Have you got frenemies in your life? You ain’t alone. I think most of us have at least one or two frenemies. The term “toxic” is used lot when we talk about people whose presence in our life isn’t positive or supportive. It seems that as a society we’re increasingly aware of negativity in our lives and want to release it.
The good news is that any relationship that doesn’t make us feel good or contribute to our wellbeing doesn’t have to be tolerated. We can exercise our right to limit these relationships or eradicate them altogether. Doing so can be empowering and wonderful.
I recall a very specific case of disconnecting with a girlfriend I had in my early 20s. She consistently made comments to me about my other friends, things like, “That girl is a user,” or, “You should watch out, Jenny is really competitive over men.” It made me paranoid and confused because I rarely agreed with her.
Enough was enough when she said some really awful things about me to a mutual friend. He told me immediately after telling her – bluntly – that he didn’t want to engage in sh*t talk about me. That was the final straw – when I heard what she was saying behind my back I let our friendship dissolve from my life completely. Even though it was hard at the time, I’m still happy years later that I did it. In fact, as with many bad things we give up in life, I could have done it sooner.
Life is tough enough without additional drama being brought on by taxing relationships with our friends and relatives. It’s your life and your precious time. If a relationship isn’t serving you and doesn’t make you feel good, you’re completely entitled to limit the extent that you are exposed to it. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the person involved or will ever stop caring for him or her. It just means that your closeness will decrease. And that’s OK.
Tweet! Tweet! – You can find freedom from frenemies – its all up to you! And don’t waste a second feeling guilty about it.
Here are five loving ways to disconnect with frenemies:
1. Think loving and compassionate thoughts toward the person in question. Hating, resenting or being angry will only hurt you. Perhaps the toxic person is unkind or rude because he is or she is afraid, lost or feeling insecure. Our external condition is an expression of our internal condition.
2. Say no. When you’re invited to something where the person is involved and you don’t want to see them, politely decline. A simple, “Thank you but I can’t make it” will suffice. You are allowed to do this as often as you want! You don’t need to give an explanation, either.
3. Talk to this person about needing some space in a loving way. If you end up speaking with the person, tell them the truth, that you value/care for them – you just need a little break for your own reasons. It’s up to you how much you want to share. If you don’t want to get into it, this is enough.
4. Speak kindly of this person to others. Disconnecting with love doesn’t mean cutting someone out of your life and then talking trash behind his or her back. If the person in question arises in conversation, you can change topic or say something short, honest and kind, “Yes, I have not seen her in a while … I hope she’s doing well.”
5. Remember, you come first. No one will treat you with love or respect unless you do. Releasing non- supportive relationships is one of the first ways to do this! Then relax, breathe and enjoy being in control of your life and your environment. Don’t waste a second feeling guilty about putting someone very important first: you.
How have you successfully managed toxic relationships in your life?