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Friday, October 1, 2010

Pulling Weeds

           The refuge and safe shelter of a good friendship.

Sometimes you find yourself with people in your life whom you think of as friends but who are upsetting you.  This is disconcerting; you may feel confused about it and, even disoriented.  After all, friends are people who are in our lives by choice.  They are there because we want them to be.  We expect them to be a positive force in our experience.  But, that is not how it always goes.  So, when it becomes troublesome, what then?

Sometimes the problem is just a little snafu and can be dealt with easily or just absorbed by all the other goodness of the relationship.  If you have something more serious, such as someone who has a temper and starts suddenly blowing up at you and others, or perhaps you have a person who is very critical and begins to judge you---your choices, your behaviors.  Here are but two of many examples that could be possible problems.  Even these can maybe can be tolerated but if it becomes a pattern, then 
it is a problem that can't be ignored.
Let's take just a little look at the short-fuse guy.  If you are badly affected by temper outbursts and this individual likes to do that (yes, some people enjoy the burst of energy they feel when they get in a confrontation), then here is an example of someone from whom you may need to distance yourself.
"A friendship should be an oasis."  A friend is fun, a friend is reliable, a friend cares about and likes you and there is mutuality.  A friend is someone you can go to for respite when life is difficult, for sharing when life is good and for companionship whenever.  (What are the characteristics that are important to you in a friendship?)   A friendship should be an oasis from the vicissitudes of life.  (And, incidentally, are you an oasis for your friends?)
An earlier post, The Geography of Friendships mapped out a method for analyzing your relationships and what priority you want each to have in your life. 
This week Dr Laura (a call-in radio talk show host) advised one of her callers to pull some weeds.  She said:  We all learn, as life goes on, that sometimes there are toxic people present in our lives and it's then time to pull some weeds.
Just be sure that the weed that you pull out   isn't really a wildflower...!

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