands on the high seas of life. Some are charming or charismatic, others whiny. But theyRead More »from 4 Ways to Defend Yourself Against Emotional Pirates