Wow, someone has been reading my mind. Last year, I used to hang out with a lot of people but slowly started to distance myself from a lot of them. It’s not because they weren’t fun or nice, it’s because they were ambivalent friendships. I found that I was making more effort to hang out with them than they were hanging out with me.
I realized along the way that I was spending a great deal of time wondering whether they liked me, enjoyed my company or if they were excited for me and my business. I never realized how many dream-killers I had around me until I started to doubt my own dream of having my own business and launching Kinkster NYC.
It’s frightening to think how much mental space these individuals occupied the majority of last year. It’s also why I started not to trust a lot of people. It’s an inconvenient truth, but one I’ve come to accept. Nathaniel Branden said it best, “the first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”
It reminds me of the book I read by Judith Orloff M.D., Emotional Freedom, and how we have emotional vampires in our lives. Now that I’m thinking about it, I have to re-read that book because it had a big impact on my life because she gave me the necessary skills to take certain precautions to maintain emotional safety; the knowledge and skills I have but haven’t been utilizing lately.
We can easily block those individuals who we consider toxic but it’s those friendships that are ambivalent that drain us the most. It wasn’t until I watched this clip that I understood why those people who I enjoyed so much last year by the end were nowhere to be found.
As I backed away from each individual, I placed the blame on my circumstances, my life challenges, and struggles or started to think something was wrong with me, or social media was the cause for this strange disconnect. I’ve never considered smelling emotion, but it’s something to consider. It’s possible that I started to move away from these specific individuals because I could smell their disingenuous attraction or feelings toward me.
For a people-person like myself it’s been a difficult transition to being being someone who has few friends. Although it reminds me of my grandmother, she always said, “you’ll be lucky in life if you end up with one friend,” and the best words of advice, “You can’t call everyone your friend!” It’s a hard lesson that we learn as adults, however, it’s a true and harsh one.
I thought to make friends in my youth was hard, but that’s when it was easy. Making friends today as an adult is harder but it’s especially harder when we have the illusion of connecting with one another via social media or through apps for dating.
Friendships in life are important. They give us a sense of community but it’s always important to understand and recognize the types of relationships we’re developing or investing in. As I mentioned earlier, toxic friendships are easy to dismantle but it’s those ambivalent friendships we have to be aware of since those are the ones most severe and emotionally draining.
Watch this video that was posted about 8 months ago by Tom Bilyeu on Facebook. He and Vanessa Van Edwards discuss ambivalent friendships, frienemies and why they will ruin you, the reason why and exactly how to escape.