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home » Relationship Tips » Spring Clean Unhealthy Friendships
Spring Clean Unhealthy Friendships


Spring-cleaning doesn't only apply to your home or the things around you-it also applies to your life, and the people you surround yourself with. Have you ever felt drained after spending time around a certain friend? You feel like you're walking on eggshells trying to cater to their ever-changing mood. For the most part, you have to explain your actions to them so they can understand your good intentions. Sometimes, they say they understand how you feel, but yet, their actions conflict with their words. And other times, they show up to give you something, only to leave with taking something more in return. Whether or not their behavior is deliberate, you feel tired when they're around, and most days, even after they leave. Could it be that this friendship requires more care and maintenance than you are prepared to give?

The friends you surround yourself with can make or break your health, happiness, family and career. Some of you might assume that the longer the duration of the friendship, the better the friend. That's not necessarily true. Some friendships can be like fine wine-growing in richness with time-and some, just aren't meant to have a very long shelf life. Recognize that regardless of the duration of the friendship, if it's an unhealthy friendship, it can act like a road block in your life, preventing you from moving ahead to where you want to go. And if you allow any unhealthy or unfulfilling friendships to continue, you could be sacrificing your own well being.

It can be hard to admit it's time to say goodbye to a friend, even when their behavior warrants it. While betrayal or seemingly deliberate attempts to be hurtful are clear signals that it's time to part ways, sometimes the signal of the end of a friendship isn't that obvious. This is where you have to use your better judgement and clearly decide, Are you positioning yourself in a healthy situation if you continue to put time and energy into this friendship?

If after a fair amount of consideration, you feel strongly about staying friends with this person, then assertively communicate with them about what is working and not working for you in the friendship. Being assertive is usually the most desirable way to handle this type of conversation because it is honest, and lets both parties know where they stand. If you feel your friendship connection with this person is unsalvageable, and you're better off without them in your life, remind yourself that ending things is the best decision in the long run, and that doing so will make room in your life for more positive, nurturing people.

In life, we all have our fair chance to experience unhealthy friendships that challenge our minds and hearts to learn and grow wisely. So as you realize how difficult it can be to get the space you need without hurting the other person's feelings, you're already moving in a positive direction just by choosing to be less active in the friendship-while at the same time, also gaining emotional and physical distance. Being that you are perfection in progress, it is a healthy idea to surround yourself with true friends. A true friend is a person who enhances your life, helps you be the best person you can be, supports you through challenges in life, and does nothing less than encourages you to follow your most glorious dreams.

Penny Phang is one of Canada's nominated Top 40 Under 40 business leaders recognized for her commitment to provide strategic marketing, communication and event services with inspiring creativity and innovation. She is also well known as the Playboy Special Editions Producer for Western Canada, and Founder of Penny Best Jewelry. In addition, she serves as one of the Board of Directors for Global Reach Organization, and continues to write for her monthly inspirational lifestyle column, Moments of Inspiration with Penny at http://www.pennyphang.com
· Making Friends - First Impressions
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· Relationship Health Quotient
· Relationship Masculine & Feminine
· Maintaining Healthy Relationship
· Lasting Fulfilling Relationships
· Confidence in Relationships
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