But then there’s a slither of loose humans who are nek-level for many reasons (no judgement here) – the ones who have to be wiped down with a wet cloth after a six-day bender, in the same way their mum did it when they were, you know, an infant.
While it might be all rainbows and edible fairy dust for the loosey goosey, being on the receiving end of this out-of-control behaviour can make you morph into someone you never wanted to end up like: your parents.
All of a sudden you’re enforcing a curfew, checking in and picking them up from god knows where with god knows who.
It’s not a fun time, but more often than not you kinda love the shit outta them. And you put up with it because you know they can be tolerable during their (albeit scarce) civilised hours. Heck, sometimes you even engage in the behaviour with them and it’s a big ol’ YOLO, so where does that leave you?
I get it (more than you know), which is why I come bearing gifts – aka tips – on how to deal with that person if your life who’s a loose cannon, without becoming a total joykill in the process.
SET YOUR BOUNDARIES
We’ve all been victim to trying to come across as that *chill* person early on – it’s how we frame ourselves to lock ’em down, right? All that means, though, is that when you suddenly flip the switch and tell him / her that you’re not OK with their lifestyle, you’re almost just as in the wrong as they are.
P.TV’s Lucinda Price has come choice words on drawing a distinctive line with partners:
“You need to set boundaries really early on. Not stifling, restrictive boundaries, but you need to come to a mutual agreement on what is fair behaviour.
Let’s say your partner loves shelving pingers at Stezza and you’re more of a bed-at-9:30pm kind of person. You both like doing what you currently do, so it’s probably not going to change.
But, if you say to them ‘I don’t care if you do drugs!!’ and they go and do a million pipes then come home and you’re mad, then you didn’t set the right boundaries.
On the other hand, if you say to them, ‘Look, I know you want to have some smack tonight, just know your limits please and know when to stop,’ and they go full overboard, then you have a right to be mad and re-evaluate.”
ORGANISE ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES
Remember when you were both deadly hungover or coming down during Aunty Marg’s birthday? Your fuses shorten and you both become very fragile when asked how the job’s going.
They’ve got to get to a point where their body doesn’t bounce back like it used to and next-day activities become a seriously painful task, especially if hangovers are so ingrained in their lives that it’s become routine.
UTILISE THEIR PAIN.
If you continue to organise things the day after you know they’re planning to get buckwild, you might have a chance at keeping them in line. The plan will quickly backfire if you get hammered with ’em, though, so keep that in mind.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
You know when you’re hungover AF, scrolling through your Insta seeing people doing the Bondi to Bronte, cooking up a storm or having a nice ol’ picnic in the park? You feel pretty shit about the fact that you’re bedridden. Take advantage of the FOMO within ’em by getting heaps of shit done while they, er, do the opposite. It just might kick ’em into gear, without you having to physically do so. A lil’ jab of subtle inspo.
CRUEL TO BE KIND
You don’t forgive a bae if they smanged your bestie behind your back, so don’t cradle them to sleep when they (intentionally) smang their life prospects up either. If you embody a doormat, it’ll only allow them to treat you like one.
What am I saying, exactly? Don’t help them out of their fucked up situations every now and then.
When they realise that you won’t be there to catch them when they
fall pass out, they’ll think twice about getting fuck-eyed. Think of it like letting your toddler eat sand from the sandpit to build their immune system – you’re doing bae a solid even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
PUMP THE BRAKES
Think back to the most fucked up kids at your high school – they were generally the ones with the strictest parents. Why? Because they rebel.
It’s the same for people who love to get rowdy 24/7.
“Loose partners are like teenagers. If you try to control them and tell them what not to do, they’ll just do it anyway and won’t tell you about it. But you’ll know about it b/c they’re loose and terrible at hiding it, but they’ll deny it and arguments will follow,” Jordana Johnson, P.TV‘s Creative Producer, says.
GIVE THEM THAT ULTIMATUM
Normally I’d turn my nose up at the mere mention of an ultimatum, but if none of the above are working, well, you’re left with little choice.
“If it gets unhealthy or upsets you, explain how it makes you feel and let them make the choice,” says Jordana.
Someone I know did this, and she credits her marriage of 30+ years (yep, the loosey goosey tale is one as old as time) to the decision. She was fortunate.
On the other hand, they could get all up in your grill for making them choose and not letting ’em be free and all that.
You could be shown the door.
You could cry.
You could be better off.
Think about that when you’re crying yourself to sleep.
If you feel like you or your partner / friend need to talk or get some info, call the beyondblue Support Service 24/7 – 1300 22 4636 or go to beyondblue’s website to chat online (3PM-midnight AEST) or email.
Photo: Billy Madison.