Recognizing fair-weather friends
Yesterday I took a call from someone I have known for a good many years. Let’s call her Jane. She called to ask if I could meet up with her during my forthcoming week off work. So far, so good, despite the fact she has not been in touch with me for some time. Jane’s next statement however was to the effect that she would rather be meeting with someone else (a girl she knows I do not like) but that this girl is busy at the moment with her new boyfriend. It could not have been made clearer that Jane only called me because she has no-one else to spend time with. I am told she was surprised that I declined her invitation.
I do not expect always to be anyone’s first priority, but neither do I expect to be used only as a contingency plan.
A few years ago, Jane, and lots of other people were calling me all the time. At the time I was doing really well. I always had money to spare as I was in a better job than any of my friends following a lot of hard work and ensuing rapid promotion. I was popular, to the point where I often found myself sacrificing things I wanted to do, and my own quiet time to spend time with my friends. I saw Jane at least three times a week.
I met a man, younger than myself, who just couldn’t get enough of me. He told me all the time that he loved me and that one day it would not be me paying for everything. Each time I gave him money, or bought all the drinks, he waxed lyrical that he would do the same for me if our roles were reversed.
I lost the job. Suddenly I was trying to survive on DSS money while looking for work, and although I found something quite quickly, I took a huge drop in salary. For nearly a month, I could not afford to go out at all, only just scraping up enough money to eat.
So, I expect you have guessed hat happened to my friends. Jane phoned me once during that month and said it would be nice to see me once I could afford it. My boyfriend saw me twice. He refused to visit me at home, preferring to go out drinking with Jane and her partner. He is not my boyfriend any more.
Now, I am quite comfortable financially, and rebuilding my social life, but am being careful who I make friends with. I would rather have two or three really good friends, than a thousand people who will dessert me when I need them. I will go for quality rather than quantity anytime.
A real friend will be there for you under any circumstances. Luckily, I have a few of these too, and it is one of them I chose to spend my time off with
Toxic Relationships – Getting Rid of Them
By Steve Wickham
Have you ever been trapped in a toxic, dysfunctional relationship? If you have, you’ll know where I’m coming from here. I mean trapped by the sense that at some given moment your awareness has been piqued and you knew the relationship was beginning to cause problems.
It’s a scary time for anyone, female or male. This has relevance not only for romantic relationships, but also occasionally within the family, and it is particularly relevant to friendships, and frighteningly so for many young people’s friendships. Toxic relationships are no good to you, and will eventually bring you harm if you don’t do something to fix it or extract yourself from it. Relationships are designed to operate basically equally; there should be some note of fairness that resonates through the relationship, for both parties.
Apply this fairness test, and if it comes up short, challenge the other party in a respectful adult way. This is done by expressing your needs of them and requesting their feedback. “I need you to…” is how the expression should go.
Many times, if the relationship is toxic, i.e. it is no good to you, and will eventually bring you harm — the other party simply won’t listen and won’t hear what you’re telling them — that is alarm bell number 2. You then have a choice. Seek further help if the relationship means that much to you, or bail out. If you’re a good person generally you deserve to relate with good people who will be considerate of you, who’ll care for you, and who’ll love you back.
The toxic partner, friend or acquaintance is someone who’ll leave you ‘high-and-dry’ in the consideration stakes. They won’t be faithful; they won’t last the distance. In these situations wisely protect yourself from the coming hurt. You should always be on the lookout for signs when you suspect you’ve got a toxic relationship like this. Get enough evidence and then challenge them with courage staying in control of your emotions.
There are a lot of people out there who will be willing to be a better friend or partner to someone who knows what they want. If you want relationships that speak of care, consideration, and love and you’re prepared to do your 50 percent in the relationship, then there’s someone else out there who’s also willing; someone who’s not ‘damaged-goods,’ someone who will reciprocate. Wait for this person. You’ve got a clearer chance at happiness with such a person as this.
Copyright © 2008, Steven John Wickham. Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve’s key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us.
Do you want your life to get better ? Do you feel some people in your life are taking you for granted? Do you wonder why you allow people to take advantage of you? Do you feel right now your life is at a crossroads? Can your life really change?
Yesterday a woman told me about this book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. I was skeptical because I am not really into “self help” books. I began to read Ms. Hay’s book and the information is excellent. The life lessons Ms. Hay teaches in the book are common sense lessons but they are also very informative.