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I guess there is a slight/subtle difference between the two, but also wondering what is the preferred/acceptable way to express this to someone who is a good friend (not just an acquaintance). Ideally it should show some concern but without being forceful or commanding.

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2 Answers 2

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無理しないでください is one very common way of saying something along the lines of "don't do more than you can".

It's also used to mean "don't wear yourself out" in a physical sense, but can be used in virtually any context.

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How would you say this in a more persuasive manner? In the sense that you can see that someone is burning themselves out and that you don't want them to do that. –  Michael Lai Jul 4 at 1:10
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早寝早起き朝ご飯. No, just kidding. If you're concerned about their health, then maybe 体に気を付けてください. I don't know if it was clear in my short answer, but generally 無理しないでください is really the best way of expressing concern. But then you haven't given us any more detail about your relationship with that person, other than "someone who is a friend". –  Earthliŋ Jul 4 at 1:25
    
Updated the question to hopefully make it a bit clearer for people to answer the question. –  Michael Lai Jul 4 at 2:20
    
@MichaelLai the answer is perfect for the modified question too. Maybe the barrier here is cultural rather than grammatical? –  virmaior Jul 4 at 2:40
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If you really want to drive the point home you could say 体調を崩さないように気をつけて下さい, which is saying to be careful not to do something to cause great deterioration in physical condition –  ssb Jul 4 at 2:46

The expression「無理しないで」is used in most situations for showing concern for someone who may expose herself/himself in doing an "impossible" activity that pushes them to their limits while a more refined 「ご無理なさいませんよう、ご自愛ください」could also be used. 「ご無理なさらずに」 which literally translates to "don't do the impossible" is adopting 「なさる」as an elegant way of saying「する」。

If the intention is to express concern for someone healing and recovering their health from sickness one could use 「お大事に」as a neutral and all-situation expression or a less formal 「早くよくなって下さいね」。

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