Tag Archives: Friends

How important friends are

Learning The Lessons of Life

My last post was about friends and family missing the “old you”.
This post is about taking a negative experience, learning from it, growing, and becoming a better person because of it.
I have always searched for the lesson in everything I go through because nothing is a waste if you learn something from it, if you can grow as a person. I also feel we all have at least one purpose for being here. The one thing that bothered me the most after I left my ex was, thinking I had wasted 10 years of my life; I couldn’t live with that. If I could figure out what happened to me, share what I learned and saved one woman from going through the same thing; it would all be worth it.
Friends who insist you need to go back to your old self are being selfish and holding you back from becoming the best you can be.
Of course you have changed, it’s ridiculous to expect you to go back to your old self and if your friends don’t realize this; you need better friends.
I was determined to find the lesson in the experience because they say you will keep repeating the same mistakes until you learn the lesson. God knows I didn’t want to go through that again! But lots of women do, over and over again; and they are so busy blaming the narcissist and being the victim, they never stop long enough to learn the lesson; figure out what THEY are doing to bring this into their life.
The friends who want the old you back are probably the same friends who are encouraging you to “just find a nice guy”, like you purposely picked an abusive guy. The friends who think you just need to “get over it” and “move on” are lazy. They want to have fun, they don’t want to deal with your emotions and your pain.
Not all friends are good for us or want what is best for us. If you got involved with a narcissist, you more than likely are a “people pleaser” and once you start to heal grow and change, you are going to realize you are surrounded by narcissistic people. Being narcissistic does not mean a person is a narcissist, it just means they can’t relate, can’t understand, or don’t want to make the effort to understand, at this time. Some people are naturally more empathetic than others. It takes all kinds to make up this world.
We do a dance with everyone in our life. We develop a way of interacting with people. They know how to manipulate us to get what they want and we them. They may not even realize they do it, they may think they have your best interests at heart; but, the worst decisions I have ever made in my life were made because someone pressured me into it. I have never regretted a decision my gut agreed with.

Think about it; you usually know exactly how someone will respond in a certain situation, how an argument will go. You had a dance you did with the narcissist. After years of him breaking up with me and then coming back, I got used to the dance and accepted it was “just the way we were” and we would keep doing this dance forever more. But he changed the dance and found someone new and left us standing alone on the dance floor. We felt helpless, didn’t know the next step, we have to learn a new dance.
People don’t like change, period.
They want to know, if I do this, they will do that. When you change the steps, don’t respond the way they expect, they have to learn a new dance. Some people always want to be the leader and refuse to follow. Men can relate to a dancing with a woman who refuses to follow his lead on the dance floor. Someone’s toes inevitably get stepped on.
You are changing the dance, some people aren’t going to follow. You can just follow their lead and keep doing the same dance or you can change the dance and if they don’t follow; you walk away and leave them standing alone on the dance floor.
Embrace the lesson, grow from it, become all you are destined to be, as you grow and change; old friends will fall away and you will meet new friends. There will be a handful, or maybe just one friend who is willing to learn a new dance with you.
Victims of a narcissist view everything in a negative light, the death of a relationship, death of friendships, life will never be good again, they are losing everything. That’s what the narcissist wants you to think.
The narcissist doesn’t ever grow from an experience because they don’t care about personal growth, they are shallow, empty, and that is why they are able to immediately “fall in love” with someone new.
No matter what anyone tells you; it is NOT normal to be able to just move on from a love relationship.

Embrace this opportunity to grow and learn from life, to step out of your comfort zone and be a better you. Your true friends will learn the steps to your new dance.

How Do I Get The Old Me Back?

On another site I belong to, someone asked, what do you do about the family and friends who say you’ve changed, aren’t fun any more, and want the “old” you back?

My answer would be this;

You and everyone who knows you has to face the fact that you will never be the old you again. You, are the same person you always were but life gives us experiences that change how we see and function in the world.

Sure, there are a few people who float through life and never have a life altering experience but true character is built by adversity and over-coming life challenges. Without challenges and overcoming things we didn’t think we could; we never know how strong and capable we are.

Alot of how people view us is directly connected to how we view ourselves. We used to live up to others expectations of us. The opinions of others mattered to us, we were people pleasers.

In the past we presented ourselves as we thought others wanted us to be. I know for myself, I often felt like an impostor, or failure because I was trying so hard to be all things to all people. Victims of a narcissist are often over achievers and usually put other’s needs before their own.

After leaving the narcissist we are drained, depleted and unable to be the person we used to be. People don’t like change, they liked the way you were because they knew how to talk to you, what you liked, needed, and now they don’t know this person and they don’t know how to relate to you.

Think about this; if you or any one of your friends were violently raped, would anyone complain that they weren’t “fun” any more? Well, you have been raped at a soul level. That is going to change a person. It’s a fact and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be an opportunity for personal growth, in fact, it should change a person. If someone can bounce right back after being in an abusive relationship, they are not dealing with their emotions and pain and will more than likely end up in another abusive relationship. You had better learn from the experience now or risk repeating history over and over again.

Being all things to all people is exhausting work and you are drained. I didn’t have the energy to be “my old self”, nor the desire. Whereas I used to be a clean freak, I often didn’t do dishes for a week. I actually threw dishes away instead of washing them. My mother would be agast when she saw my dirty house. I used to be a wonderful hostess, cooking and entertaining, the life of the party, and I had no desire now. I felt broken, and had no idea how to put myself back together when nothing felt natural and everything was an effort. A sign of depression is a lack of desire, energy, and motivation. You could take meds to mask the depression or you can accept you have every right to be depressed and to need time to heal. Give yourself a fucking break!

