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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