Contributed by Noreen Sumpter, Personal Life Coach
Q: I have a ‘mean girl’ friend.
She puts everything down and never seems to be happy. I have talked to her about it, but she has not made any changes. We have been friends for ten years. What can I do? – Mark C.
A: Let them go!
Friends are important to me. One thing I know is that I have a gift for making friends and I love the friends I have. It has nothing to do with the length of time that I know them. It has to do with the love that I can now share. I do not like releasing friendships.
What I didn’t know about myself until recently is that I never gave myself permission to not be a friend. I believe that I can find the best in everyone, I didn’t have to not like a person because they had certain characteristics that didn’t not work for me. I thought that if I found the qualities that I liked in them, it would outweigh the ones I didn’t.
My trip to Jamaica with a friend was an experience. I will forgive yes but not forget because it was a valuable learning tool. It was an extremely volatile and sad experience for me. I accept that I had been avoiding some harsh realities. My friend whom I have grown to love, had some behaviors that were not personal to me, but they were bad behaviors never-the-less and though I knew they existed, I did not want to see them in my world. These behaviors had been exhibited last year, so I was knowledgeable about her extremes. Even though I knew her behavior might be something that I would experience firsthand, I neglected to accept it. I did not face my own truth and follow my intuition.
Therefore, May 2011 became my turn. Based on my commitment to supporting people develop confidence and self-esteem with my commitment to myself to not to have vulgar exchanges with any other human beings, I left my friend to experience her volatile tantrums on her own in the parking lot of our beautiful resort.
My friend is a very intelligent and professional woman who is a little stuck and unhappy. When upset like many individuals, she finds it difficult to express herself and is taken away with emotion that is too much for her to handle.
Anyway, being a Personal Life Coach and working in the area of confidence and self-esteem while also being committed to using my words to empower. (I, like all humans, feel the fight or flight emotion) I knew my friend’s behavior was volatile, I recognized it very early on in our relationship. I recognized all the signs, but because it was a very young friend, I chose to allow her to be who she was. In the beginning, I would mention her behavior. However, since she did not hire me or ask for my support, I decided to choose which hill I wanted to die on. Plus, people do not welcome unsolicited instruction. So, I would leave it at that.
What I have discovered, and now own and accept, is that there were people in my life that had a lot of behaviors I did not agree with, but I chose to keep them in my life always seeking the good, repeating my personal mantras “They’re nice” or “They’re fun” which they were, at times. But not realizing that I was also fun, I was also nice and that it was time for me to let these people go.
I also realized that I wanted some new friends that had similar qualities that were important to me. Example: Friends that liked people, who shared themselves freely, with similar interests, and for the relationship to have a loving quality to it. What I discovered was that it is not my friend’s responsibility to bring the fun or anything I wanted, it was mine. I realized that these relationships were my doing! I had created these people from a lack of value that I had about myself. It was my choice, I had brought these people into my world, and it was my responsibility to value myself and recreate friendships from a place of inner confidence and self-esteem in my world.
Removing them did not mean I had to disregard them and or make them wrong. What it meant for me was being truthful with myself and cutting the cord with this friend, as painful as I thought it was. It was important to cut cords and still feel love for them with no upset, no jellies in the pit of my stomach. I could still be polite, loving and wish them happiness in their respective lives yet moving on in mine.
I learned in that precious moment that I could still love my friend. The experience showed me that I loved and valued myself and releasing the friend was just releasing. It was nothing else.
So I have released this friend and few others in a very short space of time, I have opened the door and attracted new people into my life that I am enjoying and love to be around. I’m enjoy being with these people and they share that they really enjoy being with me. All the things that I bring to my friendships are reflected back at me.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What can you see from this learning experience?
- Where in your life are you not giving yourself permission?
- If you want something new, are you open to having it come from anywhere, anyplace, anyone?
- This experience happened to have me get aware of new opportunities. Where are your opportunities?
- What are you tolerating in your life?
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Noreen Sumpter, Personal Life Coach: works with High Achievers who feel trapped in their private life. They lack personal confidence and self-esteem. By helping them clear mental clutter and dissolve limiting beliefs, they can take deliberate steps, own their voice, speak their truth and have the freedom to live life their way. “Live Life Your Way”
“Live Life Your Way”
To make an appointment with me, please call 718-834-9450 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org