Things You Can Do With Difficult Friendships
These are stressful days we are living in – there’s no doubt about that – and many people are becoming “Needs-Orientated” including Christians often because they don’t have managing skills. These are Life Skills we all need to develop and some mistakenly expect others to have these Life Skills for them. Or worse still, they want to constantly Off-Load their problems on others as their way of coping or complaining about life and that is SIMPLY UNFAIR.
You have come to the right place if you have problematic friendships. I’ve had a few and I found what to do. Of necessity, it was a real awakening in recent times. The Lord tried to alert me 18 Years ago and I did not take sufficient notice.
Because I was far too Caring, I did not “practice the Principles I needed to” for my sanity (so to speak) and Peace of Mind. Looking back now, that so sapped up my energies, I’ve not been able to do some things The Lord called me to do – which was spiritual coaching – because my energies were drained by a few. They called themselves Friends but they needed a good spanking – they did not take things to The Lord for themselves but leaned much of their weight on me!
Give Them Guidelines – It’s Called Making Boundaries.
Boundaries are to protect you. Everyone should have boundaries.
Don’t tolerate boundary violators. If your wishes are not respected,
tell them once or twice, then call it a day because they don’t respect you.
Or spend Less Time With Them.
Have you heard the saying “Familiarity breeds contempt?”
Sometimes it does – when you’ve known someone for a long time
or spent lots of time together, they start to be lazy in their communications.
They do not phone you much and they answer texts less often.
They’re not so interested to catch up
but they’re willing to if they have some other problem.
Make your wishes known and stay with those who respect them,
those who don't should not expect anything from you.
Refuse to play that game and trust God for better in life.
You carry less importance in their lives.
They’re always too busy and have other things to do.
Maybe This Is An Option For You
Maybe they’re more interested in spending time with someone-else (the novelty wears off, so to speak). This is not fair to you. Try to find friends you spend less time with and their interest is sustained. For some of us, acquaintance proves to be better or healthier. People share their problems less and there is more respect – this is better and smarter than complicated friendships. See what works better for you, one or two close friends or a few pleasant acquaintances.
Learn To Assess Your Friendships
A Good Friendship Goes Two-Ways Not One-Way.
A Good Friendship Is Healthy And Balanced.
A Good Friendship Is Founded Or Maintained On Mutual Respect.
Good Friends Don’t Place Expectations On You.
Good Friends Know Your Comfort Zone.
Good Friends Show Consistent Communications.
A Good Friend Will Appreciate You For Your Worth
Happy To See You And Hear From You!
Some Helpful Information
Did you know some people have friends they share their good times or better times with
and they keep someone on hand to share their problems with (off-loading)
and reserve the times they spend with you (or make available) for that mostly?
Some people are always accompanied with their problems or are occupied with such
when they spend time with you. They know how to do little else.
They are poor managers and expect you to manage their stress for them
but are not interested in advice, they’re not satisfied unless they run you dry.
Someone who speaks to you with a lot of repetition
will no-doubt subject you to Merciless-Repetition in the long-run.
So unless you have limitless energy like the Sun, do not take them on
because they will not be content until your mind is full of clouds
(they leave you feeling bleak with the amount of negativity they share
that wears you down).
No-one should be desperate for such “friends”
A Good Solution For You
Opt for the Friend of Friends (JESUS)
And wait for Him to bring a Good Friend your way.
This is much better than a Mix-match of Interest
(you want a True Friend – they want your services).
And some people are not ready for a decent friendship
until they sort themselves out. Sorry to offend, but it’s true.
I’ve learnt these things the hard way with some.
It meant disappointments and my energy really spent.
Words Of Wisdom
I was too compassionate for my good.
How about self-compassion?
There is a balance.
It’s alright to listen to someone’s needs
If we listen to our own needs as well.
Sports Clubs, Arts and Craft Groups, Exercise and Walking Groups
are good – people generally have healthy mind-sets there.
Sad to say, some Christians are stressful and problematic,
or too introspective because they are encouraged to be that way.
We all need to think outside ourselves and our own interests –
It’s called having consideration for the other person.
We see this in New Testament Scriptures.
Paul has much to say about that.
