It is better to be alone than in bad company.
A big part of who you become in life has to do with who you choose to surround yourself with. Sometimes luck controls who walks into your life, but you decide who you let stay, who you pursue, and who you let walk back out.
Ultimately, you should surround yourself with people who make you a better person and distance yourself from those who don’t. Here are some general warning signs you’re in the presence of the latter:
1. They only make time for you when it’s convenient for them.
It’s obvious, but any relationship without regular interaction and communication is going to have problems, especially when there’s a lack of commitment.
Don’t waste your time with someone who only wants you around when it’s convenient for them. You shouldn’t have to force someone to make a space in their life for you, because if they truly care about you they will gladly create space for you.
Being in a relationship with someone who overlooks your worth isn’t loyalty, it’s stupidity. Never beg someone for attention. Know your self-worth, and move on if you must.
2. They hold your past against you.
Some people will refuse to accept that you are no longer who you used to be – that you’ve made mistakes in the past, learned from them, and moved past them. They may not be able to stand the fact that you’re growing and moving on with your life, and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you. Do not help them by acknowledging their negative behavior. Keep moving forward.
Holding on to the unchangeable past is a waste of energy and serves no purpose in creating a better day today. If someone continuously judges you by your past and holds it against you, you might have to repair your future by leaving them behind.
3. You feel trapped.
Healthy relationships keep the doors and windows wide open. Plenty of air is flowing and no one feels trapped. Relationships thrive in this kind of unrestricted environment. You can come and go as you please, but you choose to stay because where you are is where you want to be.
If you want to be a part of someone’s life, all the open doors and windows in the world won’t make you leave. If someone has closed them all in an effort to trap you into something you don’t want to be a part of, it’s time to find the strength to kick down the door. (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the Relationships and Self-Love chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
4. They discredit your dreams and abilities.
If you allow others to define your dreams and abilities, then you enable them to hold you back. What you’re capable of achieving is not a function of what other people think is possible for you. What you’re capable of achieving depends on what you choose to do with your time and energy.
People will throw all sorts of assumptions your way about what is possible and what is impossible. Look beyond the presumptions and mental limitations of others, and connect with your own best vision of how YOUR life can be. Life is an open-ended journey, and what you achieve comes from what you expect to achieve and what you work to achieve.
So don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. Keep living your truth. The only people that will get mad at you for doing so are those who want you to live a lie.
5. They have lied to you more than once.
Love is a verb, not a noun. It is ACTIVE in all relationships. Love is not just feelings of passion and romance between lovers; it is also a behavior among friends and family. If someone lies to you, they are unlovingly disrespecting you and your relationship.
When you keep someone in your life who is a chronic liar, and you keep giving them new chances to be trusted, you have a lot in common with this person – you’re both lying and being unloving to you!
Bottom line: Those who avoid the truth and tell you only what you want to hear do so for their own benefit, not yours. Don’t put up with it. (Read Emotional Vampires.)
6. Their negativity is rubbing off on you.
The negative people in your life don’t just behave negatively towards you, but towards everyone they interact with. What they say and do is a projection of their own reality – their own inner issues. Even if they say something to you that seems personal – even if they insult you directly – it likely has zero to do with you.
This is important to remember because what these negative people say and do shouldn’t be taken to heart. Although you don’t have control over what they say and do; you do have control over whether or not you allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their venomous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. If you feel like these people are getting to you, take a break and give yourself some space to breathe.
Positive things happen when you distance yourself from negative people. Doing so doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself.
7. They are excessively envious of what you have.
A little bit of envy is OK, but when someone is excessively envious of what you have, there’s a good chance what they really want is to take it from you.
Excessive envy doesn’t tell you how much someone admires you, it tells you how much they dislike themselves. If you can, try to help lift them up, but also be careful that they don’t pull you down. Oftentimes no amount of love, or promises, or proof from you will ever be enough to make them feel better about themselves. For the broken pieces they carry, are pieces they must mend for themselves. Happiness, after all, is an inside job.
