Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Days of the "Friendship Martyr" Are Over

If anyone thinks I am some "ra ra" dreamer whose life is all roses and sunshine, I assure you I am not.

One challenge I have been addressing in my life these days is putting myself and my path first. Sometimes friends can disappoint you. Some people can be supportive and some can be toxic. I realized that if someone enjoys making you feel stupid or inferior, that is not something you need to internalize. That is in all cases their issue that they are basically "throwing up" onto you. Folks can be hurtful with their words and their careless disregard for your feelings. Nevertheless the only power you have is in your response to these people and situations.

A friend triggered some issues with me. It stayed in my head for the entire weekend- mainly because I realized that this guy enjoys being a jerk to people. I have always been aware of this fact. I didn't acknowledge how much over time it has been poisoning my spirit. I wasted so much time over the weekend going over and over in my brain the humiliation he "unknowingly" vomited into my evening. I mentally obsessed over this incident like a tape I could not stop. It is only today that I truly accepted that this was the greatest gift I could have been given.

I learned that I can choose to waste days of my life stewing over hurt feelings and assigning blame or I can realize that the actions of others have no power to affect me unless I let it. This is not an easy thing to do but it is necessary. If someone chooses to inflict their unhappiness onto you, recognize it is their unhappiness not yours. You teach people how to treat you and people tell you who they are through their actions not their words. Recognize what "they are telling you" and what "you are teaching them" or you are setting yourself up for drama.

I have spent a lot of time putting up with crap from folks I call friends. For my part I take responsibility because, I am no victim. My days of being the "friendship martyr" are officially over. I have cleansed myself of a few "dysfunctional" friendships that turned toxic this year. In times past this would have been unthinkable, not anymore. Something seems to be finally waking up within me. I now understand that simply because someone says "I am sorry" it means nothing if their actions show it was just talk. My challenge is to keep all this junk in perspective.

When friends get "toxic" it is okay to step back and de-tox. I must always be the guardian of my own psyche. My journey has its own share of challenges. I intend to minimize the "dysfunctional" crap that may fly my way, figure out what lesson I am attracting, then getting myself back on track.



  1. Wow, I can totally relate! I find that as a kid or teen, we seem "stuck" with the friends that surround us but as adults, we learn to weed out the bad ones and end up only having a handful or true friends. You're right, that jerk is just projecting his own misery and doesn't need someone like you in his/her life. Cheers!

  2. Thanks. It is funny how we hold onto certain views formed as a kid that have to change as we get older or we remain stuck. Be well!

  3. Spot on, Kevin. I think heaps of people are trapped in friendships which are harmful to them in all sorts of different ways. I think it's a self esteem issue that keeps people hanging out with people who hurt them. It takes courage to walk away from the comfort of familiarity, so I commend you.Good luck and thanks for sharing your epiphany.

  4. Thanks for the comment, DA. Yes, this seems to be my year to shed baggage and feels pretty good. All the best to you!