Avoid Needs Orientated Friendships
Some friends share problems with each-other most the time or often.
Their relationship lacks purpose and fulfilment.
They seldom do things together and if they do, they take their problems along.
These kind of friendships are unsatisfying and unprofitable.
(This can be both parties)
It’s just unhealthy because it strengthens negative mindsets.
We need to change unhealthy mindsets, not make them concrete –
like when someone’s circumstances seem to confirm negative expectations in life.
No-one needs that, neither of you. Maybe you think you do, then somehow it goes
beyond your comfort zone – that is because a Needs Based Friendship IS Unhealthy.
A Saying Of Mine
“Don’t expect your Friends to meet your Needs – Expect The Lord to meet Both Your Needs”
FAITH and seeking for sympathy don’t Mix.
Scripture says “To him who Orders his Conversation Aright, I will Show the Salvation of God.”
In other words, if we want Salvation in any Circumstance,
we should not appeal to people so often and Mix our Words,
Rather, we should Call to The Lord and Keep our Eyes on Him.
Have you heard the story of the person who took their concerns to God in prayer
and went out from that prayer time to worry some more?
Sounds funny aye? But so True of most of us.
Kind of like we take that bag of troubles to The Lord
and then say “I would be lost without them.”
Spend Yourself Wisely
And it’s simply unfair when a friend takes advantage of your kindness or compassion by indulging in unhealthy conversation with you as if you were some type of a Counsellor
or burden-bearer “God is our Burden-Bearer” He alone has shoulders big enough for that!
Some friends (Christians included) really expect too much from us. They drain our energies and disturb our peace of mind. Be careful, this kind of relationship does not go anywhere and only leads to frustration. Do you know why? Because in reality, when you think of it, that is a one-way relationship (not two-ways) and it’s quite selfish – one person seems to be getting more out of it while the other person, most times, finds that exhausting and they feel ungratified after times spent together. So please, for your sake and that of your loved ones, try to avoid friends whose problems always or often keep their focus.
They don’t really enjoy your company – they just think they do because they have some type of a temporary fix, offloading on you (till next time!).
See Things Clearly For What They Are
That’s not right, they’re making use of you (consciously or not purposefully). They should go to God or some Counsellor who can teach them to handle their situations more wisely and perhaps not contribute to them (some people do, they see no way out and they pick you). If it becomes necessary, tell them you are not God and you are not their Counsellor – they are equipped to help them with such problems not you. Advise them they need some Life-Skills and you’re not trained in that. Really speaking, that would be much kinder for both of you! Pray about this and you will find it true.
Constantly off-loading (some call it venting) is destructive actually, it can be likened to a form of False-Economy. The person thinks they feel better with the temporary fix but those thought patterns actually get deeper and more entrenched because they’re perpetuating things. I’m sure they wouldn’t agree with that but they do. It’s like the person who keeps using a Bank Card or Time Payment Schemes instead of paying for things in Cash or Savings, and accruing more and more interest. They keep spending their energies (and yours) every time they discuss those things, making them stronger to the point where they need to offload more.
Watch out, those of you who are not accustomed to that like the rest of us. That is not Sharing because it’s very one-way (most times they do not want your advice). And it’s not Caring because they’re not considering your happiness and peace of mind (what you’re getting out of time spent together). And it’s quite selfish actually. Believe me, your time could be better spent. Tell them to “offload on God like Scripture tells us to, that you wish to spend your time more productively –
if they wish to that’s fine.”
Don’t Let Them Program You
Otherwise, if you spend much time with them, it will begin to shape your mindsets in some way because you are having continual negative input. I’ve had experience like that whereby I developed a serious mindset and character from hearing a lot of negative input. In other words, I became quite a serious person over the time I had those relationships and I am finding balance in what kind of True Character I have (that is lighter and more cheerful than I have experienced for some years) and is benefitting a closer loved one who isn’t well and needs to see the cheerful side of me. Thank goodness I got smart, for both our sakes. I Praise The Lord for that. It is not right that we should take someone on or put up with friends who make us serious company for family members.
Learn What His Will Really Is
Sometimes the best thing you can do is to limit the amount of time you give them or tell them that it’s simply too much and this throws them on God unless they have others to confide in (some do the rounds like a relative of mine does and it has never achieved anything, she just made things worse).