I felt I was always disappointing people, I hadn’t been able to make my ex happy, now friends and family was unhappy with me. I decided the only thing I could do was to be myself come what may. I was too tired to be anything else. I stopped trying to please everyone else and focussed on pleasing myself. I would not do anything out of obligation or pressure. I would not let anyone make me feel bad for not living up to their expectations of me. I was going to live true to my core self and if they didn’t like me, so be it. I was tired of feeling resentful, taken advantage of and like an impostor.

It is not selfish to live true to yourself, to say no when you can’t do something. When you do say yes, people will know you are sincere and you won’t feel resentful.

The “old you” wasn’t working for you or you wouldn’t have gotten in so deep with the narcissist. You went through the experience to learn a lesson, you can learn from it or not; it’s your choice. You will never be your old self again, you will be the new and improved you. You probably WILL lose some friends and you will make different friends.

Life is like that, things change, friends change, we grow, sometimes we leave people behind. As long as you live true to yourself you can never be wrong. Do you want friends who like you for you or friends who only like you when you are the person they want you to be?

The Overwhelming Panic Of Rejection

I had never experienced it until I fell in love with my ex; overwhelming panic at the thought of losing him.

I had breakups in the past and been terribly sad and crying, but for some reason I absolutely panicked when he rejected me. We would have an argument over something insignificant that he would be relentlessly badgering me about; some accusation of wrong doing on my part, then he wouldn’t allow me to defend myself and walk away.

He twisted my words and refused to listen when I spoke from the heart.

I hadn’t always been able to speak my feelings and make myself understood. But I had taken college courses on communicating effectively because it was important to me that I could express myself clearly, without shame or anger.

I had been painfully shy and highly sensitive as a child and because I didn’t know how to express myself, I had cried alot. Crying had angered my father and I had been told, “You want something to cry about? I’ll give you something to cry about!” Or, “get out of my face if you’re going to cry!” I used to get headaches alot, had an ulcer at 10 yrs old and by the time I was 17, I had an eating disorder that I struggled with all through my 20’s.

I had been to counseling after my first marriage failed because I didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes. I knew I hadn’t been perfect, I wanted to understand myself better in order to be better.

By the time I met the narcissist, I was in my mid 40’s and felt, for the first time in my life; I was truly ready for a healthy love relationship. And the narc seemed to see and appreciate that fact about me. He used to say I was the first woman he had ever dated who was calm and rational. We could discuss anything. I understood him. He was 10 years younger than me and I felt he was rather naive. He was so enamoured with me, I feared I might hurt him and I told myself I had to be careful to not lead him on and not to hurt him. I was a very independent, self sufficient woman who was turned off by love sick puppies.

He wanted to see me all the time. He introduced me to all his friends, took me to meet his family, insisted I talk to his mother on the phone. He told me to answer his phone, gave me a house key, he arrived when he said he would and called if he was late. I had never met a man like him. When I got that uncomfortable feeling in my gut I told myself, it was because I wasn’t used to being treated so well. I thought I would be crazy to walk away from someone who loved me that much. I fought the urge to dump him.

Rejection doesn’t feel good, no matter who is rejecting you. You may not even like the person that much but the minute they reject you, you wonder, “Why would they reject me? What’s wrong with me? What did I do wrong?”

Fear of rejection is normal but it can become immobilizing and all consuming when you rely on others to give you your self-worth. At times when you are consumed with the fear of rejection you need to step back and not act on your fears. When you feel that fear growing in your belly, that irrational need for their approval envelops you, instead of giving into it and panicking; take a walk, and give yourself time to think clearly and self counsel.

Some things to think about;

Is this rejection or does the person just need some alone time?

Are they going through something?

It’s not all about you. Are you being self centered?

Did you do anything that would have hurt the person? If you did, do you owe them an apology? Then, apologize.

If you don’t feel you did anything wrong, they are obviously angry with you, and you have tried to explain your position, yet they are still rejecting you. Respect their wishes and give them space. Some times a person needs time to process information and accept that they were wrong. You are not going to “fix” anything by forcing the other person to discuss the issue. You may be thinking, “but I can’t let it go until it’s resolved.” My answer to that is, “Yes you can. You have to practice self control, divert your mind, do something else. You are in control of your reactions, in fact; it’s the only thing you CAN control. You certainly can’t control another person.

What is the worst thing that can happen? They end the friendship and never tell you why. Right? So what? If that happens, the world will continue to spin, you will continue to live, nothing will change, you won’t be less valuable, YOU won’t be any different than you were yesterday. You might feel a little lonelier, but hopefully you have other friends, if not you can make more friends.

All we can do is be the best person we can be, not every one is going to like us, we have to accept we aren’t perfect, neither are our friends. But, if you are your authentic self, you will attract people into your life who genuinely like you for you.

I ran into an old friend the other day and they said, “I love running into you. You always seem so happy to see me, like running into me, made your day.”

I said, “Because I genuinely am happy to see you. Running into you always makes my day”. It was a “feel good” moment that kinda says it all. My world wouldn’t change if this person wasn’t in my life, I don’t see them very often, but I like them, I am happy they are my friend, I value them, I show them I value them, but my self worth is in no way connected to whether they like me or not.