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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Role People Play in Our Lives ... Part One

Toxic People ~ when people really aren't your friends...

As I move towards my future and the new person/life that awaits me, I have been looking back at all the people who have taken a walk with me in life this far. I have been truly blessed to of had at any given time many  People I called "friends". Having very little family here in Canada (parents and 2 siblings) some friendships developed into Extended Family. While others took on the various forms that friendships do ~ school friends; professional friends; social friends; etc.

It's interesting to note the social friends were the ones too quickly exit, after my accident - after all we no longer had much in common I was bedridden while they were out travelling, networking, having a great time. Over time the professional friends started to recede, especially when it became apparent that I would not be returning to my career. School friends, well they drift in and out and always ready to relive the "good old days" stories; it provides an escape from their current lives as well.

The Extended Family Friends ~ are the smallest group, but the ones that have remained constant. They have been the ones who don't take it personally when I go through dark times and need to retreat from the world. They understand just because I need time (its about me healing, not them or anything they have done or not done) and are there when I'm ready to rejoin the world, with open arms. I can't begin to tell you how grateful and appreciative I am of this small group.

Having been privileged and blessed with good People in my life (even the one's who are no longer an active part of my life) I have not encountered or if I did, the positive energy that surrounded me, made the presence of Toxic People very short - that I often had not noticed they had been Toxic People until they were no longer around. I can not say I have been as lucky post-accident, it appears (from discussion with my psychologist about people in my life) that I have left myself open to:

The Misery Lover
This type cares more about my bad news than my good news days. These people  rally when a crisis hits and some how are even able to turn small incidents into bigger challenges, at times. This friend is consoling whenever things are on a forty-five, –  my weight gain from Meds or lack of interest in food (thus turning to  , often junk food) or feel lost, questioning my choices post accident, or am suffering bouts of dark days–when the situation improves, she distances herself. If I've been able to retreat during these times, this type of friend will punish me for not letting her play a role in the misery, often when I'm returning back to the land of the living, she is all of a sudden unavailable.

The Discloser
Although there should be an assumption of confidentiality and trust between friends, this type can't help herself. When I say, "This is just between us," she nods her head but unfortunately that promise will last only as long as it takes her to get to her phone or e-mail. What this friend doesn't realize is often the people she has shared personal things regarding me - like themselves can't keep their promise and through the proverbial "grape vine" it makes it's way back. I'm slowly learning who I can trust and be completely open with.

The Up One
This type starts out with good intentions (or so they make it seem), compassion for what I am going through, understanding, encouraging and supportive. Then without warning they become someone who when I open up about the rough day I'm having or the difficult time I'm entering ~ instead of the friend they have been - all of a sudden its about how "bad" things are with them. The conversation becomes almost like a competition of who has it worse. I want to remain the Glass is Half Full in my life, so I will let this friend win. After all I only died, lost my self and life - while they have bigger things like what to cook for dinner, or social activity they are hoping to get an invitation for and lets not forget the friend they have at work, who is always trying to up them one.

The Debbie Downer
This type seems to always find the negative part of everything, whether it's my life or hers and will spend the whole conversation about how unhappy she is, and when offered GOOD solutions ... responds with " but you don't understand" ( like my life in peaches and roses). Often this friend is a really good person with a great heart and one I really would like to have in my life, unfortunately the place I am in my own life - makes this friend extremely emotionally and energy draining.

The above are Toxic People and we all have them in our lives, its how much we allow these people into our lives that will determine the impact they have on us and our everyday lives. After all they could be just going through a rough patch themselves and hide their fears and lack of confidence in the Negative/Toxic.

Have you found that you have been able to keep such a person(s) in your life, and over time they have become a Positive friend?

Next time (part two) ~ When Good Friends Happen!


19 comments:

  1. I love the blog, I am now following from the weekend hop

    would love a follow back
    http://thelifeofawifenmommy.blogspot.com/

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  2. Oh yes we need loving supporting inspiring friends around us! Everyone has a bad day at times, however those with these continual traits just bring us down!

    Come and enter my fashionable giveaway from The French Basketeer!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  3. I love your blog!! I'm follwoing you now and hope you'll return the favour!!

    Nancy

    http://thatsoundslikecrazy.blogspot.com/

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  4. i don't keep toxic people in my life...Life is too short and i am too busy ! LOL
    Great post and you rock, you know that :)

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  5. Yes girl , i love how you broke it down! Love this!

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  6. These days I mostly try and avoid toxic people...I used to try and "help" them but it just used to end up making *me worse*

    I found your blog on Facing 50 with Humor.

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  7. So well-written. I relate to every one of these statements -- so very true! Hope you are doing well these days. Hugs, J

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  8. new follower from the sunday blog hop... I love this entry!! So true :)

    have a great night - Alyssa
    http://armygirlfriendconfessions.blogspot.com

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  9. Dearest Celia,

    Oh, how well phrased! You could write a book about this subject. Yes, we all have had this 'negative' energy drain from friends with a 'dead end'... So many people indeed vie for attention and want to be more pitiful than others. WHY? Life indeed is too short and too precious for having to lend an ear to those that almost drown us emotionally...
    A big hug to you and you're very strong inside!

    Mariette

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  10. New follower from social Sunday hop. This is such a truthful and great post.

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  11. i can relate on your post, i too have only well one person that i could only call best friend, as for others that they say they're my friends, i could put them in each categories that you mentioned, this is probably why i like to distance myself from them and the result? it's not good either coz now i become a private person who only keep to myself, they say a friend in need is a friend indeed, wishing you a blessed day!

    I'm following you from let's get social weekend hop!

    Susan @http://tea-diary.blogspot.com

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  12. I was surprised you failed to mention the Jeckyll&Hyde friend type. Where they are either super-supportive awesome for everything OR one of the toxic types you listed with no real warning on who you'll see.

    A friend of mine had an ex-wife like that who I was at one time friends with. And she also was an isolationist in that she tried to be the only friend you could have because she saw the evil auras of all my other friends.

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  13. I try to surround myself with people that build me up, not bring me down. But it is tough at times, especially, because sometimes the toxic people are people you really care about! I think it's best to be aware of what type of person someone is and then you can adjust your expectations (and actions) accordingly!

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  14. Isn't it interesting the people we have in our life? Some touch the parameters while others touch our hearts.

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  15. I believe people come and go into our lives for some reason and to teach us something. However we must know to choose for the best.

    Hope you're living nice and lovely times with real friends.

    Tons of love, angel

    xoxo

    http://searchingtheinnerme.blogspot.com/

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  16. I am a new GFC follower from the Let's Get Social hop ~~
    Karen
    ~Mommy's Moments~
    http://www.avonbykaren.blogspot.com

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  17. I can count my friends on my one hand, and then not even all my fingers on that hand. I have loads of acquaintances, but cannot call them friends. But those who I can call my friends, are good friends, and people I can rely on.

    Well written post, you certainly have talent to write a novel, and have a best seller.

    Thanks for sharing, it surely made me take score of my life and appreciate my friends a little more.

    Hope your week is filled with no pain and loads of joy.

    Colin.

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  18. wow -- so very very true. this is such a great post (i feel like i say this all the time, but it is always so true!)

    i find that i somehow attract these toxic people into my life - and as soon as i get rid of one, i have another one popping up. and they're a combination of the up one and the debbie downer - it's just a mess. i have never had success in turning them into a loving friend, unfortunately.

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  19. Wow! What a fabulous post. I have experienced ALL your examples. I think it's only with the wisdom of age that we obtain the tools to know when to just walk away.

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