I feel your pain. Or at least I use to. Then I started culling my friends and life got better.
How can you tell other people to stop bombarding you with their problems? You can’t. You can’t tell other people anything. Oh you can talk in their direction but the receiving, responding, and reacting part is up to them.
Put The Deserving In The Doing
Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you is a bad idea. It works great for people who are taking advantage of you. You are doing unto them as you would have them do unto you. Meanwhile they are screwing unto you as they would enjoy screwing you. The powerful, the malevolent and the evil have promoted this sheep-like philosophy thru the ages as it allows them to easily take advantage of people.
The solution is to do unto others as they deserve to have done unto them based on their actions. People hate this because most people don’t like being treated they way they deserve to be treated instead of the way they want to be treated.
No one is perfect and we all have our off days. If your friends are consistently negligent towards your emotional needs that different. People who consistently take without giving must be purged from your world. Yet again psychic vampires make an appearance in the pages of Ask Us. I don’t know how many friends you have who are sucking your blood but it’s time to get out the stake, garlic and crucifix.
First thing to do is make a list of all your vampires. Then divide them into two groups. Those you think both worthy and capable of reforming. The other group is those you are simply going to stake in the heart and walk away. Keep in mind you shouldn’t really stake them – no matter how badly you want to. But you are going to walk away from them.
Who are the vampires you may want to try rebuilding your relationship with? Look for the ones who have similar past, present and future to you. The ones you have shared memorable or important events with. The ones who share your values and philosophical approach to life. Then have a heart-to-heart talk with each of them on an individual basis.
Friend Maintenance – Nothing To Do With Facebook
As I have said before and will probably say again friends are the people you can have difficult conversations with. Difficult conversations can be frightening and often leave people very vulnerable. That’s why we have so few of them. Your friends may be fully aware you are having a difficult time in life right now but they may not know how to deal with it any better than you do. Having another person come to you with a problem or in need of emotional support can be very intimidating.
It’s also much easier for most people to talk about themselves rather than listen to others talk about themselves – and more so to listen to others talk about their problems. The fact that all this is difficult is why one must cultivate close friendships and guard them well.
One neglected fact about friendships is that they involve time and dedication. Not the Facebook kind of friendships but the real ones. There are 168 hours in a week. Factor in working, sleeping, eating and related tasks you must do to stay alive. Factor in hours you need alone for hobbies, projects and what-nots. How much time do you have left? That’s the time you have each week to maintain your truly close friendships. Now how many people can you reasonably sustain a friendship with in that amount of time?
Doing some house cleaning allows you to make the time and space to build and maintain the relationships that matter the most to you. To add new relationships or improve existing relationships you have to make time in your life for doing that. Which means something has to go. If you want to start going to the gym every week you have to cut down on the TV time. Same concept applies with friends. You can have five really good friends. You can’t have 50 really good friends. There isn’t that much time and you don’t have that much energy.
This is why I’m so fanatical about removing physic vampires from your life. Your time is limited. Don’t waste it. Every second of life is a second closer to death.
I know it’s tempting to send a text message and think you are staying in touch. But not really. If your desired outcome is to have deep friendships with people you can trust, confide in and accurately communicate with you must invest not just time but actual face to face interaction.
Liking some shit on someone’s Facebook wall doesn’t count as friendship maintenance.
What Are You Contributing
Ask yourself why you are putting up with this crap from these people. This may lead to some insight.
Some people have shitty friends because they are scared to be alone. I would say it’s better to be alone than to be abused and taken advantage of.
Some people put up with shitty friends be cause they are family. Just because you have similar DNA to someone doesn’t give them a license to dump on you.
Some people put up with shitty friends because those friends were not shitty in the past. The past is past and people change. And yet people also don’t change. It’s like a Zen koan.