Friday, September 16, 2011

The Friendship Detox


Friends, let us watch the above video.  And then let's discuss our social lives.

I'm extremely, extremely lucky to know a pile of smart, funny, kind, supportive people.  They pick me up at the airport a gajillion times a year, they help me move yet another sofa into yet another apartment, they are really, genuinely excited when I tell them that things are going well for me.  And I suspect that these people play a huge part in why I'm such a painfully happy/productive/driven person.

Because my friends are happy/productive/driven people, too.   And because I know how it feels to be loved and supported by awesome people, I'm so much less likely to tolerate negativity and foolishness in any area of my life.  My emotional dance card is full.  There's no need to hang out with people who constantly whine and snipe and talk only of themselves.  I don't need to be around people who encourage bad behavior, treat others with disrespect or constantly make bad choices and seem surprised (every time!) when things fall apart.

And you know what?  Even if I didn't already have heaps of great friends - there still no reason to hang out with people who don't bring me joy or make me a better person.

Have you ever broken up with a friend?  Are you happy with your social life?

17 comments

  1. Yes, two bad break ups - thankfully one of those resolved itself (with some assistance from Twitter!) she's now moved away to go to uni. The other one is still on the rocks - we're polite to each other and I went to her wedding a few weeks back but I think I need to sever those ties because each time we chat I get all grr about how our friendship fell apart and get all negative about trying to make her feel good etc.

    Anyhoo. I don't think I am happy in my current situation - I've been home from holiday since Sunday - apart from yesterday evening and when I said goodbye to a friend on Sunday I've watched more TV than I've seen people. I even watched Gandhi with my Dad yesterday afternoon after work rather than go home.

    I don't like being a whiney face! ARGH! Need a life lol. Need to meet new people who are going to be those happy encouraging amazing people. Anyone want to adopt me?

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  2. My best friend broke up with me this May. I'm 31, so it's not like this is a problem relegated to the twenties or teens.

    Funny, I was actually relieved when she said she didn't want to be friends anymore. She had stopped being supportive or happy for what I was doing, and in fact, usually had something snarky to say about it. She also made increasing demands on my time, but was never flexible about how that time should be spent (if we were going to hang out, it had to be on her terms).

    Either way, a sucky lesson to learn, but a lesson I needed to learn anyway. You're right, you need friends who mirror who you are in many ways, because those are the types of people who can support you best.

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  3. I love this. And yeah, I've been realizing lately that nobody who makes me feel at all crappy deserves to be in my life. It's a game-changing realization. I feel free! :)

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  4. i have recently started cleaning through my phone and deleting numbers of old friends who have been completely flakey and made me feel terrible about myself. it is so liberating!

    i wouldn't have been able to cut off old friendships as easily if i was younger, but i think i've reached a point in my life that i am secure enough/happy enough with myself that i don't care anymore. i want to spend my time on this earth with others who make me happy & are reliable.

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  5. I broke up with a friend about a year ago. She got a promotion, where we both work, and let it really get to her head. She became a different person; or maybe I just hadn't seen it before this. She was rude, disrespectful & bossy; she thought she was better than everyone - she still does. Her personal life was also a mess & it was spilling into my life. I couldn't handle the drama that she brought to me & I won't have friends that think they're better than me. We still work at the same place, we say hi sometimes but that's about it. Sometimes you just have to rid the toxic friends from your life!

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  6. Unfortunately, I have had a couple friend break ups in the past several years. They were women who could not emotionally/mentally handle their lives and would place the responsibility on their friends. It became too toxic. I felt awful cutting them out of my life...I got several hurtful emails/texts...lots of blame got put on me for being a snobby bitch. But, I'm better off now. I have wonderful friends who only build me up, and that, I think, is the point of friendship.

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  7. This is perfect advice. I don't have many friends because of this advice but I know I am much better off.

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  8. It makes sense to do this sort of thing after high school, since people change soooo much at that age.

    Me, I don't think I relate to people in a normal way. I started learning at a young age that people will say this and that and then one day just disappear. So letting go of bad friends has never been a problem! Though making and keeping them is impossible.

    I've definitely driven off a few friends who were "Nice Guys" trying to suck the life out of me and blame me for everything. But I've had to drive off people I didn't want to but really needed to and I still think about them every day. Part of life I guess.

    That said, I don't think "faking my death" will result in anything good lol. What if no one comes searching? Seriously. I can't think of the last time I've gotten a phone call from anyone. Or the last time I've gone out anywhere (unless it's to help someone move house, or bake them a cake, or...?)

