Toxic Friends, Maybe It’s You

Before the start of the New Year, I see the same old rhetoric. I’m getting rid of the poisonous people in my life before the New Year. I don’t want to go into the New Year with the previous year’s drama. The thing I find most interesting is the need to do this every year. Do you have that many toxic people in your life? Is it necessary to remove these people regularly? This predicament got me to thinking about a few things. Are these people toxic or is the poisonous person you? Think about it for a few minutes. How many times did people leave your life and the first response is that person was toxic anyway. After a while, you need to start looking at the person in the mirror. Maybe you are having so many issues because you are the toxic person you are trying to remove. Self-reflection is a hard thing to do, and sometimes it’s difficult to admit destructive behavior within ourselves. Acknowledging that you might be toxic is scary at first. However, the reward for fixing yourself is very fulfilling.

It can be hard to admit, but each of us has toxic behavior. Even I have to correct the harmful habits that I have. There is nothing wrong with accepting you have an issue. The problem is never altering your behavior. I understand that looking inside yourself could be a mortifying experience, but you can’t think that everyone around you is the toxic one. If you find that you are always losing friends and people are habitually walking out your life then maybe you are the problem. You are the company that you keep. If you have to get rid of people often, it’s time to reevaluate your discernment for picking friends. You have chosen these folks to be in your life. Why would you select toxic people in the first place? Once you see that someone is displaying bad behavior, it is up to you to say something. Waiting until the New Year to remove someone from your life is problematic. It took the New Year for you to notice this behavior. Why wasn’t this person gone months ago? We are responsible for the folks we allow to stay in our lives. At some point we have to say to ourselves I wanted this to happen.

Again, think about it for a few more minutes. You like something about this person to keep them around. They are only as toxic to your life as you allow them to be. Once the toxicity has lasted long, you have to look inward as secretly you like the chaos. That’s the only explanation for all the drama to fester for so long. Once the spectacle consumes you for an extended period, you become the very thing you dislike. When this occurs, you now become a toxic friend who then causes people to run away from you. It is so important to protect your peace from outsiders. Once that is disturbed no matter how much you want that person around you must remove them out your life. Your mental state isn’t worth the headache. Before concluding I need to get rid of toxic friends determine if you have become toxic.  If so, work on that so you can be a better person for yourself and others. The energy you are getting from other people could be what you are giving out inadvertently.

What is your experience with toxic friends? And how did you conclude to remove them from your life? Did you realize that you were becoming toxic? Is so, how did you fix it?

The Art of Saying No

I can’t be the only person who has this issue. I have the hardest time saying no to people. I believe deep down I’m afraid of disappointing people if I say no. It’s as if I’m letting people down by not doing what they ask of me. However, what I’m realizing is that I’m causing more harm than good. When you put others before yourself, you start to neglect your wants and needs. There is nothing wrong with helping others, but it can’t come as a detriment to yourself. Here are four questions to consider before agreeing to assist someone with their affairs.

  1. Will this put my aspirations on the back burner?

Remember it is admirable for you to help others, but, if your own goals are affected, think before taking on more than you can handle.  You will become resentful and bitter if your goals take a backseat due to helping others. It is best to make sure that you have the time available to continue to pursue your goals while supporting others.

  1. Will this impact me financially?

Friends and family may fall on hard times and ask for you to assist them when it comes to money. However, keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to provide them with this assistance. If you don’t have the funds be honest and don’t give out something that you need for yourself. Your friends and family may even try to guilt you into providing them with the support. Please don’t give them your last especially if you are struggling yourself. Do you need this money back that you are giving out? If so, think about how this will impact your relationship with that individual if you don’t receive your money back. I learned a long time ago that if I give cash out don’t expect it back. Doing this will avoid many arguments that may arise.

  1. Will you be overwhelmed by assisting?

Despite our best efforts things in life can and will come up.  Whether it be work or unexpected life events that may occur. Helping others should never become overwhelming or even feel like a burden to you. Assisting others only works once all of your related activities are complete. The reason this becomes an issue is that you are doing too much at one time. Let me tell you this is a disaster as you will become frustrated. You can even snap at a moment’s notice due to your growing agitation. The way to not feel overwhelmed is to make sure you have time to offer your support. Don’t just say yes due to the fear of what telling no would cause. Be honest if you have too much on your plate and are unable to provide support at this time.

  1. Are you indeed able to assist at this moment?

People will respect you more if you are honest about what you can handle. Don’t feel as if you must say yes or else. Taking on more than you can chew only hurts you in the end. When people see that you will take on any and everything they will begin to take advantage of you. It is up to you to stand up for yourself and let people know when enough is enough. If you can’t help in the full capacity that the individual is expecting, then explain what you can do. A person who loves you doesn’t care how much you will contribute when any little bit can help. If someone gives you a hard time about it, then you will know in the future where you stand with that person.

