Let’s talk FRIENDSHIP. Remember that? You were introduced to the idea of “friendship” in daycare and the concept has been with you every since. Some friends are positive keepers and some friends are energy reapers.
Which one are you and how can you change the tide, or at least unplug yourself from the drain gang?
Life Strategist Valorie Burton explains How to Spot and Remove SPIRIT DRAINERS in your circle:
hich friend’s name do you dread seeing pop up on your caller ID? If you’re like many, there’s at least one toxic friendship taking up space in your life. Here’s how one of my clients handled that.
When a woman I’ll call Stephanie mentioned her friend Angela, I could hear the stress in her voice . Angela had used Stephanie as her personal crutch for every crisis– and there was always a crisis. One summer after Angela’s care broke down, Stephanie took her to work every day for nearly three months. angela didn’t even offer gas money. Stephanie was resentful but never said anything. Then there were the breakups– four in one year alone. Stephanie listened agreeably to Angela’s complaining and chimed in with the occasional, “He did what? Oh no, he didn’t!” But whenever Stephanie called on Angela during a challenge, the listening ear was seldom reciprocated.
Now Angela, was in another “crisis,” this time at work. Her boss had given her a bad review citing Angela’s poor communication skills and moody behavior. Angela contemplated leaving the job and wanted Stephanie’s help in landing a position at her company, a move Stephanie knew would be disastrous. With professional consequences at stake, Stephanie finally mustered up the courage to have a heart-to-heart with Angela. During the conversation, the truth was revealed: Angela felt entitled to Stephanie’s pity, in part because Stephanie had a happy marriage and a job she loved. Angela was jealous of Stephanie, and that envy led her to dump on her so-called friend. In short, the friendship had become toxic.
In our culture, we use the term “friend” loosely; it can include a casual work buddy or a lifelong bestie. But not all connections are created equal, and it’s important to get clear about what makes a healthy friendship, a mutually encouraging connection that inspires us toward our best. And why is that so crucial to our wellness? Because, according to Gallup research, people who have at least three or four very close friends are not only more engaged in their work, but they’re also more healthy overall.
As you sort out the siphoners from the uplifters, coach yourself with these questions:
1. Does the friendship energize me or drain me?
If you feel restored in the company of friend, that’s a connection worth keeping. On the other hand, if you have to give yourself a mental pep talk before the two of you get together, that’s an enormous red flag. Either have a chat about what’s not working for you or make a decision yourself from the friendship.
2. Can I trust this person?
There’s no such thing as a pal you can’t trust. Someone who isn’t reliable or doesn’t keep your confidences isn’t your friend, so come up with another description. Maybe he or she is your associate. Acquaintance. Neighbor. Classmate. But he or she is definitely not your friend.
3. Do I actually like this person?
People become friends with others for all sorts of reasons — convenience, association, benefits. It’s so much easier to develop and maintain a strong bond with those you respect, like and share some core values with. So do a gut check. Would you want this person in your life even if he or she brought you no other advantage than the joy of his or her presence.
4. Am I myself this person?
If you can’t pull out your hairpins, kick off your socks and be your full self in a relationship, what’s the point? Real friends accept you where you were while supporting you in becoming even better. There’s no judgment. If you’re anxious in someone’s company, or you feel the need to hide or impress, that’s a problem– and often a signal that you need to move on.
That’s exactly the path my client Stephanie eventually chose. After a frank conversation with Angela, she realized just how poisonous their connection had become — and how she herself had contributed to the unhealthy relationship dynamic by not speaking up for herself. The two are still acquaintances who see each other occasionally. That leaves Stephanie with an invaluable gift: the energy to invest in an authentic friendship.
5. Is the friendship a two-way street?
In an authentic relationship, support should be extended. Give generously — and receive graciously.
[Ref. Source: Ebony Magazine]
The ladies on the picture are all pretty – no doubt.
And relating with FRIENDS is what it’s all about.
But at what cost? It should be a give and take.
A friendship is a street that goes two ways.
Don’t get stuck in a rut of always giving
When the counter gratitude returns unwilling.
I’m guilty of giving without asking in return.
But I do so with an open heart. It protects me from getting burned.
I like doing random acts of kindness. Good nature is solid in my DNA.
Though with wisdom aboard, I forgo the “take advantage of Qui” stage.
I don’t mind hugging a few drainers, I have a lot of good energy to give.
I don’t mind sharing at all – if it brightens the life that they live.
But I do mind them taking in excess, long pass the equator sum.
I do expect them to be sensitive to ‘wearing out their welcome.’
If we’re friends – It’s just that. We’re not dating, lovers or married.
So if I don’t extend parental charms – perhaps because it’s not my seed you carried.
It takes a village to raise a child and if you need me – do call upon.
But do not take issue with me, if I don’t ‘put in’ on righting their wrongs.
I love you and mean it – but I have to keep it real.
I’m digging you and our friendship too, but lop sided stuff will have to chill.
Whew! I’m on a roll today. Because being frank is what I do,
Be a good friend, it’s about the GOOD TIMES we spend – Don’t let the drainer be you.