I’ve talked before about letting go of toxic relationships. If that wasn’t enough, my sister from another mister, Jeanette, also wrote about it recently. But you know, it doesn’t seem to be enough. It’s as though these relationships are just always in your life or popping up suddenly or perhaps you’ve just outgrown people who refuse to grow. Whatever the case, I want to talk about this again.
I consider myself a somewhat ambitious gal. I’m not seeking out fame and fortune or anything, but it is important to me to be open to new concepts and ideas and to learn from the world and those around me. The people and places and things I encounter should teach me something. I should be able to learn and grow until I am through with this life. This is my belief, I don’t expect anyone else to share it or fling themselves wholeheartedly into it, it just is. But I do find it difficult to be with people who have no desire to learn or grow or change their lives for the better at all. I can accept people for who they are, but to suffer alongside them when they have no desire to do anything about their problems other than to dwell and stress and just suffer? No thanks.
I am fortunate enough to have surrounded myself with mostly positive, mostly genius and always entirely amazing people (weather they think so or not, not up to them)! As a result of being surrounded by this awesome posse of awesomeness, I can easily forget how hard it can be to attract such people in one’s life and to develop and nurture such relationships. It has taken me decades to assemble this crew and I hold it closest and dearest to me and like nothing else in this world. My love for these people is unconditional. We hurt each other from time to time, but we always find a way to come back and just love, ya know?
There’s no special way or place or trick to meeting such people other than just being yourself and accepting yourself just as you are. That’s no trick, but I realize that it’s no easy feat, either. And even when you think you have the most awesome tribe to love and support you (and you to give that right back and then some), something changes or pops up and you suddenly cannot believe you trusted someone or that they could disrespect you so. It happens. I recently convinced myself that my BFF Jery, hated me. He doesn’t, it’s all fine.
I was afraid to say anything to him about it though. At first because I felt selfish for even thinking it, but I also didn’t want to cause any drama for anyone. I have certainly had enough of that shit lately. I am melodramatic by nature and am finding I don’t always like that quality in myself. So rather out of the norm, I stayed silent for awhile. It wasn’t until our lines of communication were back up and running, so to speak, that I mentioned it to him. I was shocked when he said he’d missed me. It made me feel good but hurt at the same time. Hurt that I’d thought otherwise about such a trusted and true friend. I’m sorry for that, Jery. I hope you know that I love you and nothing will ever change that. <3
There are always people in our lives who may disagree with us for one reason or another. It may be a lifestyle thing, beliefs, politics, and so on, but we try to remain friends with them because at some point they seemed awesome enough for just that. Things change, people change, circumstances change and suddenly you feel like this person is a stranger in your life. Or worse, a judgmental cretin who will stop at nothing to hold you back or put you down. It is awful when these people are your blood relatives. I know, been there.
So what can you do? No one likes a big sloppy confrontation (right?). Underhanded things like cryptically worded emails, Facebook updates and text messages are really not the way to go about it as it doesn’t really explain your feelings or offer them much in the way of working things out. I always suggest the calm, compassionate, but mature conversation. Having said that, some people simply do not deserve or can participate in such things. But the bottom line is that people need to be told honestly and clearly that they are not treating you as you would like to be, and absolutely should be, treated. I am all for giving people chances, but you have to know when to say enough!
Setting boundaries is something we’re not taught as part of our usual childhood type things. Communication techniques are also not taught or perhaps I missed out on that, I did cut a lot of classes! Ha! But seriously, being an adult and having to interact with such a swath of the population for work or what have you, is difficult. Unless you were exposed to such things, you just wouldn’t know how to do them. I’m still not entirely clear about boundary setting, but I know it’s necessary with some people. I have begun to see how boundaries or a lack of can help or hurt a relationship. There are just certain subjects with certain people I know I can’t talk about. It’s not so bad. I can still love and enjoy that person in my life, I just don’t need to get into the sticky-sitch of whatever that topic may be. If they can respect that as well, we’re cool. If they can’t, well, that’s when I begin to consider why Iwant this person in my life.
You just know when someone is a toxic relationship for you though. You do. You just fucking do! You feel it. You know it. After hanging out with them you don’t feel good or positive or whatever. You feel less than or that you’ve put effort into something and got nothing in return. Friendships, any relationship, take effort. But you shouldn’t have to kill yourself for them! It should be an easy thing to let someone know you care about them. You shouldn’t have to fear shame or rejection. You should be able to just be you, no matter what. If you can’t, then it’s not a healthy relationship. You might consider asking yourself why this person matters to you. Why do you care for them so much? What do they give you? How do they make you feel? If you’re coming up with zeros or negatives, it’s time to let them go.
I know it’s difficult when it’s family. The thing about that…you didn’t choose them! But you can absolutely choose who gets to participate in your life and who you want to spend your love and energy on! That is within your rights and powers and all of it! You deserve to be treated with respect, honesty, equality and love! If you have someone always taking? Tell them to take a damned hike! If you feel like you need to be “on” for them, again, let them go! They are not helping or benefiting you in any way. You don’t need them.
I say this, but I also want to say that you have to give. Sometimes, you have to give a lot. Some relationships take so much time to turn into something special that you wonder what it’s all for…but being with that person should answer that question for you. I know when I’m with my friends, I get a lot out of it. Even just talking or watching a movie, I enjoy the time with them and feel refreshed or energized after spending that time with them. If you’re feeling drained or wrung out after being with someone, every time you see them? Maybe give them some space, give yourself some space. I think that there are people in the world who just don’t know how to be positive or how to be kind or respectful. For whatever reason, they’ve chosen a different role for themselves and that is fine. But that is not okay if you’re not into that. It is okay to let them know this. They should know why you don’t want to spend the time anymore.
Yes, it’s hard. Humans! The bastards! Ha! We have, like, feelings and junk? It’s, you know, like, whatever! But wouldn’t you wanna know if you were the biggest bummer to be around? I would! I was that person! I know I was a major bummer. I don’t know how or why my friends stuck around, but they did and I hope they don’t regret that choice. I am grateful for their loyalty and love everyday. Trust is something you must earn, but love is something you just get and give. I hope that you can ditch these toxic relationships, let go of the baggage and burdens they’ve caused and just start fresh and focus on those that matter and are there for you. Because you deserve and are worth the effort and love and respect and honesty that is out there for you. I hope that you find people in this world that will see that you are amazing. Because you are!
The Irish Claddagh stands for Love, Loyalty and Friendship