Scripture says to be mindful of the words of our mouth (before we speak them). Are they going to promote Life from God OR Bondage from the Enemy? The Principle here is kind of like when you are in a Restaurant – you don’t Order what you Don’t Like – do you?
She made herself sick that way, she keeps getting physical symptoms of Anxiety because she talks so much Negativity that her body can’t handle it. Neuroscientists have proof of that kind of thing now. I’ve been a part-time Natural Health Researcher 30+ Years, I should know! Do not fear being honest with friends, it could be just what they need and definitely the best for you.
Please Do Be Aware
Besides, some people can see what others are doing to them but not what they’re doing to you.
Do not live (part of) your life subject to “someone’s short-vision” it will wear you out time and time again. No-one has that kind of energy – it has to impact us somehow.
They expect us to have so much (expenditure of) feeling and robust strength that never wears out. Only The Lord our God can fill that position.
He is capable and wise – if they learn to go to Him, He will teach them better coping skills for whatever situation and impart wisdom.
His Love Alone never fails! Friends often expect too much from us – clearly, that is impossible. It’s a form of false-expectations they’re placing on you. Do not listen to their “merciless-repetition” it can affect your energy levels or make you unwell. The stress has to go somewhere and we all have enough of our own stress these days.
The Lord does Not expect that of you, it’s a misinterpretation of Scripture. Really it is. Be comforted.
I wish you all well, both you and your offenders. They will have to learn better.
For now, maybe you need to learn better like me. Believe me, you will please The Lord much more this way, now you are better informed. You will feel more Free in yourself
and in Jesus. You will be more responsive to His Presence and with Family Members because you won’t be half there with them and half somewhere else.
You can be more engaged.
An Encouragement From Jesus!
Thank You Holy Spirit.
He just spoke these words to me, this very minute – completing this article.
“HAVE THE GENTLENESS OF DOVES AND THE EYES OF EAGLES”
He is aware that I have certain knowledge about Eagles that is uncommon to most.
And that is:
Eagles actually have three eye lenses (some think they have two but that is not accurate).
They have one lense for their immediate surroundings (earth atmosphere).
They have a different lense for when they’re in flight above the trees and canyons.
And they have another lense that can scan far above, when they fly beyond that, where we can’t see them.
And The Lord is saying, you need to see those you affiliate closely with, more clearly in His light.
You need to see if the Adversary has brought someone your way to hinder the Purposes of God at the present time or in your life.
And you need Heavenly Vision to see those things in the Heart and Mind of God –
what He really has for you.
And the thing is, we cannot really have CLEAR VISION as long as we are allowing others
“To Cloud It with Negativity”
Please keep in mind, I am not referring to Families here, The Lord will give you Grace
and Enablement for Family Members. He will Equip You for such if you really Seek Him diligently.
But this Article is in reference to Friends who drain your energy – even if they are Christians.
And some of you are not at your best for your Families because of them.
Something Else He Wishes You To Know:
At an old-age, it is now also known, an Eagle sheds it’s plumage – hence, it has a new plumage for the days ahead. And that’s going to be the same for some of you when you shed Self-Serving Friendships AND those He does not intend for you. This can be Anti-Aging, spiritually, mentally and emotionally because, just like the Eagle, you can take on a New Lease on Life when that weight is dealt with. Many of you feel frail or worn I know.
What To Do Now
We can love and pray for some at a distance who are not Good for Us OR Commit those to Him we need to forget to heal properly from damages made. Remember, we also need to walk in forgiveness to experience Clear Vision according to the Letter of the Apostle John.
Now this doesn’t mean that you have to Feel Nice about them and what they have done but it does mean that we must Let Go of their Offense and hand them to God. That is how He Himself handles OUR sins and offenses – He cancels the debts and does not consider them anymore (he doesn’t keep
bringing them to mind) OK? Decide for the BLESSING of God to be Your Portion instead of the painstaking effort it takes to please some who are just not worthy of you or me. And walk On to a New Day. Ask Him to Lead the Way…..Lighten Your Heart and Help You to make Wiser Choices.
Praise His Name. God bless!