When you begin to grow and change through time, you will inevitably find certain folks who are a negative effect on you. Not because they are bad people. It’s only an unconscious protection mechanism.
The normal type of friendship in which this is very likely to turn into a matter for you is when the interaction is parasitic. They get far more from their friendship than you do. It appears logical to simply’cut them off’ but doing this isn’t that simple. For starters, most people today lack the confidence in their ability to be assertive enough to simply flat-out inform the individual they wish to end the friendship. The other thing lots of people do is simply stop answering calls or responding to messages and expect the parasite just receives the message and goes off.
Either way however, there will be an inherent feeling of guilt which will make this process difficult. And for good reason. The truth is that you probably played to the parasitic connection at least a bit. So that guilt comes from the fact you know you’re more responsible than you would feel comfortable acknowledging. If you admit your part then you risk looking like the poor man that has only used their friendship as it was convenient for you and that you don’t want them any more, you just abandon them.
But that does not mean you’re entirely bad. It simply makes you are human. All of us do this when we crave the approval and link from people with no self-confidence to do so in a manner that produces healthy boundaries. So you may leave the parasite behind in the event you desire, but it is still important to learn healthier boundaries for future friendships. It is okay to make mistakes but repeating them isn’t useful.
The other uncomfortable reality you’ll have to face so as to develop from the experience is to accept that their parasitic interactions with you is just part of the reason why that you wish to cut them off. The other is that there’s a very real possibility that they remind one of the parts you do not like about yourself. So it is important to admit that your choice to cut off them isn’t to punish them but to help you grow. The lesson you will want to learn however is that in the event that you do not work on growing your self-esteem, you will just wind up repeating the same cycle along with different friends.
If you’re feeling too guilty about cutting them off entirely, there’s another way. And that’s to change how you interact with them.
However, you begin to realise that some of the off-handed remarks are in fact subtle put downs to keep you down.
“Look I appreciate your concern, but if you say things like this it seems like a subtle sort of put down. I’m confident you don’t mean it but I will have to insist that you respect my wishes to not talk like this any more. I really don’t want to lose your friendship but I want to let you know that I am only going to keep on speaking with you in the event that you respect that.”
That sounds easy but here is the toughest part.
There’s a good likelihood they have held the upper hand by being the dominant participant in the relationship. So standing them up like this will necessarily create tension, and they are not going to enjoy that. The truth is however that great relationships involving good friendships, will defy this tension. That is the way you create boundaries.
And there’s an excellent chance that this is true. The significant hurdle stopping somebody from insisting on a more respectful interaction with a buddy is how they know they’re guilty of similar interactions. Because if you are going to stand your ground with this new border then you need to take it when they respond by pointing out your own social flaws. So to stay consistent, you must step up and accept that if there criticisms of you’re true, then you might need to modify your interactions with them too. To put it differently, you need to give them no explanations by changing your own behaviors also. And that’s the toughest part.
If you do this yet – you admit your flaws to them. You focus on changing your own behavior in return for anticipating an improvement in their own.
It will not probably happen readily mind you. They will complain to your friends and attempt to turn them against you by telling you that you believe you are’too great for them now’. Anticipate this and hope that you might necessarily have to lose both them and other friends in the procedure.
This is another hard part. You’re likely to feel like your behavior is under scrutiny and be judged to be unjust if you hold others to standards you aren’t ready to live up to. They may also attack you for your inconsistency if you enable it or even invite it on some occasions when it is convenient for you but disallow it if it does not suit you. They won’t take your border seriously and you’ll inevitably wind up looking like the bad guy.
Butif you measure up. If you are honest and open about it. If you are consistent. If you learn how to exercise mutual respect. And most of all, if you admit your flaws instead of attempt to prop yourself over another individual as being superior to them. If you do these things then there’s a very real possibility which you may actually lead the connection in a healthier way.
This will be difficult at first and certainly will feel like two people floundering around in the water trying to save themselves without needing to grab onto another person to keep them afloat without pushing their mind under in precisely the identical time. If you manage to do this yet, then this is undoubtedly the best result by far.
As soon as you learn how to master this process however, you won’t just have made leaps and bounds on your social skills but you will also have learned to step up and develop your own restricting immaturity also. So it is a win-win.
If this sounds like a goal you want to accomplish in your interpersonal relationships, then remember this.
Along with the quality of communication you have with different folks will be most heavily affected by the standard of intrapersonal communication you have with yourself.