Heading into the new year we tend to set new goals and make plans for the year ahead. But do we stop and take stock of the friend circle around us? I tend to take relationships very seriously, especially friendships. But when is too much really too much? All relationships, be it friendship or romantic, need to have a balance. When that balance fails to exist and the scales fall heavily to one side, it’s probably time to take a serious look at that alliance.
Fact: Unhealthy friendships can poison your own personal well-being.
It’s unfortunate but true. I know, because I have been there. How do you recognize when the relationship has gone off kilter and what do you do about it?
Major points to look for when you spend time with the person in question:
• Does the person make you feel good about yourself? Uplift you with his or her comments and praise. Or does the person leave you feeling small and insufficient? The latter is not a good sign. Of course, I don’t really need to tell you that.
• Does he or she ask how you are or what you are up to? Or is all the talk about them and their latest accomplishment or adventure? That is the sign of one self-absorbed individual. You might want to establish a little more two-way communication.
• Do they always make decisions for you as a group or couple without taking the time to find out your wishes or desires beforehand? Would you not want your interests considered? Would you not do the same for someone else? What’s wrong with this picture?
• When he or she spends time with you, are they really with you or are they constantly updating their Facebook page or texting other people? I.E. not in the now, not with you?
• Is he or she only interested in spending time with you when it’s convenient for them, no matter what it means for your schedule? Are they asking you to move things around to fit their needs? Hmm.
• Are they always right no matter what the cost?
• Does the person seem to be possessive of you and begin to “separate” you from your friends, so they can have you all to themselves? Are they threatening your other friendships, your marriage, your own personal values and vision of happiness and life? If so, they are NOT looking out for your interests at all, but their own needs.
Now that you have considered a few of the distinguishing features of a friendship turning sour, what do you do about it?
If you’re like me, loyal to the friends that you have, and the bonds you create, you are going to try and salvage the relationship. Don’t charge in guns blazing. This will get you splattered on the sidewalk nowhere fast. Most people who demonstrate the characteristics above will slam the door in your face.
• Take some time to pull yourself together and let the hurt inflicted upon you find its place before tallying forth. When you do finally approach your friend, you can now do it with a clear mind and an even temper. At least that’s the hope. You’ll be opening your heart to this person, sharing your pain, and that in itself will be hard enough. You don’t want to go in when you are still burning red hot with the pain they have unknowingly caused you. Remember that they unknowingly caused the pain. In most cases they are completely unaware of how their actions have hurt you.
• Have what is hopefully a calm discussion about your feelings, two-way communication and everything you are missing in the relationship. If that doesn’t open up your friend and you find them incapable of acknowledging or addressing the issues, then it’s okay to consider saying goodbye.
• That gut wrenching ache, that twist in your belly every time you think about that person, the worry about how you are going to take their call or handle their response – let it all go. Accept the fact that sometimes we cannot fulfill another’s “need” at the expense of our own lives, marriage, etc. We cannot “FIX” other people who may be broken through no fault of our own.
✮We must look for the positive in the people we surround ourselves with – we must exude positive towards others and accept that to ourselves. If people drag us down, we will probably drag others down as well. If they lift us up, we will most likely pass it on and be much happier for it.
Let it all go. That is the poison seeping through your inner system.
Be willing to let the negative energy go and each day you’ll start to feel a little bit better. Sometimes the most important thing for your body is knowing when to cut relationships free. There is a time for everything. When they are making you ache, twist and churn internally – it’s time.
Letting go doesn’t mean you don’t care about them anymore. It simply says you need to take care of you first. If the relationship is no longer beneficial to both parties and isn’t going both ways, the other person will manage just fine. Take care of number one. Cut out the negative and cleanse your surrounding environment. You’ll be happy you did. I know I was. Start your new year out clean and sparkling with a positive outlook.
Cheers to great things in 2012 as you surround yourself with positive people!
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