8. They motivate you to be judgmental or hateful.
Truth be told, no human being is superior. No faith, race, size or shape is inferior. All collective judgments about others are wrong. Only judgmental hypocrites make them.
If you judge others by their skin color, their body size, and their outer beauty, you will miss EVERYTHING about who they really are. It is amazing the quality of people you will learn about and meet in this world if you can simply get past the fact that lots of people are not dressing and living the way you do.
People who motivate you to judge or hate others are as bad as bad company gets. Avoid them at all costs. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
9. They want you to be someone else.
Spend time with people who see you the way you are, and not as they wish to think you are. Spend even more time with those who truly know about you, and who love and respect you anyway.
If someone expects you to be someone you’re not, take a step back. It’s wiser to lose relationships over being who you are, than to keep them intact by acting like someone you’re not. It’s easier to nurse a little heartache and meet someone new, than it is to piece together your own shattered identity. It’s easier to fill an empty space within your life where someone else used to be, than it is to fill the empty space within yourself where YOU used to be.
What would you add to the list? What’s one big warning sign you’re in the presence of bad company? Please leave a comment below and let us know.
Photo by: Bhumika Bhatia
When you realize that you have lived with a person for several decades and see the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, attitude more frequently, then you know it is time to take a step back and plan for another adventure anywhere else but the place one called home !
Add to list: (relationship wise) if the person you are seeing seems too good to be true. Tells you all the right things then after while changes. A lot of times what they say that draws you in turns out to be the opposite of whatever they said or displayed. Recently broke up with someone who was the total opposite of everything he portrayed. He pretended to be a good person after awhile I introduced him to my kids. My kids liked him which drew me in. After awhile he began complaining about them and being jealous of them. He wanted to be the baby. My kids come first so that was the deal breaker. You have to give it some time but if you take note of things and watch the warning signs you can save yourself some time. The real him was selfish and controlling. Plus a liar and a cheater.
Woah, this just happened to me! I mean, not the kids or jealousy due to wanting to be the baby, but all the part re him being completely opposite of who he initially portrayed to be.
Too good to be true is exactly right! He was a dream, a Disney Prince, thought he’d always be the knight in shining armor, had anyone needed him to be. He was patient, righteous, tall, handsome, super strong, a handyman, genuinely good hearted, he said he was a caregiver…basically, he was the whole package-the most perfect guy any girl can dream up! Thus, I couldn’t believe it…I needed time (and a magnifying glass) to be sure he’s real BC he was too unreal. Like why is he single at 29? I mean, he’s basically superman, any sane girl, or guy for that matter, would want him…yesterday!
We sexted a lot. Connection was intense; sexual tention on overdrive but I didn’t give, as I needed to see a lil more…then like a switch had turned off, one morning he was different, aloof, distant, non communicative, irritated an mean. He ghosted soon after that.
He came back into my life 10 mths later and I let him right back in hoping the dream man I fell for was actually in there somewhere…
Nope. He probably contacted me but didn’t really remember who he was, or who he played ?. He did seem to remember the hot textings tho…never did those dreamy prince charming type words come out of him again, or the carer who had cc cookies ready for me. He was just a horney man looking for his next fuck. I intentionally pushed him away by saying stupid stuff. It didn’t take long, he probably ghosted again. But my heart couldn’t be broken twice or more like, couldn’t be broken as he wasn’t a dream anymore…he was a nightmare in tin foil.
I wish I had the guts to leave, that sounds exactly like my Jekle and Hyde. The words, the voice and tone that are used cut deep and the hurt never goes away, I guess that’s my fault for not taking a stand and leaving and I, for the life of me, can’t figure out why I won’t leave. I tried once and he called our son up to tell him that mom wants a divorce and continued to tell him that he did not and asked our son if he wanted our family to break up and our son answered no, so I suspect that’s why I take it silently to keep our family together. I tried telling him that his words are negative and they hurt but he was angry at me and has never apologized for the hurt and pain. I know staying is not the answer and I know how good life would be if I could just get the nerve up to leave but I keep thinking of my son saying he doesn’t want our family to break up. Great post, I’m glad to read something that resonates and know I’m not crazy!
