...you'll recognize the signs.
- They're more combative than friendly.
- They're antagonistic with most any subject you discuss.
- They do not affirm you in any way shape of form. Criticism abounds but validation is non-existent or extremely limited and forced.
- They ignore every good or positive thing you have ever said, written, or done.
- They refuse to have a conversation with you; instead they point out what they do not like about you-- real or imagined.
- They accuse. They dredge up situations which you had no idea existed, then plant seeds of doubt in your mind about your own actions and attitudes. However, without recollection and specifics-- there's no way to reconcile the situation and restore the relationship.
- They discourage rather than encourage.
- You cannot confide in them and feel safe that your confidence is well-placed.
- You discover they talk negatively about you behind your back.
- They really do not seek you out to hear how you are or what is going on in your life unless it specifically affects them in some way.
These are enough signs to help anyone verify the validity of friendship. You may have others. The question that comes to my mind (more than any other when I see these signs rear their ugly heads), is what do I do about it? do I continue to try and build on what I thought was a friendship and ignore slights and insults, or do I cut my losses and move on?
Well, call me a glutton for punishment-- but I tend to give the benefit of the doubt until I have exhausted all effort on my part to make it work. I pray about it...basically I'm trying to live at peace, as much as I am able, with everyone. When peace eludes me-- when things stay the same or get worse, I kick the dust from my feet and move on. Once I move on, I don't look back. I keep my eyes focused on a higher calling to befriend others. There are so many people in life who are hungry for friendship-- people who welcome efforts of caring, concern, conversation, and comraderie. These are the people I want around me. Others are drags on life. I want folks who will stir up in me the desire to do good, to be better, and to make life better for others. The opposite pulls me down and drains me of all energy and leaves me exhausted.
Friends energize us. They fuel us and add to our lives in a positive way. They are trustworthy and loyal. May we each be the best of this to others.