Making the same mistakes, or getting into the same situations, time after time, is a sign that something needs to change. We need to do something different. After all ...
The definition of insanity is: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
If we want things to be different we have to do something differently. And by changing the external stuff: boyfriend, job, credit card, we think that we can change the situation. Well, sometimes that works and when it does it's fantastic!
But, if we change the external stuff and we still find ourselves in the same situation, then the thing that has to change is US. We have to change on the inside!
If you want to be a good friend, a big part of your task is just to create awareness: to reflect back to your friend the pattern that they are creating. A gentle reminder that they were saying exactly the same things in the last job, relationship, etc.
And that's not always easy: our instinct is to sympathise and take our friend's side, but in the long run, that really doesn't help. We can be much better friends by helping them out of their situation - if they want to change things. To help them develop a greater awareness of their situation, try asking them, "What do you want instead?". This will help them focus on the positive rather than the negative. Or, if they persist in presenting the same problems, we could just change the conversation.
So, if we want to change from the inside, how the heck do we do it?
MAKE A DECISION
The biggest shift we can make is to take a decision. Draw a line in the sand and decide, "That's it! No more! Enough! I've had it!" And really mean it. It's amazine how, just deciding that we won't tolerate something any more can really make a difference: it changes our energy and motivation from passive and negative to active and positive. And deciding may be all we have to do.
On a number of occasions I've spoken with people who've decided that they've had enough and they're going to take action to change their situation and the amazing thing was that something else happened that resolved the situation without them having to take the action.
Another thing we can do to make changes from the inside, is to actually go inside. We can have a relaxing therapy treatment, do yoga, relaxation, meditation, listen to a CD or just spend some time listening to our breathing. We can spend some quiet, relaxed, time with ourself: turn inwards and just be. All that we need, we already have, we just have to allow it to reveal itself.
And if we notice ourselves repeating patterns, then we can be our own good friend.