It’s been many years now since I went through my list of friends and acquaintances and culled the “energy drainers”.
People who were more interested in putting me down than building me up. Individuals who were unable to have a two-sided conversation where my opinion could be heard and respected. Relationships in which people tried to control or manipulate me, keep me small or insist I hear their complaints and gripes and agree with them. Long gone!
Friendships - sources of stress?
Our circle of friends may include just a couple of people, or it may include many more - chosen because of shared experiences, backgrounds and values, or expectations. Regardless of the numbers, optimizing a friendship network can help manage stress. In this context, it is useful to examine whether friends are energy drainers or rocket boosters.
Energy drainers offer conditional friendships. “I will be your friend if you… listen to all my complaints.” Such individuals tend to ignore your feelings and preferences. They are insensitive to your progress and growth. It is uncomfortable to be around this person.
Rocket boosters are very different: These friendships lift your spirit, encourage your goals, and validate your moods and ideas. They honor your path without holdback. Through active listening, they can help you discover creative insights.
If friendships become more stressful than they are worth, know that you can choose differently.
• Do some of your friends leave you feeling emotionally drained?
• What if you valued yourself so highly that you weeded out the energy drainers? How would your life change?
• How might you end a draining friendship in a way that honors both you and that friend?