    What if I AM the toxic friend? Only called to order when you need something? How do you know what side you're really on?

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  9. I have been on both ends of this. Sometimes I knew why I was dumped (religion and our shared past of delinquency) and I let it go because I respected their decision. When I was dumped without understanding why, it hurt a lot more. It took years and personal growth to see objectively we were poor friends from the get go. However now I am having a terrible time avoiding a toxic person who's been one of the few people in my life for years. I've never been able to be upfront with her as she really is a bully. But I am her closest friend and I resent it now that I've moved on emotionally - I know I need out, but I don't know how! Her intent isn't bad - just her attitude.

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  10. Melissa -

    I don't think people call on the toxic friends when they want something, they just avoid engaging them all together! Don't take it personally, they may just be socially inept! :)

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  11. I'm in the process of cutting some people off my life. I've been hanging out with a group of guys from my high school for the last 2-3 years whenever i'm home (which is about 3-4 months a year...?), and now im moving away again so i can do it easily without causing big dramas, which i hate. But it will be hard next time im back, because i still love 2 of the guys in the group and would love to stay friends with them and hang out when im there, but how to see them without the others?? (did i mentioned they are incredibly touchy?)
    All i know is that i cant take that misoginist+racist ignorant crap anymore. I dont care if "but they only need someone to open their minds", eff that! Im done sacrificing my effing peace of mind to "educate" them only to be aggressed every time. And no, I don't even care if "oh but you know they were drunk...". It's not an excuse to bash other people like that. Even more so when you are 4 guys against one girl!
    And sometimes, sadly, what is said really cannot be unsaid...

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  12. Yes, I've broken up with a friend. She was difficult, bossy and even coniving. You always hoped to please her. Silly it took years to remove myself from caring about her wrath. I moved on, and quit feeling responsible to her. It felt like a huge and one of the only negative forces in my life had been removed. God leads us in ways like that. The breakup was exactly what I needed.

    Good convo. x

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  13. What good timing. I actually just broke it off with a friend who was already towing the line. When ever I talked about her to others I would have to say "She's a good person... In her own way..." Like an apology.

    My friends, for the most part, do not gossip within our group. For two years we have gone without any drama. But this girl, who is actually far older than any of us, likes to not only shit talk but has been trying to get one of us fired. She knew we had been discussing her behavior, since people haven't been taking kindly to her, and I only confirmed it recently.

    Then she turned her attention to me, and I didn't hesitate to dole out a good dose of GTFO. She went to our friends crying and basically got a whole lot of "All she did was tell you what we have been thinking."

    You can guess who not only has no friends left, but is on her way towards losing both of her jobs.

    I won't have it. Don't treat me that way. Not even once. I only take criticism out of love, not hate.

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  14. I've got a lovely bunch of friends who always make me laugh, have been there for me through some really tough times and are all different and unique in their own way. There have been a few people I've drifted apart from but that's mainly down to them being so far away or us just not keeping as in touch as we should have. I always feel bad for anyone going through a friendship breakdown, it's sad. xxx

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  15. I have broken up with a friend of 28 years. I found that over the years she became very draining and downright mean on a few occasions. We used to holiday as families together, had dinner parties birthday celebrations - the lot. I cared about her and her welfare and was always a willing listener and helper. I didn't seem to notice she was not reciprocal in this way. If she inquired about my welfare it was really to find out details of my life for some reason rather than to support me.
    I finally realized that she showed all the signs of being a narcissist and I was her narcissistic supply. When I backed off from her endless list of dramas she did not come looking for me.
    I have gone through stages in getting over this situation - angry about how she got away with her behavior for so long, then sad that I had wasted my time with someone who was not genuine, now I am happy that I've finally woken up to her and taken a stand and emotionally become unavailable to her.
    I have looked for other friends and nurtured the ones I have and I am very happy with my social life.
    Great topic - hope I didn't ramble too much!

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  16. Thanks so much for posting this video.

    I did a huge friend detox at the beginning of the year and I totally bookmarked this video at youtube to explain to people who were concerned by this why it was actually healthy to "cut off the dead wood from my tree of life".

    Such a good post about this topic!

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  17. I've dropped a few friends - and had one drop me, just as we were finally going to live in the same geographical vicinity for the first time in 2 years.

    But I'm more curious to hear about how you think you developed your lovely group of friends. I'm pretty introverted, so I tend to be more of the make-a-couple-of-very-close-friends sort of person. Unfortunately, when you move, or stop talking, or drift apart, that leaves you with very few people to have over to watch a movie with...

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