He doesn’t care about the family aspect, he just wants to control you. Think of this, is this how you would like your son to turn out? You can show him what a woman will and won’t tolerate by taking a stand for yourself. Your sanity could depend on it. Been there, done that. So glad I left. My kids had to accept it and move on, too.
I agree with what KT has said. Sometimes it’s social pressure which forces you to continue living like that no matter how hard it is for you. I guess when we have children we think about their well being not our own.
Old comment, but to Rs:
How can you think the well being of your son is for you and your husband to be in a dysfunctional, unhappy marriage where you feel miserable??????! Hellooooo!
You are actually setting a bad example for him. If you care about the well being of your son, you’ll leave that dysfunctional marriage. At least take some time apart to begin with, take a long vacation with a friend, leave town for at least a couple of weeks.
I think you’re just afraid, and this dysfunctional situation has actually become some sort of comfort zone where you don’t have to take action to remain in, but you do have to take action to get out of, so it’s easier. If you can’t leave, take baby steps, it will help you start thinking more clearly.
Yeah, please drop that excuse about doing right by your son, you’re doing wrong by your son, actually.
God bless you!
Have you thought about getting your own place without getting a divorce? Someplace you can go to get away like a cabin or she-shed? Not sure about your situation but if you are dealing with emotional abuse, you definitely should see a counselor familiar with narcissism and emotional abuse. And make sure you do things that bring you joy and confidence. Do not let your dreams, passion and self care dissipate. Toxic people will try and get you to stop doing the things you love. Also, positive self talk is very important. I recommend Joel Osteen for positive thinking and the bible for a deeper relationship with God and the strength to live out your destiny.
Being happy is what we want to accomplish. Never stay in a relationship that hurts you over and over. If you being unhappy makes him happy? Then you need to exit. I noticed that one time. I was hurt and crying. He was almost smiling. I saw his reaction. And if I were happy about something, he was almost depressed. What made him happiest was when I was most unhappy.
I’m not there anymore. I have never felt better! Right decision for me. I regret I did not do it much sooner.
Also when they bait you with friendship and then rebuff you and push you away. This indicates they have a very difficult time defining their own space. They should be able to ask for space when needed in an assertive manner – not try to manipulate your reaction so you go away and then act the victim so they again win your “apology” for what they themselves instigated. I just ended a friendship with a woman I have known for over 20 years after visiting her and having her do this to me daily. She kept baiting, engaging, getting frustrated and retreating and refusing to communicate. It got really stressful and tiresome. When I tried to talk to her about it, she blamed the whole thing on me!
If they make you feel unwanted, stupid or worthless then stay away from them because you can’t constantly stay around someone who is making you feel this way. In any relationship, both people are supposed to boost each other up, not bring each other down! xx
Leanne hall says
I’m in relationship with a guy for over 2 years now. We both have other children most adults but have a 7 year old each. It seems that whatever the adult kids require of him is top priory even after ripping their own stepfather off. Now we don’t live together and never will I doubt but am very sick of being the very last on the list when all I’ve ever done is make him priory. Bad me I’m totally list with it all and will be here all night telling it all but I don’t know whether to let him go I love him very much but don’t know if I can carry on like this. Help any advice
Michael Mckinney says
Leanne, It’s very clear that you are a sincere woman. Not everyone would publicly request advice in matters so personal. It takes reaching out as you have to begin that process of initiating positive change in your life. If your partner knows that you want to see certain basic changes in your relationship and chooses (and chooses is the correct word) not to at least talk about with you then you are in my opinion exempt from future claims on your time and emotions.
You are like a painting by a great master, something to be valued, protected and considered. Would we allow the Mona Lisa to be left out in the rain? No we wouldn’t. You are that painting Leanne. God is the artist and author of the painting that is you and your life. Great amounts of time and effort have been expended to bring you into being. You have been made by masterful hands. When we allow others to discount the worth and value of our lives and personhood, we are participating in and accepting the false logic of denigrating God’s perfect and holy work. I value my life highly because God values my life highly and all should do the same. Touch and invite the divine energy that is waiting for you. It leads to absolute peace. Good luck Leeanne
I think it is not in every situation that you have to be the one to move away. You may have to put your foot down and let them be the one to either be gone or change their attitude.
