When it's time to give people the boot!
There are people who come and go in your life. Sometimes it's heartbreaking while other times it can come as a sort of relief. Do you have that person that just leaves you completely drained after you spend time with them? You always feel unsettled and frustrated when you leave them? Is it because they do nothing but complain the whole time you are in their presence?
Have you ever heard you are combination of the five people you hang out with the most? So what does your squad look like? Are they supportive and encouraging of you and your dreams? Do they make you feel like a good person? Seriously, think about those 5 people right now and describe them. How do they make you feel? How do you feel after you have spent time with them? Do you have fun with them or is it more of a co-dependent relationship where one person needs the other?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to be a bad friend. Because we all know those people that just seem to never be happy no matter what is happening. They love to complain and play the victim. There are some people that are just wired that way and you will likely not be able to change them no matter how much they want advice from you. They won't take it.
We all know people who are Negative Nelly's and they seem to thrive on their own problems. They come to you with the issues they are having in their life. You give them some advice or just talk through it with them. Then the next time you see them they are still having the same exact issues because they aren't doing anything to help themselves.
These are the type of people who just like to complain and they will continue to whine about the same issues over and over because they don't actually want a solution...they just want to vent. If you are okay with that then good for you. If not, it may be time to limit your exposure to this person. I'm not saying to end the friendship but just take a step back. If you aren't feeling up to being drained at the end of the visit (and really, who is?) then say you are busy. Start letting this person know that you aren't as readily available as you have been in the past.
Or if you are really brave be up front with them. Tell them that they are bringing you down. That their negativity is starting to get to you. Then some of the result is on them. If they don't try to brighten up a little around you then you have the right to limit your time with them. You have given fair warning. I can't usually be this confrontational but if it's important to maintain the friendship you just may want to go that route.
The other thing to keep in mind is that people change. Just because they were once your best friend and had your best interests at heart doesn't mean they currently do. People have all kinds of experiences that change them for the good and bad. And most of the time the way you are being treated has nothing to do with you. It's what is going on inside of them. They are looking at your life through their tinted glasses and sometimes it's a nasty tint.
I've known people who were happy go lucky their whole lives and going through a divorce can change their perception forever. People often get more bitter as they get older. Not getting what you want or think you deserve can have a real impact on how you view the world. So if you've been friends with someone since college and now in their 40's and 50's they aren't your cup of tea anymore...that's okay!!! You are allowed to evolve and move on. If those in your group aren't up to it then it's time to get a new group.
I know it can sound harsh and shallow but this is your one and only life. Don't spend it trying to solve others problems (especially when they aren't trying to solve them themselves). Don't spend it with people who make you sad, anxious or drained. Do spend it with people who cheer you on and uplift you. Who make you feel empowered and able to conquer all your dreams. Those are your people. And of course, be that for others as well.
And finally, never spend time with people who make you feel bad about yourself. I don't care who it is...even family. I unfortunately had a relationship with my mother where she was constantly disappointed in me. She made me feel like a terrible daughter which in turn made me feel like a terrible person. I just felt like the bad guy all the time. Now that she's been gone for a few years I can say that getting out from under that constant disappointment and disapproval has been life changing. I wish I would have known how much better I would feel without that constant weight on me. I would like to think that would have given me the courage to cut ties with my mother but who knows. The desire to have a relationship with your parents is pretty strong.
But I do urge you to give serious consideration to any person (no matter who) that makes you feel bad about yourself...especially if it's a ongoing thing. No one has permission to make you think you are a bad person or aren't good enough. I'm not talking about advice on how to better yourself or discussions about a promising future. I'm talking about situations where you are made to feel like you are a disappointment. Question yourself to see if they have any kind of point but if they don't...move forward in life with the knowledge that this person may not be good for you.
The relationship in our lives can create so much joy and so much misery. Make sure you are choosing your people wisely!
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If you are having an issue with someone in your life and you think you could benefit from an impartial party to hash it out with on whether to continue that relationship, let me know. Not love relationships though...that is not my forte! I am offering deep dive calls for any issue you feel you may want to delve into a little more.
Thank you as always for tuning in. I'm grateful you are here. Now go out and be Badass this week. You know I'm here, cheering you on.