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3 WARNING Signs of a Bad Friend

3 WARNING Signs of a Bad Friend

Once you hit 20-something and over, you reach a point where your time becomes your most precious asset. A bad friendship can drain our energy, so we seek to avoid them as much as possible. This manner of prioritization tends to put our relationships into prospective, by subconsciously implementing The Two Laws of Adult Friendship.

1. I will only spend time on/with subjects of obsession – Just like your obsession with running, painting, or growing your own tomatoes, most of us will only initiate friendships with those who make the most of our time.

2. I must recognize realistic variables – Yes, adult friendship is like a real life math problem—helping us set realistic expectations. Sometimes we want to be closer with others, but we foresee responsibilities that can get understandably in the way.

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What is the probability of Person X + (1 Husband + 2 Kids + 1 Kitten) /Full Time Job have of going out dancing with Person Y Friday night?

Somehow, you might find those few friends who get past this litmus test, but really aren’t worth the energy you are wasting on them. You might feel like a bad person when these types of thoughts start popping in your head. If this is a constant concern in the friendship, rest assured that it’s probably for the best. Here are the 3 facts to consider if you think someone is a bad friend.

Lack of Eye Contact

It says something about a person when they can’t look you in the eye. Having a bud that stares at you intensely is pretty creepy, but avoiding your gaze altogether is even worse: it’s a sign of lacking intimacy in the relationship.

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Take a notice of how many times your friend checks Facebook updates and tweets while you’re in the middle of a conversation. Or maybe there are more subtle instances, like avoiding eye contact while they breathlessly monologue in what’s supposed to be a shared dialogue. Paying attention to body language will trigger that they are being rude and should probably do a little listening, so they avoid your gaze out of selfishness.

An amigo who doesn’t value you enough to pay the slightest subconscious attention to your needs of communication isn’t a real friend to you.

Self-Centered Interaction

The strength of friendships is based on our interactions with one another. It’s about what you enjoy about them, and what they enjoy about you. That’s why you can spend hours with your closest friends while literally doing nothing; you’ve built companionship that doesn’t require more than the other’s best interest.

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Bad friends couldn’t care less about your well-being or interest, and this shows in the context of your interactions. They’ll hang out when it’s convenient for them or generally ask surface level questions, if they ask any at all. Getting to know you isn’t important—they just ind you a convenience for the moment.

Remember, a good friend will let you rant on a bad day, and an even better friend will tell you when to let something go without dismissing your feelings for the sake of their own good mood.

Seeking Validation

There is a 50/50 chance about how the last major sign will show up in a weak friendship. It’s a mystery as to why it doesn’t scream in the moment that this relationship might be toxic, but the fact is, those who are poor at maintaining friendships often know it. One of the few times they will look at us in the eye is when they admit “I’m a bad friend.”

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It’s not a statement that comes up once or twice when they admit to messing up. Toxic friends will keep telling you this just to hear you validate their behavior. We’ve all been guilty of doing it, so that the cycle continues on.

The other 50 percent might be so diluted by their selfishness, that they feel it’s OK to take you for granted. In either circumstance, the best way to be a real friend to a faux one is to tell them—in a loving way—that they suck.

Telling them that their behavior is OK isn’t going to help them or you; it will only make things worse. We will say something when friendships really matter to us, unless we are just as bad as they are. That’s the double-edged sword to this revelation. Recognizing these traits in others might be hard to admit, but it’s even harder to acknowledge that we might be the bad friend who needs to change.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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