Friday, August 3, 2012

SPIRITUAL HEALTH! "Reduce Stress by Ending Toxic Friendships"

Greetings Once Again!  Ending Friendships can be one of the hardest challenges while on our spiritual journey.  There may come a point and time when we must make the difficult decision to end a relationship.  This past year I had found myself in a battle of spirit and ego over a very hard choice to put closure to some cherished people in my life... Not that these kind folks were bad, but because I felt in my heart and spirit that I had come to a block in the road while on my spiritual walk. No matter how hard I tried to continue on the current path of staying connected with the friendships... I found my spirit struggling to grow and move forward.... It felt as though my spirit was in a tug of war and I knew I had to break away. Separating my Spirit from my Ego.. I knew in order for everyone involved to move forward on their individual journey ... change had to happen.. As painful as it was for those involved... I knew in my heart God had reason and a plan for everything. We must learn to trust and follow the spirit's lead.  God is good! Trust your intuition and know that brighter days are ahead.

Reduce Stress by Ending Toxic Friendships

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

OSusanna44, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Aug 17, 2010

"We all know that having friends is an important and valuable commodity. They are the ones we depend on in times of need or the ones that seek out our support and guidance when their world is feeling a little shaky. Friendships are two-way streets and healthy ones are like good medicine. We feel blessed knowing that we are never alone and only have to reach out to them and they will be there. Friends share everything - laughs, tears, worries and dreams. Our friends can make even the dreariest of days feel sunnier. Friends are full of encouragement for each other and always wish the best for each other. When we are in the company of a good and true friend, we feel safe and loved and free to be ourselves. It pleases us to know that they want to spend time with us and that they value our opinions and trust us with their secrets. They accept us for who we truly are without judgment or criticism and in return, we offer them the same.

Of course, a true friend will gently disclose their worry and concern when we are headed down a futile life path, but in doing so, they are confirming their love and concern for us. They see us for who we really are, know us as who we've been and grow and change along side us.

But friendships can also be hurtful, complicated and confusing. (I truly believe that some people are just not capable of loving and healthy relationships.) We may be forced to realize that a person we thought was a good friend, was never one at all. Sometimes it takes a LOT (and many years) to come to this conclusion, but when we finally accept the fact that a supposed friend is nothing more than a toxic element in our lives, we have an important decision to make. We need to decide whether or not we want to continue the relationship with what has been called a 'frenemy.' Here is my solution on how to break up with a toxic friend. It is not an easy thing to do, but a most necessary one in keeping and maintaining a good life, a peaceful soul and a sane mind.

Since no one gets through this life without experiencing a few bumps and bruises along the way, it's important to know how to accept things for what they really are. Only in this way are we able to make the necessary changes and move forward. Being blindsided by a supposed friend or hanging on for dear life to someone who doesn't have your best interest at heart will only provide painful and destructive moments to our lives. It's time to realize that the only power we have is in changing ourselves, not others.


What you'll need:

Time to evaluate

Strength to make the decision



Compassion for the other person's feelings

A desire to move on

Love in your heart
Honestly evaluate the relationship

Any friend (whether a longtime one or a fairly new one) should be someone you enjoy spending time with. True friends can be together doing nothing and still feel enriched by the company. If you've discovered that a particular friend is cruel, critical, judgmental and inconsistent, this is a huge red flag that something is not right. Sure, everyone has their moody moments and challenging times but you are not on this earth to be anyone's punching bag or the butt of their jokes. If the person in question regularly leaves you feeling bad about yourself or your life choices, you need to ask yourself why. Do they have just cause and only want to help you realize the errors of your ways? Or are they just being mean spirited and envious of your upbeat and positive personality?

Recognize red flags

Be open and honest about your feelings

True friends will be able to discuss their feelings with each other and most times will be able to come to a resolve - or maybe just an impasse. It's okay to disagree on things. Diversity is what makes life interesting and as much as we may have in common, there will be lots of things that are hugely different about us. True friends accept you for who you are and what you believe in, even though they may not hold the same opinions as you do. When you have a serious discussion with a friend, take a close look at how they respond to you and whether or not they are upset at you for bringing uncomfortable situations to the forefront. A bad reaction or their unresponsiveness may make it necessary for you to find another way to constructively air your grievances.

Nothing has changed -face the facts

When weeks, months and possibly even years having gone by without any positive changes, the dynamics of your 'faux friend' relationship may have grown stale and uncomfortable. You may not feel free to share important feelings and emotions with them as you once did, for fear of their criticism. This means it's time to face the facts. Friendships have been likened to caring for a live plant or flower. If nurtured, they grow and flourish. If not tended to or ignored, they wither and die.

Make a decision - it's time to break up

When all else has failed, it becomes decision-making time. It's no good for us to keep wasting our energies on a futile cause since doing this only takes away from other areas in our lives. This is time to tell yourself that 'enough is enough.' You can no longer be a participant in this dysfunctional and toxic friendship. It is holding you back like a ball and chain attached to your ankle. You need to break up with them and free yourself. I've often heard mention that certain people just come and go in our lives while others last forever. The ones that simply come and go were in our lives for a reason and offered up a learning/growing experience and we must realize that this is what may be the case with the 'faux friend' in question.

Write a letter

Since your attempt to have a face to face talk with the friend did not work out as you had hoped, it's time to take a different approach. Write out what it is you had hoped to say during the ineffective discussion you tried having. Be careful and constructive. Speak from your OWN heart and mind. Something you heard second hand from someone else is not valid since you don't know how much truth it holds. Your purpose here is to write down YOUR feelings and concerns and to explain just why you have chosen not to continue in the relationship. Everyone is deserving of an explanation. Be as constructive and concise as you are able so you can live with yourself afterwards and never regret the way you handled yourself.

Remain committed to your decision

After writing your 'goodbye' letter, you'll more than likely have moments of uncertainty as to whether or not you did the right thing. But if you've gotten to this point, you HAVE made the right one even though it may feel alien to you at first. Change is difficult. Old habits are hard to be rid of. Just keep reminding yourself of why you chose to end this toxic friendship and how it will ultimately enrich your life in the end. Do not open yourself up to a 'ping pong match' of words, arguments, emails or phone calls. Chances are, the toxic person you broke up with will have plenty to say now that they know you are done. By allowing this, you will only be prolonging the inevitable breakup and stall both of you from moving on with your lives.

Always remember

No matter how much (or little) time you invested in the now toxic friend, you will surely be able to recall some good times and meaningful moments you shared together. This is a good thing. Hang on to those cherished memories always. The two of you would have never begun a relationship if there hadn't been things about each other that you liked and admired. You were in each other's lives for a reason, even though you are no longer good for each other's future success. Friends can (and do) outgrow each other sometime.

Trust that God will guide you forward

It may take some time before you fully accept the results of your decision to break up with your toxic friend. That's only natural and is a necessary step in order to be able to move forward. It can be compared to the grieving process and should be allowed to occur naturally and fully. In the meantime, trust that God is with you and will guide you toward opportunities to meet new friends. By keeping an open heart and a good attitude, new friends may arrive from unsuspected sources! Move forward with confidence and hope. You ARE good friend material and whoever is receptive (and reciprocal) to your good qualities will surely reap great benefits. Just remember that as cliche' as it sounds, all things (and people) happen to us for a reason. Take a few moments on a regular basis to be thankful for the friends in your life and remember to always do your part in nurturing the relationship!"

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