Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't Walk In Front Of Me, I Might Not Follow. Don't Walk Behind Me, I Might Not Lead. Walk Beside Me And Be My Friend.

Reader Question: "I could really relate to your post about choosing your friends and cleaning house. I attempted to do that earlier this year but my friend confronted me and said I changed. How do I deal with people that think I am better than them, or say I have changed just because I want more for myself"
Truth is, if they are still stuck in a motionless state of being, it isn't in their best interest for you to become a better person. You're playing small benefits the attention-craved friend that always has to have the limelight, your depression benefits the insecure friend that never wants to see another happy. - So what happens next? You have to realize that everyone has their run in with reality when they're ready. Ideally, it would be nice for friends to grow and better themselves at the same time, but that isn't always the way it happens. Don't let the emotional blackmail keep you in a situation that isn't healthy or beneficial towards the end goal of total mind, body and emotional wellness. 

For whatever reason we sometimes outgrow friends we thought were there for life. Maybe they were there to show us a reflection of ourselves, maybe they helped us through some bad times. However as we grow, mature, learn, evolve and seek a deeper understanding of ourselves; our needs and our value systems tend to change. You shouldn't feel bad for that. One of the hardest things to do is to detach emotionally, but in order for us to move on without beating ourselves up in the process; it is necessary. - There were many times I kept my "friendships" going because I didn't want to abandon them, but I began to lose myself in the co-dependent relationship. You don't have to wait until they commit a cardinal sin to give you a legitimate reason to walk away; you know you can no longer stay when you begin to resent the friendship, or it leaves you feeling drained.

One thing I wished I would have known a lot earlier in life is that it is ok to move on. We all have a right to act in accordance to our inner guidance system [which in essence never steers us wrong], and we shouldn't allow outside opinions and chatter divert us away from what our core knows is right. Untangle yourself from feelings of guilt, detach from your need to be understood by these old acquaintances and empower yourself with the permission to walk away. 
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  1. Thank you for this. I've had to do this and as tough as it is, it's really for my own self improvement overall. It's amazing some people can't understand that sometimes, growing apart is just a normal life process. I love the person and wish them well, but sometimes you have to go your seperate ways in life.

  2. I can identify with the reader who sent you this question. I have lost friends who have said the same thing and I have to agree that I had evolved. I recently read a quote that says "I didn't change, I grew up". I can't remembr where I saw it though. Anyway, the quote says a lot. Sometimes we just out grow certain people and certain situations.

  3. That's some really good advice. I myself have found out this year of 2010 that a lot of my "friends" turned out to be acquaintances. It really is ok to distance yourself and move on... But the other person always ends up getting offended unfortunately. But hey, that's life. And did you really mean"black-male" instead of "blackmail?" Don't want to throw our brothers under the bus unreasonably if you didn't!

  4. Yes, what is that?!
    You think you're better than somebody else, just because you want more??????
    I think the persons saying such things feel left behind (for whatever reason) & misery doesn't like seeing it's company excel to greatness.
    Well said Nikole!

  5. Beauty

    Thanks Nikole! I agree with you tremendously. It is hard to think that friends are seasonal, but any relationship (a friendship is a form of relationship) that drains us and detracts us from God's calling for us is not a healthy one. It is difficult to break off emotionally, but it is indeed necessary. This goes for romantic relationships as well. Sometimes these are the hardest to end, but I believe that there are "toxic" relationships be it friendship or more romantic relationships. I say one way we know when a relationship is toxic is if it has begun to change us for the worst. If we have friends or a significant other that we feel has been attempting to change us for the worst then that is the best time to walk because these people only want us to be walking mirrors of their shadowy selves.
    I believe in letting go and letting God.

    God Bless!

  6. I am going through this right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have spoken to my heart and I truly appreciate you, your blog, and especially this article. Thank you so much for this. I truly appreciate it and you :-) I have shared this poston my website as well:

    Thank you so much and keep bloggin ;-)

  7. thank you so much, just spent the last 30 mins crying over a friend who i thought i'd have forever.

    i read my Bible, but something told me to stay awake for a little longer (it's 12.30 am here) and i read this.

    this has given me the peace of mind to in the short term, rest, but in the long term, move on.

    thank you xx

  8. Thank you for these posts. They are very enlightening. Sometimes though, I find myself being betrayed and it's hard because although I know I've been the best friend I know how to be, I can't help but wonder what it is that I am doing wrong. I've grown a lot most recently and have managed to separate myself from the negative people that have brought me down as a person. But it hurts when you feel you are removing toxic people out of your life and they don't look affected by it at all or "flip the script" and make it seem as if it was you that is the problem.

