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3 friends you need to break up with NOW! (Of course, Not the ones in the picture)

The Energy Sucker

The Bat Crap Crazy Person

The One That Wants Your Life

That order is completely intentional. Let me start by saying that I am one of those people who likes to give others a chance. You can warn me over and over again and share your own experiences with any of the above people and I would still find a way to excuse their behavior. In the past I've said:

"Maybe they just need more kindness."

"Maybe they've had a tough life and I can be a friend."

"It doesn't hurt me to spend time with them, so it'll be okay."

Then, before I knew it, I was pulled into their drama one way or another. Being with them became exhausting and I'd avoid them and use my kids as reasons why I couldn't get together. I wasn't being a friend at all. I was being a liar.

I've experienced all three of these relationships, and the most important thing I've learned is to not adjust my radar, but to listen to those voices when they say "something ain't right."

The Energy Sucker

This person is relatively harmless. The main thing the energy sucker will do to you is take your time. It's a slippery slope though, because they want a LOT of it. We all know how precious time is because never get it back. We think that by giving them our time, we are helping them, but we leave conversations with energy suckers exhausted. We make the mistake thinking that lending an ear is going to help them, but it feels like a merry go round. A continuous circle where nothing ever changes. You need to assess how you are acting when you are around them. Are you really listening, or are you thinking about what's next on your agenda? Are you offering advice or resources then do you get mad when they don't accept them? Are you gossiping about them when they aren't around? Do you think you are honestly lifting them up or are you focused on how they make you feel down. Perhaps in this case, the issue is not with the energy sucker. It's with the energy receiver, aka YOU! People will only take what you allow them to have. The energy sucker is a person too and you are not doing them any favors by being disingenuous in your compassion. You are lying to them and yourself. From now on, be available for the joy and good energy you find with this person. Is it in group settings? Is it over coffee or drinks with a time limit? Create situations where you remember why you were fiends in the first place because they are trying to figure life out just like the rest of us.

The Bat Crap Crazy Person

Either you know a BCC person or know someone who has had an experience with one. This person lives in an alternate universe. That's not a clinical diagnosis, it's just my opinion. Thankfully I've only had to interact with very few BCC people in my life. They usually don't hurt us but they do make us shake our head. A LOT. The most important thing to understand about a BCC person is that you cannot make sense of nonsense. The BCC person may seem really fun, interesting and approachable. They always seem to have a lot of going on in all areas of their life, none of which (according to them) is their own doing. I've known them to usually be charismatic. But one common thing/red flag I've noticed about a BCC person is the people who have had negative experiences with them, tend to tell the same story. And then you become one of those people. And you wish you would've listened a long time ago and held the BCC person at a distance.

Between the Energy sucker, the BCC person and the One That Wants Your Life, the BCC person exhibits the most red flags. Don't ignore those red flags. Don't minimize them and certainly don't make excuses for them. Recognize that the BCC person has a lot of stuff going on that has nothing to do with you. It can be difficult when a BCC person is trying to drag you into their world, but how you respond is entirely up to you. Instead of getting into the mud, I ask God to soften my heart and I pray for them, from the outside.

The One That Wants Your Life

This person, for me, has been the hardest to recognize. They are similar to the BCC person in that there is something attractive about their personality. You might have the feeling that something is stopping you from being fully invested in the relationship but you can't put your finger on it. They seem to want to always one - up you. Like there was a competition and you had no idea you were a participant. They make little comments that could be interpreted as digs. You never quite know where you stand with this person. But the main difference I have found between the BCC person and the One That Wants Your Life is one of them wants not only to rise, but you to fall. I don't know about you, but growing up, if another girl wronged me in some way, I'd occasionally hear "Oh she's just Jealous." I HATED hearing that because it really didn't seem to be that simple. I'd be livid when people would accuse me of being jealous if I was involved in an argument or confrontation. That's not to say I've never been jealous. I'm guilty of wanting something another person had and being angry that they didn't play by the rules to get it. I'm guilty of wishing they'd lose whatever it was if I objected to how they got it. I'm not proud to admit that, but I've never tried to take them down, with lies or expose their transgressions.

My grandma always said "What's done in the dark, gon sho' come to light." I believe that. No good can come out a relationship with this person. The little digs here and there come from a deep and dark place that you don't want to go anywhere near. Being cordial is of course the classy way to go, but it stops there. Don't be alone with them so that your words and actions don't get twisted. Acknowledge, but don't excuse their behavior because of whatever caused them to act this way. They are unpredictable and you need to look out for you.

As I close this, I can't help but feel a little grim. Relationships can be tricky. I don't believe they should be hard, but they can be challenging as we continue to figure our own selves out let alone what makes someone else tick. I'm encouraged though, that those inner voices, the red flags, God speaking, the gut, the universe, WHATEVER you want to call it, brings people to us for our higher good. Everything we experience is for GOOD. We may not know when that goodness will be revealed, but we have to have faith that it always will. Perhaps our experiences can shed light for someone else. Perhaps we can discover the type of friend we not only should have but the type of friend we should BE!

When everyone knows what's important, having good friends is easy.

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