TIPS: Letting Go of Poisonous Pals

This month of tips will be devoted to Friendship.

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When it comes to friendships, everything I’d been taught growing up is to be a loyal, good friend. Talk out your problems, come to a resolution, and move on. Friends Forever, right?

However, sometime a friendship no longer works. A friend has become increasingly negative…or overly critical…consistently unreliable…jealous of your successes…passively aggressive in communication…or has in some other way become poisonous to your well-being. Or, perhaps you have simply just grown apart. Sometimes, it’s okay to let go of a once-dear friend. Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful in dealing with this painful situation:

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TIP #5 – ADDRESS THE ISSUE:
Often an issue that arises in a friendship is a solvable problem, stemming from unexpressed issues or expectations on your end or theirs. Communication is key – be open with your friend.

TIP #6 – GIVE IT TIME: If your pal is aware of the situation and nothing changes after a period of time, then…

TIP #7 – GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO LET GO: I don’t know about you, but I feel so guilty any time I do anything that may hurt other people. Come to grips with the fact that this is the healthiest decision for you (AND your friend, because nobody wants to be stuck in an insincere friendship).

TIP #8 – GET CLOSURE: Have an open conversation, write a letter, or let a friendship fade out naturally, but make sure you handle it in the way that works for you. I’ve spent more times post-friendships stressing out about the lost friendship because it still felt unresolved, or I was afraid to fully resolve an issue being too afraid of hurting a “poisonous pal” by saying what I truly felt (in a truthful, kind, caring way, of course!).
***It’s never a good idea to use a third party for getting closure. There is no need to involve any mutual friend in your business. There just isn’t.***

TIP #9 – MOURN YOUR LOSS: Losing a friendship, whether it was your choice or not, is a very difficult adjustment. The friendship you knew and loved is gone forever. Take some time to come to terms with it if you need to; it’s okay. But time truly does heal all wounds.

As hard as it is to lose or hurt a friend, realize it’s the best for everybody’s well-being. And if you do see your poisonous pal in the future, just be polite and kind. Because really, do you need to be anything else?

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If you missed last week’s tips, click here.

Playing Grown-Ups will only be posting three times a week for the month of September: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Come back tomorrow to see what’s new!

~ Sherri <3

 

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Friendship Weekly Challenge #3: Let Go of An “Anchor”

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The best part about friends are that, unlike relatives, difficult bosses, annoying co-workers, or bad neighbors, they are the people you CHOOSE to have in your life. Your friends are people who are supposed to have your back, tell you when you’re doing something counter-productive, and bring out the best in you. They are meant to enhance your life in a positive way.

So what if one of your friends is bringing constant stress and/or negativity into your life? I like to consider friends to be my life-jackets, the people who keep me afloat in the turbulent sea of life. When a friend does nothing but bring you down, they are more like an “anchor”, who are causing you to sink. I once had a friend who I realized I stayed in touch with solely because I knew the friendship meant a lot to her. In reality, I was afraid to say anything about my career or social life, because she’d be jealous if anything good happened to me. She was also incredibly negative, so I felt like I was hanging around Debbie Downer. Her “commentary” on my life was neither helpful nor necessary. It was easier to stay friends before the “real world” kicked in, and this negative friendship began to affect my sleep and work quality, and my overall well-being. As soon as I realized that she was not truly my friend, I realized  the relationship eventually dissipated. (This was a lot easier to do pre-Facebook, I promise you!)

Maybe you’re lucky, and your life is set. Your friends are great, and a complete support team. But as life evolves, friends tend to pop in and out. If there’s someone who’s been holding you back, perhaps it’s time to just let go and move on. Having 500 “friends” on Facebook doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with all of them. Alternatively, if you feel like a bad situation with a friend has been weighing you down, make time for that important conversation to try to right the wrongs. Or, if you’ve already been mourning the loss of a former friendship, spend this time focusing on the friends who are true to you. Whatever your “anchor” is, let it go, and put your mind-set back on the right track.

Stay ‘tooned later this week for some tips on how to let go of a “poisonous pal”, or a friendship that has fizzled out.

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Week #3: LET GO OF AN “ANCHOR”

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TIPS: There’s No “U” in Friendship

This month of tips will be devoted to Friendship.

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When you’re on the go, juggling career, life, and friendships, it’s easy to forget how to be a good friend. Sometimes, when catching up with friends on the phone, I realize I’d been on the phone for 10 minutes talking about what’s been going on in my life before realizing that I’d yet to hear anything about what’s been going on in theirs.  Friendship is about what you and your friend can do for each other; it’s about balancing each other out. Here are a couple of great reminders about ways to strengthen your friendships:

TIP #3 – BE THOUGHTFUL: Kindness and consideration strengthen a friendship. If you are out food shopping, call a friend who lives nearby and ask if they need anything from the store. Do you see an item of clothing that would look great on a friend? Call them and let them know. Or just send a text to your friend to let them know you’re thinking of them. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what your friends call YOU with in the future.