The important thing is to be ready to loose any one making life unbearable for you.
I have had causes to let go, and also to move on.
Another thing is to consider is this:
If they always come to tell you about the ‘ill’ being spoken of you from other people, they gotta go. Sometimes you have to play ‘Shoot the Messenger’ … Why are they telling you this? Why should you care? Why was it OK for others to talk bad about you in their presence, and they did not defend you? Why can’t they disclose the sources (the people and their names) where this information came from? Seriously, what is the real deal behind all this?
Bottom Line: Don’t tell me what they said. Tell me what YOU said to defend me. Tell me why it’s was OK for them to talk about me and for you to report back to me. Tell me why it was OK for them them talk about me in your presence so comfortably.
BEWARE of the Messenger who tells you of the ill that’s been spoken about you from other people.
Wow LISA you hit it on the nail. Very wise advice. I had gone thru something like this last week with people I know. Thanks for the eye opener.
Because nine times out of ten the alleged bad mouthers weren’t talking about you at all. It was all made up or the messengers was instigating the bad mouthing of you and persuaded them to agree.
So true! Good Advice Lisa, thank you for sharing, I really needed that today.
Tortured soul says
I love this. You’re absolutely right! Thank you.
What about grown men who are momma’s boys who have never left home? They take the time to be in a relationship, love you with all their hearts and tell you that you are ‘the one’ they have been looking for their entire life….. but 2 1/2 years into the relationship they realize that they can never leave their mother for you. Can they not leave because of guilt or is the fear of leaving the only home they have ever known too much for them? The man in question is 49. I just cannot wrap my head around this and I keep hearing his words to me over and over again how much he wanted to be my life partner. It’s very painful.
I know your pain. I have been in an identical situation. Lost time. He will never change. NEVER. Get over it. Sorry.
Im married now for 2 1/2 years and I know from a male perspective that a man must balance the love for his mom and the love for his wife. He must be able to make both happy! Often times a source of jealousy brews from the battle between mom and daughter in-law. Just knowing that a moms love can never replace a wife’s love an vice versa is a good start.
If he truly is too much of a momma’s boy he’s got to break out of that quick. Your marriage issues should stay between you and him and not a 3rd party. This might of helped you build a sturdy foundation. Often times the seeds of bad opinions are sowed when a person leaks an issue out of their marriage. Now the in-law or person outside of the marriage has a negative opinion of your marriage and this adds to the chaos!
The comment about a partner wanting you to do what THEY want you to do reminded me of something i watched on T.V the other day. The singer , Elton John, when he was struggling to make it as a professional, his then girlfriend , told him to ‘ GET A JOB!!’ He told her to ‘F.CK OFF’ walked out forever, and years later got signed!! hahahahah!
Sometimes I wonder if people have a negative effect on me. Some people don’t come into my space until I am feeling down. I have noticed people don’t (98% of the time) come into my space (unless I have to meet them for study or shopping) until I am in a certain mood. Usually worse.
I hear lots of people on hear asking what to do if the offenders are their family. It is way harder to separate from this but the answer is the same – you need to at least create a safe distance from them.
I grew up with two parents that did and still do have an extremely dysfunctional, toxic relationship. They fool themselves into believing they are ‘normal’ people, but they are not. I could fill a book with all the ways this has screwed my head up, and the battle its been to get out from under their metal and emotional oppression.
I have spent half of my time here on earth wasted in careers I hate, second guessing my own judgment and ability to think. I have wasted years my time in toxic, abusive relationships, romantic and otherwise, all because they brought me up to believe I didn’t deserve proper boundaries. I was brought up to think I didn’t deserve any better. How could I even know what proper boundaries were? – I had no examples of it ever displayed before me and my mother would put up with anything.
