What do you do when you're friends with someone who is getting on your last nerve? Maybe they complain too much, maybe you have very different political views, maybe they are chronically late, or maybe they are full of drama. All you know is that you have someone in your life whom you once cared very much for and now it can now feel challenging to be in the same room together.
If you have a toxic friend--one who is emotionally abusive--it doesn't matter how long you have known the person, it's ok to end the friendship. For everyone else, I have 5 tips for you on how to manage relationships with that friend whom you struggle with but want to keep in in your life. Send me an email and let me know what tips worked for you!
1. Turn inward: Figure out what trait this person has that really bugs you. Watch your own reactions and see what you can learn from them. Does this person remind you of anyone? Maybe your friend’s selfish streak reminds you of one of your parents? While it is their behavior, the reaction you have is all about you. Figure out where your triggers are coming from. Once you've done that, it can be easier to avoid being triggered.
2. Set boundaries and control the conversation: Are there certain topics of conversation that always lead to frustration? I believe we all feel safer when we have boundaries and know what is expected of us. Often when we set new boundaries we will need to repeat and reinforce them regularly. Those boundaries can include things like how frequently you talk to this person and what topics you do and don't discuss. Readjusting expectations can save a lot of frustration on both ends.
3. Find a way to get some space: When you are getting overwhelmed, it's ok to share that you need a moment to process information or need space. Time-outs aren't just for kids! Space and time often provide a ton of much-needed objectivity. Accordingly, having some distance can allow you to return to interacting with the other person with greater patience and more energy.
4. No Drama: I believe that we often mirror each other's emotional frequencies. With those who thrive on drama it's very important to repeat the no drama rule to yourself. Just because someone else is getting angry, it doesn't mean you have to match their intensity. Learn to respond by being clear with your boundaries--but avoid reacting impulsively or matching their drama.
5. Be honest: Oscar Wilde once said, "A good friend will always stab you in the front." Sometimes the best thing we can offer people is our honesty. As scary as it is, being honest can be a great contribution to others and ourselves. Sharing our truth lets people know where they stand, and prevents both parties from living under false expectations. I also believe that telling the truth can allow for greater intimacy and sends a message to people that we respect them enough to be honest.
Can you relate to this post? If yes, please send me an email and let's set up a complimentary phone call.
Sending you peaceful thoughts and wishes for brighter days.