Look. I get it. You’re a grown-up. And so am I, but sometimes things have a way of following us around. As the mother of two teenage girls, I want to practice what I preach. A few years ago, I was suffering from friendships that seemed to belong back in high school, and to be honest, I kept letting them happen.
I never saw it coming. I always thought of myself as a strong person, but somewhere deep down inside, I knew I just wanted to be like “everyone else”. I had convinced myself that other adults were having these fabulous girl’s nights out, and going off with other couples and even going on vacation together (did I like someone enough for that??).
So at one of my many “this is the year I am going to…” moments, I decided to reach out and make a new friend. The problem was and still is, things come with warning signs. Many, many, many warning signs. And if you are so desperate for friendship that you ignore some of your own standards, it goes to hell in a handbag really quickly. << Southernism.
You see, the toxic, drama-filled friendship was full of stop signs, skull and crossbones type warnings, and red flags. I ignored them all. I honestly looked for the good in the friendship and for whatever reason, thought this person couldn’t help it (note, that is bullshit). So I had attracted a narcissistic type relationship yet again.
What’s the good news in this?
I recognized the signs one day when I realized my friend wasn’t happy about the success I was having in healing, moving on, and getting better in my life. Want to learn more? Check this out later: Coping when a Dysfunctional Friendship Ends
How to walk away from drama:
- Acknowledge that you deserve better. This is a huge step. You are a magnificent human being. Say that out loud. Your past does not define you, and your past mistakes do not mean that you are no longer worthy and deserving of a great friendship, job, partner, or whatever it is that is causing you drama.
- Stop creating it if it’s you. So this part might be difficult, but acknowledge your part. Are you poking the bear? Do you just love arguing? Notice and reflect on areas where you might be the catalyst and start to step away from people and situations that feel like you are deliberately needing the attention or the last word. Yes. This is hard advice, but truly notice that having the last word with someone who loves drama will not change their mind…nor will it change yours.
- Gossip needs legs. I worked with this woman once who would literally grab anyone who walked by her room, pull them inside and show them someone’s FB page just to joke on their recent photos. It was like a Venus Fly Trap of gossip up in there. Don’t be fooled. Avoid, if at all possible, the water cooler type conversations where people can and will overhear. Where Venus can run on back and grab more people saying that you, yes you, were the one that started this rumor knowing all along it’s not true. However, people did see the two of you talking. The perfect set-up.
- Set the boundaries. I waited too long to tell someone I wished she hadn’t told me about all the back-stabbing and sleeping around every time I met one of her “friends”. Because guess what? If she’s ready to tell all about their business, she certainly will talk about mine. You better believe this fact. I didn’t want to be in that type of friendship. It was draining to hide what I knew and draining to listen to it. It was a loop.
- Accept it, learn from it, and go on with life. ~Vincent Neerings
I could also quote good ole’ Kenny rogers and so I shall: You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run. I learned a hard lesson. And for a long time, I wasn’t sure if I could trust myself to make new friends. Then one evening, I met a new person who was so full of life she was a joy to be around. She only saw the best in other people and we talked about everything, and never once has the conversation veered into any areas that made me feel awful, drained, or lowered in any way.
I started surrounding myself with only people who lifted me up, and I continued to heal. I felt better about myself and life and knew that there were actually people out there who were meant to stay in my life. I also started teaching others how to attract the types of relationship into their lives that were good for them, and how to work on healing their own lives through my journal therapy, yoga, and affirmation exercises. If you’d like to learn more, we’d love to have you. >> I need support. <<