It’s been a long hard battle in which I had to make some very difficult decisions. They have effected me in ways that have severely impeded my quality of life. Even a brief phone convo feels as if poison has been shot directly into my veins. I have two sisters who are still under their spell, who do not even realize how twisted their thinking is and who try using the same tactics on me as well. I don’t speak to them anymore. I thought this would leave a tremendous void in my life and that I would miss them terribly. I don’t. But this of course makes me the big bad black sheep of the family. I don’t care.
I now am extremely careful who I let into my inner circle, and have made a concerted effort to steer my own children in a very different direction – I have realized that its up to me to break the cycle. Still, its a battle every single day to ignore the negative voices in my head and to trust my instincts and not second guess myself and my decisions.
My parents, however, are old now. Still, I keep them at arms distance. If they need my help, I will help them, because of course I still love them, but I have done lots of work to emotionally separate myself from them. Still, when I do see them, I am screwed up for at least a week, a week I’ll never get back to live my life in a positive, productive manner. I am very careful in sacrificing my sanity for them anymore.
If I’m going to be completely honest, I must admit, that the only reason I stay in contact with them at all is because they are old, and I don’t need to feel that inevitable guilt I will feel when they pass away. So I guess my reasoning for staying in contact with them is, in a way, selfish. I don’t want their toxicity controlling me from the grave.
Wow. Your post really shook me to the core. I am experiencing the same emotions with my parents. It’s funny that you would describe it as a spell. I’ve felt this way too. My brother moved out and even though he’s having a tough time, he refuses to come home. I’m married and I live with my husband but my parents house flooded. They needed help so, we had them move in with us. Needless to say, they have taken over and lately, I’m feeling too much like a little kid. I’ve rarely felt confident in my decisions. My parents are in their late 50’s but they aren’t very healthy so, I do have the worry that they will pass away and I will feel so guilty for how I’ve felt, unsure and I will still be under their spell. My G-d… It’s like im talking to one of my siblings. *HUGS* Let’s try to stay strong!
Wow, thank you Michele for putting so clearly and beautifully into words my exact experience! We even have the same name! I still struggle with guilt for not finding a way to forgive. I guess I understand how they got the way they are (abuse in their family of origin) but I am not okay with having devoted most of my life to therapy and recovering from growing up with them. I too have steered my children differently which takes enormous effort, as I had to learn the skills not having it instilled by my own family. Bless you, and thanks again for sharing your truth!
The best part of growing up into an adult is that we no longer have to associate with people that we seriously do not want to spend time with. Nor do we have to explain it to anyone. We can agree to disagree. Or not. But we can’t live our life unaffected just because we can do that.
This absolutely commendable this list has opened my eyes to my detractor. Thanks a lot…
Add to list:
If they do not let you into their life, keep you a secret, do not introduce you to friends &/or family, and do not offer reasonable explanations after a consirable amount of time with that person.
Was starting to think some people in my life weren’t the best people to be around, then I read this and I’m almost certain they aren’t healthy to be around.
Another red flag for if someone is better not being in your life is when you dread talking to them or being around them and make “i dont know if i can” your go to answer for when they ask to do something or go somewhere with them.
Trust your gut. Stay strong. Not giving up is strength. Don’t get a habit of seeking the easy way out. These are things that I’ve learned from the relationships I’ve had with people whom made my life a carousel of uncertainty. But I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned and the devotion to myself that I now have. Above all, trusting my gut is something ill never forget.
Fantastic article and great responses.
I am in a relationship with a man that no one in my family likes. They don’t like him because of his past. He was addicted to cocaine. An alcoholic. And somewhat of a violent past. He has not drank in 10 years and has done no drugs in over 4 years. They hear past stories about him and think that he treats me hora be. But I have never had someone love me like this man does. Yes he is hard to deal with sometimes but is the most caring loving man I have ever meant. He has no problem saying exactly what he feels in every waking moment of his life. He expresses every day how much he loves me. But everyone one in my family hates him because of how open he is. He is brutally honest in every situation. The only one out of 7 siblings in my family that likes him is one of my brothers and my mom. Am I wrong? Or do they see something I don’t.