    Anyway, I'm sorry for rambling. These posts just have me in a reflective state. I really appreciate them so thanks again :)

  9. I love what you said about walking away from toxic people.I read a passage in"Spiritual Lessons for My Sisters" by Natasha Munson.It says"We are not obligated to be someone's friend because they choose to be ours.""Our spirit always knows what is right for us.Our spirit always tells us when something or someone is not right for us." I came across this book and the chapter called "Ending a Friendship?" after i had broken off a so called friendship(only known her less than a year!)I started distancing myself,stopped the phone calls, then she started sending me insane voice mails,and in response i had told her i didn't want to be friends.Well she cussed me out and tried to argue me down as to WHY i didn't want to be her friend!After that she sent me 2 crazy texts and a note and STILL tries to speak to me!The real crazy thing is we're in our 40's! This has been going on for almost a year after i told her this!When people show you 1 red flag as to who they are, RUN the other way! Don't wait till you see 4 or 5!(lol)

  10. One thing I think it's also important to realize is that the nature of friendships change. Everyone doesn't need to be (or stay) your ultimate confidant. As we change and grow so will our relationships. I'm married with two small children now but 2 of my oldest friends are still in the dating world. We don't hang out like we used to but now we now provide different perspectives than we used to.

    "I didn't change, I grew up" I like that quote a lot.

  11. Thank you so much Nikole! It's inevitable to have to let go of people that just don't fit into who you are and what you want yourself to be.

  12. I totally agree with this post. A few years ago had an situation with someone who I worked with and was also good friends. After I got promoted her true self was revealed and I no longer wanted to be in the friendship. Funny thing, two other friends started acting funny and I had to let them go as well. I am in a current situation where I have outgrown a friendship and I think my friend has changed. I am a total supporter of her. But she has changed and taken on a persona of someone better than. To the person who wrote this post. Maybe you have changed and in your process your attitude is negative. You don't see it because you are on the come up. Sometimes we have to take a step back and re-evaluate ourselves.

  13. This is great advice! I love it. Sometimes you have to be true to who you are even if you lose someone who knows you were.

  14. When I hear someone even mention the term,"you think you're better than them," it makes me shudder in disbelief when people don't believe they are worthy of all this world has to offer. There's nothing empowering about stagnation, we should be able to applaud anyone who does something that goes against the norm and opens doors for others to walk through.


  16. I think sometimes we continue to stay in relationships, be it friendships or otherwise, even when we know that that season is over because we have a fear of being alone. When you've been friends with someone for a while and invested yourself in them it is difficult to detach yourself without getting hurt or hurting others.

    I remember thinking my best friends from college would be there forever, we would travel together with our future families, etc. What I have learned is Life happens, circumstances change, people change. I don't have to become embittered because the friendship didn't last as I had hoped. Instead I cherish the good times shared with that friend for the specified time and welcome new relationships (be it face-to-face or through blogs such as this) as my interests change. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    Nikole, I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

  17. It is interesting how we treat our friend relationships differently from our romantic relationships. When a romantic relationship isn't going well we know when to call time on this, however we will hold on to friendship that isn't going well, that doesn't make you happy to be apart of, for much longer.

    I totally agree with learning that it is okay to walk away and not feeling guilt. Something that has taken me a long time in feeling comfortable doing.

    If something isn't serving you, it is more than likely your not serving them/it.

    Another great post!


  18. This is a good one, from time to time I seem to have this issue and they are mostly with friends that I met for just a short period of time whom I have this problem with. I had similar drama in the summer and just when I thought it was over the friend in question starts messaging me all the way from Paris, France wanting an explanation for me not wanting to be friends with her and bringing up all the stuff that went down this summer, too bad am pass all that. I don't think I owe everyone who think they deserve an explanation one when the situation is as clear as crystal

  19. Amen. I actually sent this quote to some of my friends just the other day. I think about situations like this all the time, partly because some "friends" can't accept change...a lot of my "friends" didn't seem to realize that I was, and still am, growing and maturing as the years go on. Having to let go of these individuals was hard partly because we had shared a lot of great times, but since they were not accepting that change, there really wasn't a point in keeping them around. It hurt, yes, but you learn. REAL friends know, understand and EMBRACE this for they too, are striving to become better individuals.

  20. I have such a problem with these types of comments...people are not can grow at different rates and still be yourself a favor and listen to lalah hathaway's song...the one where she says, "when your life was low and you had nowhere else to go...people turned their backs on you...I took you in...made you whole again...put you back left me your doing well...from stories I hear own the world again and everyone's your used to love me so when your life was low...always remember your friends...the world will change again...and you may have to come back". I am glad my friends can handle evolving at different stages...


  21. I'm going through this right now with a friend I have known for more than 20 something years. If your friend isn't about supporting your happiness, and is trying to find ways of undermining you, it's sometimes best to move on.

    That being said, I really hope that the friend you had a falling out with isn't Lo. It would be so sad, if that was the case, because she seemed really cool.


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