While those internal rumblings tumble from her mind to her mouth, I start to listen for her story. Specifically, how she talks about herself (the language she uses to describe who she is, her choices, her life) and the facts of the answer she gives about her life.
Most of the time I hear comments about how
define ourselves by our work. I love my work but none of us
no one wants to hear themselves talked almost exclusively in terms of their work. But that's almost a given because of how you likely identify yourself (nurse, attorney, creative, communications specialist) and by how you show up at work. "She was seldom sick. She stayed late to make sure that the project was done. She didn't take all of her vacation days. She volunteered for extra tasks, unasked."
But the reality is likely that your current story is shaped by all must-do's of your day, including eight hours at a paid job.
And when people know your story becuase youre actually sharing that is clear adn true to you, and they still don't respond to you in a way that feels validating and suppprtive, then you have the confirmation you need to drop the relationship. Where you can of course.