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?

Are You Too Empathetic?

Are you the type of person who can pick up the emotions and energy of other people? For example, if someone cries you immediately feel that pain and cry as well. If you see something disturbing on television, does it tend to stay with you for the rest of the day? If you answered yes to these questions, then you are very in tune with your emotions. Some may even argue that you are too emotionally ingrained in your feelings. Having these feelings can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. The blessing is that you are very empathetic to others which can be very helpful in romantic relationships. The downside is this makes you very susceptible to energy vampires. They tend to prey upon your empathetic nature and guilt you into things you may not necessarily be comfortable doing. You become so engulfed with that person that you forget who you are and lose yourself in the process. Here is when you have to be careful with your emotions and who you let in your life. It’s effortless to get caught up with other people as you feel you are helping them. The issue becomes when they are taking, but won’t be there for you when you need it. When this happens, it leaves you high and dry with nothing to show for it. You felt empty and drained of all your resources.

I have this issue myself, so I have a tough time not offering to help. I guess I feel like I have to or I should since the person is confiding in me. However, just because someone is venting to you doesn’t mean you have to take that on. Especially if that person is never pouring back into you, you must protect your mental peace and learn to say no to people. You can have empathy, but that doesn’t mean owning what that person is dealing with currently. There’s nothing wrong with saying this is too much for me to handle, so I need to back away. I am giving that other person time and space to work through their issues. I know people say that if you back away you are selfish and never cared about that person. I disagree with that statement. If your problems are escalating to a point where it is impossible to have a healthy happy relationship, it’s time to leave. Relationships involve two people growing together and moving towards becoming one with each other. If one person isn’t in a position to do this then how is the relationship supposed to last? You can only take so much and if that person isn’t trying to fix it then what other choice do you have? The same can be said for friendships and family members as well.

You can love people from afar, but that doesn’t mean let that drama enter your life and impact your wellbeing. For those of you who don’t have this issue, I am jealous of you. You can separate yourself from people and the problems that are surrounding them. However, to those who tend to take on the emotions and difficulties of others, we must be careful. We must be very picky about who we let into our personal and mental space. People can pick up on how we are and then it can be used to their advantage. Look out for the signs that this person isn’t as generous and using you to feel better about themselves. Listen to your gut and remove yourself from any situation that is detrimental to your health. We aren’t going any more days, months, nor years with toxic behavior. We will no longer allow this to dampen our spirits. We are moving forward in life with our peace and anything that disturbs that is way too expensive.

Do you feel that you are too empathetic? If so, what have you done to correct this? If not, what do you think makes people more empathetic than others?

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,

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