This week we are going to talk about drains. What are drains? Drains are people in your life who deprive you of your strength and vitality. They have the unique ability to suck all of the life out of a room, and they are overly critical or negative. In short… drains are our friends whom somehow feel like an emotional ball and chain, and let’s be real… we all know people like this! Oftentimes, we are torn between how to be supportive of these individuals; and how to stay true to ourselves. I think that we can all agree that you shouldn’t have to rip yourself into pieces to keep others whole.
I’ll admit it; I am a drain magnet. Perhaps its because of my laidback personality. Maybe it’s because I like to feel needed. Whatever the case, chronic complainers and those whom can’t take NO as an answer- are drawn to me like a moth to a flame. Ironically It wasn’t until a relationship with a close friend hit rock bottom that I realized just how unhealthy these relationship are. Thus I am offering a few pointers on how to interact with drains; and should you chose to… relieve yourself of the burden of these relationships all together.
First things first! All relationships have a value. Thus, it is important that you determine how valuable your relationship with the individual in question is. Keep in mind that drains are everywhere. They aren’t just the people that we meet in the workplace, or on social outings. Sometimes our Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and siblings are the ones always in need of money, favors, or praise. Some of us are married to drains who refuse to accept responsibilty, are argumentative, and constatly blame others for their problems. However, More often that not- the toxic people in our lives are friends or associates, so we are going to go with that 🙂 .
If you’ve decided that your friendship has value and you’d like to try and save it, the first thing that I’d advise you to do is to have a CONVERSATION. Let your friend know how STRESSED and PRESSURED you feel. Tell him or her, that BALANCE is important, and that sometimes you’d like to take a minute to APPRECIATE the GOOD in the world. Give your pal a GRATTITUDE CHALLENGE (Facebook style) in which they have to point out one thing a day that they are thankful for. Play on the challenge! Whenever your buddy turns into Debbie Downer remind her of all the things that are right in life.
If that doesn’t work, start spending less time with the individual. Keep in mind that its rude and insensitive to cut ties completely (Miss Congeniality does’t support rude and insensitive behavior). A gradual decline in the amount of time that you spend with the drain can do wonders for your mental and emotional health. During this time try to surround yourself with less demanding friends but… check in on the drain from time to time.
Its worth mentioning that learning to say “NO” and setting BOUNDARIES can greatly improve your relationship with drains. Being able to say NO is extremely important because it can: (1) Ensure that someone elses priorities do not become yours. (2) Prevent you from becoming frustrated and stressed out. (3) Allow you time to take care of yourself. When saying NO, you must be both firm and direct. Never make excuses, or over explain yourself. Believe it or not… YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SAY NO!!!
If all else fails, try taking a break from the relationship. By now you’ve learned that no matter what you do, how much you give, or how often you give it… your friend will never be SATISFIED. Thus it’s time to move on. As previously mentioned, cutting ties altogether is difficult but sometimes it is necessary. In this case, my only advice is to tell the drain why you’re taking a hiatus from the relationship. The only thing worse than a friend who is draining is one whom is DISINGENUOUS. Do not just drop out of the picture; you could cause the already struggling drain to spiral into depression or bitterness.
As we go through life, there are many decisions to be made. One of the most important choices we have is whether or not to be HAPPY. If you choose HAPPINESS, you must be willing to let go of ANY and EVERYTHING that stands in the way of your WELL-BEING. Unfortunately this may mean trading friends who are constantly making withdrawals from your positivity bank, for those whom are like-minded and enthusatic. Do not over analyze your choices, or doubt the decisions that you make. It is okay to protect yourself from people who often have a way of sucking us into their DRAMA and NEGATIVITY. You have chosen to live out your best life… stand your ground; allow your light to shine as bright as a diamond <3.
Be a Faucet not a Drain ❤