Before responding back to someone about supporting them remember these four questions and then proceed to provide your answer. Make these questions a habit of answering before agreeing to help others. The critical thing to remember is that to be of assistance to someone is to be fully available to help. Learning to say no is difficult as I struggle with it myself. But taking the time to think before saying yes is a better option. You will allow yourself time to assess in what capacity you can help and what precisely you can provide. This way you are assisting on your terms, and you will feel less inundated in the process.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

New Adventures with Friends

The weekend of March 9th was such a fantastic experience for me. Anyone who knows me will tell you that Halloween is my 2nd favorite holiday with my birthday being the 1st. I attended my first Monster Mania Convention that weekend! This event exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations. For starters, I got to meet the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira. Cassandra Peterson was out of her Elvira character. However, it was still nice to meet her. I was even having a conversation with one of the actors who played Jason, and I had no idea who he was. I’m sure he got a big kick out of that, and I was upset later as I was close enough to get a photo with him. The fact that I got to enjoy Halloween in March is the best feeling. I felt that I was entirely in my element as my affinity for the macabre was on full display. The stranger the better and being around folks who felt the same way I did made the experience even better. I also want to thank my best friend for tagging along with me. I was glad to share this experience with her even though horror isn’t her thing. She still was able to enjoy herself, and I was happy to show her another side of my wacky crazy personality.

I was delighted I was able to share this experience with my best friend, but honestly, this almost didn’t happen. I was content with going to the Monster Mania Convention on my own and experiencing this event with me, myself and I. After further deliberation I thought what would be the fun in that. The whole point of going to this type of activity is to experience it with someone. I was surprised that my best friend went as I stated before this wasn’t her thing. However, this reminded me that real friends would go to events with you just to spend time with you. Even if the outing isn’t to their liking, they will still attend. Just spending time with your friend no matter what you are doing will bring the friendship closer. Doing new activities together will ultimately help strengthen your bond as you start to learn more things about each other. I encourage all friendships to plan different events and step outside of your comfort zone. Not only will this help to improve your bond but you will learn something new about yourselves in the process.

The moral of my story is not to automatically assume that someone won’t attend a social gathering with you before you even ask. You may be presently surprised at the outcome that you receive. Of course, you should still participate in the activity even if others can’t attend but it will be more fun to experience it with friends. It may appear that your friends may not enjoy it, but it could turn out to be the most fun ever had. Never assume the answer will be no and just ask that person and people anyway. I almost missed out on this opportunity with my best friend, and we both had a fantastic time. Life has a funny way of proving to you that looks aren’t always what they seem. Stop assuming, grow a little and ask your friends to attend that place you wanted to visit.

 

Here’s a picture of me with my best friend and Elvira

Keya Jess & Elvira

Haters Disguise as Friends

People who claim to be your friend but who are really jealous of you behind the screen.

It is true that as you age your friendships will begin to evolve. Some people that you were once close to may not even be your friends in a few years. Then other people who were mere acquittances may become close like family. I remember hearing this would occur when I was younger by many relatives, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized how true this statement is. An old friend of mine recently accused me of changing into a new person. The thought of her accusation is baffling to me as I believe that becoming a better person is a beautiful thing.  Anyway, she reminded me of how in the past I was ill-tempered and easily angered. I acted this way because people viewed me as a bit of a push-over. You shouldn’t allow yourself to be a push-over, but there are better ways to handle yourself in stressful situations. I haven’t always dealt with issues in the most favorable light. I knew I needed to change this about myself and I worked on it. I thought my old friend would be happy to see my growth and be proud of the woman I became. Instead, the reaction that I received was that I became a counterfeit of my former self. At that moment I knew that my friendship with her had run its course. There is no way I could continue on my current journey with her still in my life. We have become two different people, and our current paths no longer intersect.

Every day you should be growing and learning continuously. The people in your life should hopefully, be doing the same thing. Don’t tolerate your friends’ judgments if they feel as if you are growing and leaving them behind. At that moment realize that these people are only in your life for a season. Once their season is up, please let them go! You will hurt yourself trying to keep people in your life who no longer should be there. Being the same person you were years ago sounds like a miserable existence. I understand being comfortable, but at some point, you need to elevate yourself. Of course, growing should be done gradually to ensure that not only can you keep your momentum going, but your development will continue. Telling someone that they changed and it was for the better is such an asinine statement, and people like that don’t deserve to be apart of your “Glow-Up.”

Another issue I experienced with this same “friend” is passive aggressiveness. I don’t have any problems with speaking my mind. I would dare to say that my openness has gotten me into trouble in the past. That was something that I knew I had to work on and I made a conscious effort to think before I speak. It hasn’t always worked out flawlessly. However, I am a work in progress. Please excuse the sidebar and let me get back to the point I was making. If you have a dispute with what a friend did or said then, please speak up about it. Don’t pretend to have moved on from the situation if all you will do is turn petty later on. Here are some examples of being petty, backhanded comments, doing a favor but complaining the whole time and my all time favorite getting upset when someone can’t drop their whole life for you.

The last example of pettiness I just experienced recently by this same “friend.” I was planning on a special Valentine’s Day with that special guy in my life. I wasn’t sure at the time which weekend he wanted to celebrate since the holiday falls on a weekday this year. I stated to her let me get back to you, and once I find out, I’ll let you know if I could attend your event. She was very dismissive of me and stated nevermind forget I even asked. This type of behavior is entirely unacceptable for an adult to act and the passive aggressiveness is beyond ridiculous. If you ever find yourself behaving like this just speak to the person that is causing you heartache. If that person genuinely cares about you, then both of you should be able to work through the situation like adults.

If you have friends in your life that get upset every time you try to express yourself, then you need to get new friends. Real friends will not dismiss your feelings, and they will make an effort in correcting the behavior. When people care about you, the last thing they want is for you to feel any hurt or pain. Please let me reiterate if you are currently dealing with people like this in your life let these people go. These type of people will do nothing but bring you down and then accuse you of being the negative person. Get rid of these toxic people in your life, and you’ll thank me later.

Until next time,

keya's life-001