Yes. There are people who become entrenched in the identity of being the broken one. In my experience, they are outliers and not the norm.
More often than not, people do not need another to rob them of their agency and fix their problems for them. Even if you're successful, it can be more damaging and humiliating to have another do that than to continue on struggling to fix your issues on your own.
Fixing ourselves is how we grow.
What most people need is the space to sort through their issues on their own and in their own time. Sometimes that space is telling things to someone only to hear ourselves speak, or that just voicing them in itself overcomes the fear that it will make us less lovable.
That being said, it is also not anyone’s responsibility to be the one that holds that space for them.
I remember specifically, years back, when I was sorting through several of my issues. I routinely hashed out my head meats to my partner. One day he said he was tired of it. He didn’t want to listen to it anymore. Not that he wasn't supportive of my growth, just that he wanted to be able to come home, relax and unwind from a stressful day at work.
And you know what I did?
I found another support group that was willing to listen to me as I worked through my issues.
I didn’t get angry at him, I didn’t get resentful or insist that he was failing me because he wasn't willing to listen to me drone on and on. It can be a lot to be the person that quietly holds space for another who is sorting through their pain.
Everyone has their own limits, their own battles and we need to be respectful of their agency as well.
I think it's the responsibility of the person who's venting to first ask. We've all just opened up and poured out our feelings to a friend because we're so entrenched in our own heads. It happens.
But, especially for the bigger stuff, it's important to ask first if they've got the bandwidth to listen.
Some days they don't. Some days they're fighting their own battles and just don't have the energy to back you as you fight yours.
I've had many situations where I've listened, then told them I was at my limit and the next step is to get some distance if they ignore that boundary.
It's sad because you know they're turning to you because they feel a closeness, an intimacy with you. But you can't sacrifice your own sanity and stability to be there for someone.
You do that then you just have two broken people.