You have said a lot of things about this man that would raise red flags. Your family may be seeing things you don’t because your thoughts are clouded by love right now. You wouldn’t want to wake up one day to find yourself being abused.
Sharyn L. says
This is coming from someone who has fulfilled the educational requirements to become a certified addiction counsellor. I so work in the field, but I am not yet certified. I also have personal experience as the love of my life was an addict.
I can see where your family are coming from. Typically, it is very difficult for people to see beyond the label, addict/alcoholic, regardless of whether a person is currently using or not. It can be difficult to separate the addiction from the person. It could be that your family is so caught up in the label that it obscures any objective perception. That may never change regardless of how long your partner has been clean.
As well, many people still have an old school mentality that substance abuse is a character or personality flaw, which is like saying a person with clinical depression is weak of character. Substance dependence is called a disease for a reason and the behaviour that occurs when someone has a serious addiction is predictable (lying, stealing, or worse) regardless of their true personality. Take all of these together and it is easy to see why most parents would not want their child involved with an addict/alcoholic, regardless of whether they are using or not.
On the other hand, you must be realistic and understand that someone who has a substance abuse disorder will be skilled at hiding it. An addiction never goes away, it just goes into remission, for lack of a better word. Once someone has a serious addiction, it is a lifetime struggle to remain sober and relapses can be common. Anyone who tell you different is lying.
What I would advise is this: Do some research into substance abuse. Get a good understanding of it including symptoms of using, the relapse process, codependency, enabling etc. Also, make an appointment with a certified addiction counsellor or a therapist who has experience with addictions so they can give you some insight.
Then take that knowledge and reevaluate your relationship. Assess your relationship on two levels. Firstly, look at the addition. Is he using? Is his sobriety a high priority in his life? Is a structured relapse program in place? Does he attend AA/NA? Does he stay away from people who use? A lack of any of those could indicate a relapse is in the process. Even those who have been sober for decades can relapse.
The next step is looking at your relationship beyond the substance abuse issue. Does he make you happy? Does he treats you well? Does he make you a better person, and all the other things that most people consider when evaluating a relationship. It sounds like you have already done this, but do so after you gain more knowledge about addictions.
I hope this helps.
What do you mean by “somewhat of a violent past”?
Did he hit someone, a woman, lover?
Sorry, that really sounded like a red flag.
You also said that “sometimes he’s hard to deal with” what do you mean by that, what does he do exactly? Is he impulsive, angry, unreasonable?
You followed that by saying “Yes he is hard to deal with sometimes but is the most caring loving man I have ever meant.” I just hope you’re not already making excuses for his bad behavior.
Make sure you’re not in the habit of dating difficult people. You deserve better!
It is important to know that people do not have personality flaws, they have character flaws.
All you have to do is review their past and you have it all figured out…
What a profoundly uplifting blog. This is my new lifestyle bible!
Ok… One sign you’re in poor company is someone who is full of saccharin sweet flattery and sycophantic behaviour. Be incredibly wary of the ‘friend’ who also agrees with everything you say and appears to have little independent thought. This is someone who is terrified of not being popular or liked by everyone and will say and do conflicting things depending on who they are sharing a cup of tea with. A real friend is authentic in their ups and downs on this roller coaster of life and doesn’t feel the need to hide their human faults or moments of darkness from you. More importantly they do not judge you in return.
Watch out for this energy vampire: they may suffocate you with barely veiled passive aggression and betray your confidence to the next person they want to impress!
