Alienating people closest to me
can I be comfortable with being around unkind and non supportive people? I know this is a better solution rather than cutting them out. Please help
I have over the last couple of years decided to cut off some friendships. Some were because of a feeling of being used, some were just plain toxic.
I think that you need to ask yourself are these relationships good for your mental health, are they toxic? are they draining?
If they are unkind then I cannot imagine that this would be good for your mental health.
I focused on making new friendships. I even made an effort to speak to people that I hadn't thought I had anything in common with. I found one of the kindest friends this very way. Our age, political views, diets and everything couldn't be more opposite yet I found her to be a very kind person who just listens and who I listen too.
I know initially you will miss the particular person you decide to cut out but if you honestly feel its toxic then it is doing more harm than being alone.
It's quite the dilemma, right? I was in the same situation and decided after weighing it up for some time, that it wasn't worth my piece of mind, to stay in those relationships. Prior to this, I worked with my psychologist on strategies to manage those relationships, whether in terms of being more assertive, or spending less time with them. The important factor is that you can't control other people's behaviour, you can only choose your reaction. So in knowing this, do what works best for you.
I also agree with Busymum, that seeking out people who's company makes you feel good, is a good idea. You deserve to be supported and spoken kindly to.
Best wishes, Katy
'Can I be comfortable with being around unkind and non supportive people?' That's a good question.
I've found, from personal experience, to be around such people is very testing in both negative and positive ways. While our tolerance/frustration levels can be tested to the absolute limits and beyond, which doesn't help our stress levels and nervous system, such people have the potential to reform us in magnificent ways. Around such people...
Our sense of wonder is tested/developed: Regarding someone who says 'You're hopeless, you can't do that!' You could be left thinking 'I wonder what would lead them to say that. I wonder why they would say that. I wonder why this person has no filter. I wonder why they bring me down instead of raising/inspiring me'. A lot of things to wonder about. So, instead of taking things personally, such wonder leads you to become 'The studier or student of understanding different aspects of human nature and conditioning'.
Our ability to question is tested/developed: There's nothing quite like voicing your wonder aloud to trigger a person 🙂 'I can't help but wonder what would lead you to be so uninspiring and degrading. You have to tell me; for the life of me I just can't work it out. Why do you do what you do? Why do you behave this way?'. You'll either trigger a person to greater consciousness, where they'll question them self, or you'll trigger them to defensiveness.
Our level of sensitivity is tested/developed: What am I sensing or feeling here? What does degradation feel like? What does inspiration feel like? What about intolerance, frustration, resentment, appreciation, peace and so on. What do all these emotions feel like in a physical kind of sense. Personally, when I'm sensing degradation, it raises my heart rate and fires me up. During my years in depression it had the opposite effect; it would bring me down. Down is a horrible feeling, for sure. Becoming more sensitive to such feelings can lead you to come to read your self and other quite easily. It's a matter of conscious practice.
I could go on with other forms of testing and development but I've found the list to be quite long. Wondering, questioning and reading gives me the ability to detach from such people. Being an observer allows us to take a step back. Through such practices, there is also the ability to read and connect with the people who are naturally inspiring and happier. Our longing to find more of them naturally takes us in new directions.
Not sure if it's of any help but one of the ways I still interact with people who challenge me involves a bit of healthy detachment. May sound a bit strange but I've managed to gradually master this through a unique take on 'disappointment'.
Say you've got a family member or friend who is an absolute legend when it comes to a healthy sense of excitement seeking and adventuring. They really raise you well in this way but they're an absolute shocker when it comes to helping manage positive ways for you to emotionally vent, which is a necessity at times. If you've always appointed them the role of 'The person who listens carefully and compassionately', they will have proven over time to be someone who disappoints them self from this role over and over again. This can be frustrating and even heartbreaking at times. I have people in my life like this and have managed over the years to let go of appointing these people to roles they either will not or cannot fill, for one reason or another. I give them roles that involve no disappointment or very little. So the roles I allocate are realistic. At the same time, I make sure I have specific people in my life who can fill the role of 'Compassionate listener'. We need people like this in our life. It's so very important.
If I need to manage my mental health specifically through excitement, I may look for that adventurous person. I can rely on them for adventure but any discussion about mental health, for example, is out of bounds. So if they were to raise the issue of there being no such thing as 'anxiety' or 'depression' (grrr), I would shut the conversation down straight away. I don't want to be triggered to feeling frustration or intolerance/anger in this case. It's excitement I want to be feeling.
This is a simplified version of an incredibly hard skill to practice and master. I'm still deeply challenged at times, I assure you. Just thought I'd offer a perspective that might make some difference. This form of disappointment/letting go has also made a positive difference to my self esteem over time.
I'd also like to look at my triggers and try to become more comfortable with them, and as use the Buddhist approach of looking at adverse (and all other situations) with love and kindness as I think that recognising the lack of love in my life was a bit of a trigger.
I find i usually go through these slumps every few weeks but I believe its because I havent addressed the root cause
So glad everything is beginning to come into focus for you. Definitely mind altering and life changing when this happens.
I know what you mean when it comes to issues cycling round, coming back every few weeks or months or even years. I find that until I address a challenge and work my way through it, the universe will keep throwing it back at me. If only a lot of those mega challenges were clear cut. Sometimes they can be pretty complex, multi layered.
When it comes to the L word, I found once I was able to define love from my own perspective, my relationships became clearer in regard to those around me as well as me helping better define the loving relationship I have with myself.
Wishing you all the best on your new path.