People come into our lives for reasons we may never understand. Sometimes they come to teach us a lesson, sometimes they come to provide a lifelong friendship and support ( if you’re lucky), and sometimes they just come because they have nowhere else to go. Hello, toxic friends.
It fascinates me at how big Earth is, and even more so, how many people all reside on the same planet and will never meet before it is their time to go. That is a huge mind trip for me, and I’m going to take it one step further. Out of the entire world population of 7,632,819,325, the people that have come and gone throughout your life is such a small pool.
My favorite thought is: 7.6 BILLION and I got stuck with you?!
I have had many friends growing up through the years but as I have gotten older, my circle keeps getting smaller and smaller. Reasons for this vary from being a simple “we lost touch”, to a more complicated, “that person is toxic and I finally set them free… Hallelujah.” I have a horrible tendency of putting others needs before my own in all situations. This seems like great quality, but it allows people to get real comfortable real fast. Favors turn into expectations, and manners turn into a weakness. Manipulation is at the forefront of all conversations and plans and you are no longer a great friend but a great puppet. Your actions can turn into habits that you may not even realize, and after years of entertaining a one-sided friendship, you’re left with no one to call when you need a favor or you’re in trouble. So we need to enforce a detox. A clean gut is great, but a clean social circle is even better.
- Step back and look at your current circle of friends. Who lacks the ability to be a friend back to you? Who is in constant need of something, anything? Who brings drama into your life or just doesn’t make you feel good about yourself? Take a real hard look at your friendships from an outside perspective. Take all emotions out of it and really look at the relationship for what it is and if you have a hard time with this, enlist some help. Whether it be your mother, boyfriend, husband, brother, sister, aunt, or your favorite barista at Starbucks, get their opinion.
- Now you need to plan for your detox. How are you going to eliminate this person from your system? Here are your options:
- A. Honesty. Be honest and tell this person how you truly feel. I think honesty is the best policy but I rarely choose this method. #Savage.
- B. Taper off. Communicate less and less and show less devotion to the friendship until it naturally fizzles out. I prefer this method since it is less harsh and less drama. I also hate confrontation which leaves Plan A completely out of the running.
- C. Cold Turkey. Cut that toxic train off immediately and perform all blocking techniques. Block this person on everything and pretty much allow yourself to fall off the face of the earth in their eyes.
- After you perform your detox, you need to plan for temptation. What happens if this person comes creep-creep-creepin’ on back into your life? It will happen, it always does. You need to plan for getting hit with the “I miss you”, “we used to be so close”, and the worst of it all, the reminiscing of previous times. “do you remember that one time…”. Depending on your chosen detox plan, this area is always tricky. If you cut this person out of your life cold turkey, then you honestly don’t need to respond… like, at all. But, if you chose A or B, this can get a little harder. Through the years I always gave into the friend. I would give them chance #573,209 to prove me wrong, but did they ever? That would be a solid NO. So now it is time to prove that your puppet strings are no longer attached and you are in fact “a real boy” (Pinocchio reference).
- Last but not least, it is time to reflect and ask yourself some hard questions:
- Why did you become friends with that person?
- Have you always chosen friends similar?
- Why do you feel the need to be someone’s support system but not your own?
- What character traits do you need to avoid when making new friends in the future?
- And the most important question of all:
- What are you giving others that you can not give yourself?
Self-reflection will honestly give you all the answers you need. Why do you choose the “sick puppy” friends or relationships? Why can you love others, but not yourself? Etc. Once you see your pattern for who you bring into your life, you will love yourself more and hold higher standards when it comes to your future relationships. Soon enough your days of letting people walk all over you and putting up with their shit will be long gone!
So, with that I would like to submit a change to the saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”, because being a good person is not a bad thing, nor is it a weakness. So let’s all start saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice you’re an asshole.