Peace love and light :-)))
Wow that sounds like quite a lot of assumptions there! Maybe you were too caught up in them and yourself to see that person for who they are, and just accept a few common interests for the same reason. Betray your confidence?? just a smidge hipocritical I’d say;)
Hi guys. Mind-blowing blog. I have met someone like this in my life. He insulted me every time as if I have no existence to him at all. He only craved for my body & my money. He forced me not to take even my breath without his or his parents permission. He had insulted my parents verbally, emotionally & even physically. He, being brutal in nature, tried to even kill me twice. Now I am free from him & going through the painful process of divorce. It is a trauma for anyone to meet some like this, but the moral of the story is truly catchy – you are the master of your life; don’t give anyone such licence that he/she can make your life hell.
deanne fox says
The simple fact that I read this article and agreed to most of it, backs up what I’ve been second guessing and lying to myself about. I need to finally dump the guy now!
Grateful to have stumble on this blog – the Universe has a way of providing just what we need to hear when we need to hear it.
Rock the Day All!
Vicki Lindamood says
This article could also be titled “9 warning signs of a bad boss”!
When, after interacting with them, you feel drained. And after a while, you become physically ill, or you begin to manifest physical symptoms of illness (brain fog, fatigue, chest pains, etc) yet your physician can’t find anything technically wrong with you.
Exactly what is my problem right now with certain group of people. I have been talking to a psychologist for the first time in my life because of the time I’ve spent around them and this article confirms that me and them is just not going to work. Unfortunatelly, they are a familly members and I still didn’t figure out how and where to draw the line to create a safety space between us and yet not to offend them in any way. I also know that they won’t understand me if I would try to explain them this problem, they will just be offended, outraged probably, and creating the conflict in my familly is not my intention. So many days in front of me of thinking about it and trying to find an answer…
So I understand Your feelings. You’re not alone in this exact struggle. Hope You will be better.
I’d like to add something. Have you ever found yourself listening to someone gripe about one thing or another and then offering your constructive, unbiased opinion from an outsiders point of view only to find that when you feel the need to vent the same person whose problems you were polite enough to listen to, basically says they don’t want here you complain. I’ve experienced that recently. It’s unsettling to me how little consideration some can have, and its unfortunate but the last thing anyone needs is to give their positive energy to some one who, not only gives none back, but actually gives off negative vibes.
It took me a long time to finally realize that my family was toxic for my life. I couldn’t understand the why I was feeling stupid, insecure, and unimportant around them until one day I decided to go back to school and their response to this was- you are too old for that!
I have been criticized about my spirituality, my personality, my morals, and values… everything about me, according to them is/was crazy. I needed to be confident for the career I chose and to strengthen my ability to NOT second guess my decisions at work, so while working on acquiring confidence and self-love, I find out that these people (so call family) did not have had my best interest, love, respect, and appreciation; therefore, I do not talk to them and ever since I made this decision, I have been happier, more confident, and motivated to achieve my goals and dreams without having to feel inadequate because of their opinion. Just because it is family does not mean that you have to sacrifice your happiness.
I struggled with this same thing for years. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who is dealing with it! I wish you a happy life filled with true friends that you can use to make a new “family.” XoXo
Jedi Dwight says
Hi Minnie. I lived this reality as well. Many (not all) members of my family would jump down my throat every time I opened my mouth no matter what the topic was.
It took me YEARS to realize that I had the power to cut them out of my life.
I stopped calling and attending family functions.
And guess what? Not one phone call, guilt trip or anything.
Leads me to believe that they wanted me gone the whole time and are now pleased with the outcome and/or never a gave a crap about me in the first place.
I am better off without them. My life has been more peaceful and happy since I’ve made the choice to wave bye-bye to a bunch of jerks.
You are right about one thing: the designation/distinction of “mother’, “father”, “brother”, “grandmother” etc… they are just meaningless words if there is no real love.
Society would tell you this is not the case but, like with so many things, society is wrong.
If the woman who bore you treats you disrespectfully over and over, she’s not you mother. She’s an a$$hole who brow beats you into submission.
If your brother steals from you he is not your brother, he’s a theif.
NO ONE has the obligation to stand by and support another human being engaging in unsavory, damaging or even illegal behavior because you happen to share bloodlines and some DNA.
Ask yourself if they are kind. Are they kind to people, to animals, to their mother?
