In my last post, Assessing Your Friends, I discussed the importance of re-evaluating your friends and letting go of negative ones. If someone regularly does things that greatly bother you, snip them loose, or limit contact. That doesn’t mean you should get down on a friend who does one thing to annoy you. Understand the difference between behavior that’s seriously wrong or just rubs you the wrong way. Nobody is perfect!
Determine what’s an annoying quirk and what’s unacceptable. How does their behavior affect you? Don’t feel obligated to remain friends with those who aren’t good for you. There are good reasons to drop someone or set boundaries. Here are some common complaints and reasons to let of of these types:
• She needs to feel needed: Some friends prefer you unhappy. She may be threatened or jealous and try to sabotage your growth by encouraging you to do things that are negative. If you have a boyfriend and she doesn’t, her advice may be more geared to you breaking off the relationship. And if you don’t need her, she may get critical in annoying ways. Snip!
• You’ve outgrown him: If your friendship revolves around old habits, like getting drunk, it’s time to decide if he’s worth keeping in your life. When you have only bad habits in common, the person isn’t good for you! Try suggesting new activities that don’t involve a bar or something else you’ve outgrown in large doses. If he refuses, leave him in the past with old habits. Buh bye!
• She drains You: Does a friend moan and groan as a lifestyle? A friend who has issues that don’t go away will complain about the same thing over and over, and never take the advice you try to give. It can be exhausting and depressing to spend time with her. If she can’t be positive and never tries to change how she handles what she complains about, pull the plug and let her take someone else down the drain.
• She’s overly demanding: A friend who constantly whines, “You don’t make enough time for me” is a burden. Needy friends put too much pressure on you for their well-being, which isn’t fair, or healthy for you. This kind of friendship is often one-sided if she’s always wanting your time as you dodge her. You avoid her for a reason. Make it permanent!
• You’re his repairman: He asks advice for everything and leans on you like a therapist, wanting your take on everything. How should he act? What should he wear? But you don’t get that kind of support back. You’re an unpaid advisor and it takes up a bit of your time. It’s a one-way friendship and you’re going the wrong way. Snip!
• She’s insincere: Some people talk big, with no intention of follow-through. They offer help but don’t give it. They compliment like crazy one day, acting like you’re terrific, then act cool to you on another day. Maybe they need to be liked at that moment and say what they think you want to hear. Or they mean it when they say it but are far too self-absorbed to make good on their words. But it’s not right and shouldn’t be tolerated!
• She’s critical or unsupportive: Do I need to elaborate on this? Friends should make you feel good, not bad and should support you when they can. Why keep someone in your life who doesn’t give you friendship? Snip!
Friends should be friends, not people who add stress or anger or unhappiness to your life. Be careful about who you let into your life. Love yourself enough to make sure your friends all add value to your life.
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