I will only say something directly if I'm willing to risk the relationship or put up with the discomfort of being the bad guy for a while, until they figure it out. (I should say, IF they ever figure it out -- there are no guarantees, of course.) For that to be the case, the relationship better be pretty damn important to me, or the problem better be pretty severe. Or both.
Because IME you tell someone something helpful and truthful about their situation -- maybe it's not even advice, but just reflecting their situation back to them clearly -- and then there is a delay of weeks/months/years/eternity before they "get it" and then another stretch while they come to terms with it. Potentially during that whole time, the relationship can be strained if you were the one who told it to them straight.
I reckon I make that leap maybe 10% of the time in situations that seem to require I do something. The more common response is I will just distance myself. That's what I notice a lot of people doing in these situations. Some would call it call it passive aggressive or whatever, but social distancing can be somewhat effective as well, under the right circumstances.
Last edited by wild~hair; 11-28-2011 at 10:40 AM.