Late to the comments section here. What if the people that fit this description are your parents? And you’re an only child? Some of these points fit them very well, due to their narrow religious views, judgmentalism, and expectations that I conform to the same. Any major decisions I make are questioned with “are you sure it’s God’s will?” I haven’t been brave enough to tell them I no longer share their beliefs. I’m in my 30s, have lived far away for much of my adult life, and am considering becoming a long term expat but am worried about having to take care of them in the future.
Julliette Valentine says
One of the big signs that you’re in a bad relationship and that you need to get out is when you’re partner/ friend is physically mentally and emotionally abusive to you. It happened to me once, the person is still trying to continue the relationship we had. I think it’s time to move on and meet new people.
This article touches on a lot of issues I am aware of but it really take courage especially if it is not one person who benefit from having me continuing on a bad relationship. And it is not only about a significant other but also at work or any situation that involve people. I had been lied to from people who want to benefit from gaining information about me. They had steal from me and got away with it. And they act as though it is no big deal like I deserve it. I get angry and upset almost daily because of what they are doing. But most of the time I try to reflect about my own behaviors and how I can improve myself despite what others do or say. I continue to be optimistic despite everything that have set me back by these people who wants to move ahead at my expense. I am stepping away from it all and it feels good not to be around these types of people who cannot move forward without hurting someone else.
I guess I know that I’m in bad company when that person triggers a bad habit that I want to stay away from. Even if it’s family
The only thing I can add to this beautiful list of “eye opener” warning signs is that if we learn to love ourselves, we will never have to deal with those situations because when you love yourself you are able to spot the flaws right from the get go. Hence, improve your “own self” all the time and then you will start to live live to the fullest leaving behind all the negative persons, liers, controllers, free loaders, selfish and envious people. I am sixty and have live my own share of deception just trying to fit in or believing on empty promises or deceptive people. You will never know people’s agendas and feelings. The only thing is sure is what you need, what you want and what you feel.
Kimberly Patton says
They keep a checklist of everything they do for you and throw it in your face every chance they get
In my experience, keeping company with the “no one can tell me what to do” attitude is bad…
These people exhibit victim behaviours and get offensive about most things if they perceive the comment is about them even if it were a general comment.
This is behaviour of a teenager not an adult. You cannot speak your mind or work out issues with these types of people.
They will bite back and bring up the past always…
Great company are people that will listen to opinions, issues and try to reach a solution by asking the right questions to find a solution or compromise. Great company is people who can take correction.
Being meek and humble are great qualities, as compared to the heady, highminded and proud.
Just my experience.
Miss Kitty says
This article was so helpful for me. I recently had to let go of a “friend” who had been sucking the joy out of me day by day. She was needy and clingy. She never had anything pleasant to say, ever. Everyday she’d use me as her personal dumping ground. She was also extremely narcissistic. All we ever talked about was her. After knowing her a little over 2 years, I learned in all that time she knew nothing about me! It was a lopsided friendship, me doing all the giving of both my time and even tangible things. I just never got anything back from her. I only did this a week ago, and have been a little lonely with her out of my life, but honestly I feel so much better mentally without her constant downer attitude. Great article! You have such a way with words. Your messaging is spot on without all the psychobabble you see on other sites. Thank you.
People I thought I knew treated me this way. They act as if they care about you when actually they are not. One of my so called friend (which I thought was my best friend) doesn’t even want to spend time out with me to get to know each other better, She always has excuses to prevent from getting to know me as well as hers., which it never occurred.
I have something to add to the list. It is from my toxic brother. There is always a statement that is supposed to sound complimentary or conversational but it is a critical jab. He looks around my house and says, “Gosh, you have so much stuff. Have you seen that lady from Japan who helps people organize and get rid of their stuff? If you want I can get the book for you. After an hour tirade at me telling me I am selfish, fat, no one in the family likes me, etc. I refuse to interact with him. Now he is “sad, old and depressed” and I am being pressured to see and talk to him again by other family members. I should do it as “my Christmas sacrifice.” I think he is just an abuser and follows that pattern of “oh I’m so sorry, blah, blah” until the next time I want to kick the shit out of you.