Should I stick my oar in and say something to my friend about her crazy-lady behaviour?
Alice says ‘one of my best friends has kind of lost the plot recently, sleeping around more than usual, going out and going harder than normal and generally gone a bit crazy on me. She’s still the same when she’s around me but I’m just a bit worried about her. Should I say something to her? If so, what?’
She is lucky to have a friend like you worrying about her and looking out for her! Most young people go through their slightly crazy stage at some point and unless it’s emotionally damaging her or she’s in real danger or pain then I would leave her to it. If it gets really bad and she starts getting involved with the wrong kind of people, then that’s the time to sit her down and tell her you’re worried, and that you are telling her because you love her and you're watching her back. But if she’s just going out a bit more and experimenting with boys, then let her have her fun - she’ll calm down once she’s gets it out of her system. It’s great that you keep an eye out for her, but don’t mollycoddle her because she might get a bit defensive and push you away.
Is she showing signs of being out of control?
Is she showing signs of being emotionally, mentally or physically unwell, distressed, erratic, consuming drugs or excessive alcohol ? If she is playing fast and loose and harming herself, then yes, absolutely, you must stick your oar in urgently. Speak to her and help her to see why her chosen path is destructive and suggest alternative fun things that you can both do together that aren't harmful. Yes, she will be upset and resentful but that is what tough love is.
Are you just being over-protective?
But if she is having fun behaving in a way which you are just unused to seeing her, but is in good health, then ask yourself why you are so worried and are you being unnecessarily over-protective? If you voice your concerns, she may misconstrue your good intentions. As Ally points out, she may not only fail to share your concerns but might even end up resenting you for meddling and spoiling her fun.
But, if you still feel strongly about wanting to voice your concerns with her despite these drawbacks, then do so in a gentle, supportive and loving way. Be prepared to accept that she may not want to talk about it at all and if so, you will need to respect her wishes and just drop it.