TIP #4 – GIVE AND TAKE: Friendship is a two-way street. Don’t monopolize your catch-up time by talking about what’s been going on in your career or personal life. Ask your friends questions, and pay attention to what they have to say. Don’t play with your phone while they talk; really give it your all. Life today is about multitasking, but friendship is about appreciation and communication.

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If you missed last week’s tips, click here.

Playing Grown-Ups will only be posting three times a week for the month of September: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Come back tomorrow to see what’s new!

~ Sherri <3

 

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Friendship Weekly Challenge #2: Send Snail Mail

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Just because technology has changed and people don’t send out letters anymore (except for bills, invitations and thank you/holiday/birthday cards) doesn’t mean receiving the act of receiving a letter in the mail has lost a spark! When’s the last time you received a letter correspondence from a friend?

This week, do something special. Write a letter, on actual paper, and send it out to a friend! Bonus points if you include photos, stickers, or something else fun and kitchy. Most importantly, have fun knowing how big the smile will be on your friend’s face when he/she opens up that letter!

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Week #2: SEND SNAIL MAIL

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TIPS: How to Maintain Friendships in 2013

This month of tips will be devoted to Friendship.

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Here are some tips on maintaining friendships in 2013:

With so much going on these days, how does one keep up with old friends? (Especially if said friends are not on Facebook or other social media!). Here are a couple helpful tips on keeping friendships fresh in today’s fast-paced world. More tips are to come throughout the month of September, aka Friendship Month here on Playing Grown-Ups:

TIP #1 – KEEP YOUR PROMISES: When you make plans or promises, don’t go back on your word. If you tend to forget things, make a phone reminder- (heck, make 10 if it’ll help!) If you say “I’ll call you back later”, don’t forget. (Again, phone reminders are very handy.) After a while, your words lose meaning, and your friendship value drops. I’ve always hated saying “no” to people, so I tend to be an “over-yesser”. While I do WANT to spend all my time hanging out with friends, I’ve had to scale back when promising get-togethers. I’m trying my best to only make plans when I’m 100% available. It’s hard, but I work on it one phone conversation at a time.

TIP #2 – KEEP COMMUNICATION OPEN: If something is upsetting you in a friendship, tell your friend. If your friend hurt you, don’t be afraid to tell them. Keeping grudges only breeds resentment that can unravel a friendship. If you are going through a tough time, opening up to a friend for advice or help can bring you closer.

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**For the record, Carvel Ice Cream is my most favorite thing in the whole entire world. (Yoo-Hoo is a close second). The first boy in the cartoon does in no way reflect this website’s feelings at ALL.**

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If you missed last week’s tips, click here.

Playing Grown-Ups will only be posting three times a week for the month of September: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Come back on Monday to see what’s new! 

~ Sherri <3

 

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Friendship Weekly Challenge #1: Catch Up With Calls/Messages

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With so much going on in today’s world, and so many distractions, it’s so easy to tell a friend “I’ll call you right back”, and then completely forget about it. How many friendships have you strained because you have yet to call someone back?

Well, the people procrastination ends now! Write a list of all the friends you owe phone calls, e-mails, texts, or any other form of communication with. Set a little time aside each day to catch up with them. Pretty soon your I.O.U.’s will be N.O. More! You’ll strengthen your friendships and feel a whole lot less guilty about being a bad friend.

So this week – CATCH UP WITH YOUR CALLS & MESSAGES!

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Week #1: CATCH UP WITH CALLS/MESSAGES!

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September is Friendship Month!

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When you’re young, it’s hard to imagine that anything can break the bond of friendship. Sure, life has its dramas, but once you become an “adult”, for the most part your life is set. You’ll have your career, you’ll have your family, and as sure as death and taxes, your best friends will always be there for you.

Then reality hits. While you weather the storm of life, some friends may cling to the same lifeboat as you, while others drift off on their own. Some of it may be due to distance, some may have parted ways due to a specific argument or “incident”, and others may just be different people than you were at the start of your friendship (yourself included).

How does one navigate friendship in adulthood while juggling a fast-paced, ever-changing world of work, family obligations, social networking, and everything else? How do you make all your friends happy, while managing to keep your own sanity? Which friends are your life-vests, who keep you afloat, and which are your anchors, who only bring you down?

Over the course of this month, we’ll explore various articles, ideas, stories, and words of inspiration about FRIENDSHIP today. I hope you will feel free to open up and share as well.

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Stay ‘tooned later today for our first Weekly Challenge for the month of September!

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