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Ways to Successfully Remain Friends With an Ex

Ways to Successfully Remain Friends With an Ex

Remaining friends with an ex boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other can be hard. Not everyone is capable of it, and not everyone even wants it. My personal philosophy is that if you have cared for them once, you can care for them always; just in a different aspect. Is it necessary? No. Is it always possible? No. Can it be beneficial? Of course. I have done my best to stay friends with the majority of my exes and I like to consider the ones that I have to be dear friends. The romance and intimacy is gone, and you are left with a simple friendship you can cherish.

Continue reading for some reasons as to why it can be a positive experience to remain friends with an ex, and some helpful ways to do so.

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1. Do your best to have an amicable break up.

One of the main reasons that people seem to struggle with remaining friends with an Ex is that they had a nasty breakup. That is completely understandable; but breakups happen. Not everyone can have the breakup that Carrie and Aiden had (the second time). Most of us are more the Ross and Rachel type (WE WERE ON A BREAK!)

Nevertheless, if you truly want to remain friends with your current love, then do your best to have a cordial break up. If they choose to be hateful and harsh, that is on them; you can still choose to be the bigger person and leave on a high note. Also, if someone breaks up with you in a spiteful way, do you really want to remain friends with them anyway? Just a thought. You learn more about someone at the end of a relationship than you do from the beginning.

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2. Allow time for the feelings to go away.

Another big reason people struggle is that they attempt friendship too early. When you are in loving relationship, you can not just transition that love from romantic to platonic without a cooling off period. If you can, then the love you thought you had was probably not as serious as it seemed. There needs to be ample time for both parties to sufficiently move on before the friendship can successfully occur.  Otherwise you can end up just prolonging the pain, or one of the two of you is going to get hurt all over again.

3. Be respectful of any new significant others in their life.

This can be a huge factor in whether or not you can remain friends with an ex. Once they start dating someone new, all bets are off. It is understandable that the new girl/guy may not be okay with their new flame staying close with an old one. There are quite a few people out there who understand that some people stay close with exes, but just as many that don’t understand and will not be okay with it. You have to make sure that you don’t let your past relationship interfere with their new one.

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4. Keep the friendship PG.

Honestly, once you’ve been physically involved with a person, it can be easy to fall in to old habits when the two of you are alone. However, If you want to keep it strictly a friendship, you can not continue to engage in any physical interactions that generally are exclusive to romantic relationships. Staying physical with an ex will only blur the lines between friendship and relationship, and again result in one, or both of, you getting hurt all over again.

5. Don’t have unrealistic expectations.

Hear me out on this one. So many women and men make the mistake of remaining friends with an ex in the hopes that said ex will change their mind and decide they want to get back together. If the person broke up with you, there was a reason. If you continue to hang on to the hope that the friendship will head back in the direction that you want, you are only setting yourself up for potential disappointment in the future. Do yourself a favor, and only remain friends if your ultimate goal is nothing more than friendship in the truest sense.

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At the end of the day if you truly want to remain friends with an ex, it just needs to be desired by both sides. You can’t force any friendship, let alone one that started out as a romantic relationship. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons, and make sure that either way you are going to be happy. That is all that really matters, in the end.

Featured photo credit: Let’s hug by Jakubowski Foto via Flickr via flickr.com

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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