From time to time a new “friend” will come into your life who seems to become your best buddy right away. They have to sit with you, call you, and do nice things for you. This person wants to know all about you, meet your family, and be more important than your other friends. This almost always turns out badly.
Ever feel like you are being stalked by a “friend”? Smothered in niceness? Ever find yourself agreeing to things you don’t want to agree with, just because that other person pushes and you feel the need to be kind? Ever feel pushed into sharing things you didn’t want to share?
Real friends have no interest in making you uncomfortable. They understand that you have things and time and ideas that are yours, not theirs. They don’t feel like failures if you walk away with the same burden you carried in.
Beware of the false friends who pull at you and push you and try to get things out of you that you don’t want to give. Beware of friends who seem to want to take over your life. That’s not what real friends do. That’s what users do. Some people need the lives of others and use others as distractions from their own dysfunction or fear. Some people feed on the drama and anxiety of others. They love to have the secrets of others because it makes them feel special or powerful. It isn’t about you and it isn’t about love.
The advice columns often carry the concerns of people who have given money or belongings only to find out they have been used. Sometimes they find that they are responsible for the debts of others because they helped when the other person needed a loan. There are people who will be your “best friend” simply for the purpose of getting something from you. You don’t have to do it.
Listen: It is okay to say no! Set your boundaries and hold them. Your time is yours, don’t waste it on someone who is using you. Your money is yours, don’t spend it on a user. Your life is yours, don’t give it to someone who really doesn’t care about you.
Real friends will respect your boundaries. They don’t push or pull. They just walk alongside you as long as you are willing to walk with them.