Keeping Friends We Shouldn’t Keep

A continuation of “Friendships That Shape Our Lives”

What happens if we do keep those friendships that don’t enrich our lives? We could end up mimicking the behavior of those friends. If they don’t enrich our lives, chances are they are either depressed, needy, and only take from you. Worse, they could be involved in more detrimental behavior that could put your life, or family, at risk.

I have the perfect example of a friend that was in my life way too long. We’ll call her Amanda. I met her in 1998 when I went to work in the financial industry. She was not a bad person. She was needy, alone, slightly depressed, and used me and my family to fill the voids in her life. She did end up breaking up my marriage for a short time.

When I would return home from work, her car would be in my driveway and she would be waiting on me! She went on vacations with the family. Because I am a giver and a rescuer, I allowed this to happen. It was totally my fault. I should have explained to her that, although I enjoy her friendship, I have a family to attend to. My husband, now my ex-husband, was jealous of the time we spent together. The same for Amanda. She was jealous of the fact that, although I was younger than her, I owned a home, was married, and had a child. I think subconsciously, she wanted those things so bad, and didn’t have them, she wanted to drive a wedge between me and my husband. After all, misery loves miserable company.

After three months of separation from my husband, I realized what part she played in the event and cut off the friendship. She didn’t know how to be a “regular” friend. It was all in or not at all. To me, a healthy friendship is give and take. You should get out of it what you put in to it.

I recently had another friend tell me she knew I was a better friend to her than she was to me. Shortly after that, my Empathic abilities started to pick up on the times when she was lying to me. After the fourth time, I called her on it. Sure enough, she was lying. After tears and apologies, I held steadfast. Even though I will speak with her on occasion, we no longer socialize or spend significant amounts of time together.

Before spending your precious time with people that call themselves your “friend”, ensure you are truly getting something out of the relationship. Don’t be a rescuer, something I had to learn. It’s not your job to provide people with free psychological counseling just because you’re good at it. Make sure they bring something to you that brings you joy. One-sided friendships will only suck the energy and patience out of you. They will prove detrimental to your life; and if you wait too long, they relationship could do permanent, heartbreaking damage.

To add one last point to this post, but not to frighten anyone, those that are sensitive, or empathic, can actually become physically ill from being around people that are really negative. If you find yourself in this situation, and it repeats, you may want to consider staying away from this individual. I have an actual case I can share with you. One quick second…need to protect myself in prayer, I’ll be right back….I’m back. There is an individual, a female, that lives in the town I live in. She has such a horrible reputation that just about everyone in the 40-60 year-old age range, knows who she is and that she’s bad news. Granted, there is validity to environment and upbringing but this individual chose to go down a path she did not have to. I simply avoid her at all costs and ask those people that are in communication with her to never mention my name.

I have a client (with my computer business), who became somewhat of a friend, that knows her from years ago. That happens when you live in the town you grew up in. Although he has had his transgressions, for all intents and purposes, is a good person. This woman, that we will call Linda, evidentially set fire to her new apartment (accidentally, I’m told).  A small group of men formed a “cleaning crew” to help her get the damaged elements out of the apartment and replace the carpet. People are nice to this woman and it’s difficult for me to imagine. My client and friend decided to be a part of the crew since he had known her for so long. He felt it was the honorable thing to do. He soon has to stop going to her new apartment. Every time he walked into the apartment, he would run to the bathroom to vomit! He was the only one affected this way. It would happen each and every time he went. I spoke to him and told him the best thing to do is to stay away. However, if he felt compelled to lend a hand, he must protect himself before entering her apartment. I told him to say “The Lord’s Prayer”, and picture a bubble of light around himself. This bubble of light would be his protection from any outside force that was intent on changing his emotions, or his physical state. We practiced a couple of times and he did actually protect himself the days he had to go over to her apartment. He never vomited again when he entered the apartment. He doesn’t have anymore business there with Linda but he now understands the power a negative, living soul can have on another.

It’s not a bad idea for all of us to pray each day that the Lord protect us and keep us, and to thank him for another day on this earth, as hard as it may be.

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us out trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil, for Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever. Amen.

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