How to Deal with a 'Bad' Friend

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By Ellie Barker

Finally.

The time has arrived.

You’ve made it out of the house and your partner is babysitting. You are feeling more than the teeniest bit proud of yourself for wearing a top, only semi-covered in milk.

You’ve even managed a one-handed coat of mascara. Fabulous! This is your night. The one when you spend time with your friend and it will do you so much good.

Only when you return home from the evening you feel worse than when you arrived.

And now when you think about it, even BC (before child) you felt this way when you saw said friend, only now your time and exhaustion are at such critically low levels you don’t have the strength to pull yourself back up.

The sad news is - that friend is a bad friend - aka a Drain. The good news is there is something you can do about them.

Life Coach Rebecca Perkins believes the most important step you must take is to protect yourself. She says you must tell yourself, they can’t do anything to you - it is all about your thinking and how you let them affect you.  If someone is speaking negatively or is being unkind about someone, or wants to dwell on the negatives in your life it is normally a sign they are miserable.

“Think of the mountain pose in yoga. You need to be in a strong position so you can survive what is around you. You can choose how you respond. You are in control.”

“Look at it” Rebecca says “as similar to how you regard the weather. So many of us blame the rain for our bad mood, but then when you have a great day on a miserable day you don’t even notice the weather. It is really down to us and how we deal with it.”

So what are her top tips for dealing with the Drains?

  1. Distance yourself without being cold.
  2. Don’t get into a deep conversation about a subject, which makes you feel miserable.
  3. Don’t indulge them. Change the subject to something more upbeat.
  4. Don’t crumble at comments such as ‘you’ve changed.’ You are just not living your life by their rules and that’s ok.
  5. Be comfortable with yourself and know why you are doing it.
  6. If you are at a toddler group or a dinner party, gently move away from them.

And if all this fails and you are still coming away feeling miserable, Rebecca believes normally the nature of friendship will take its course. You may notice she does not get in touch so much as you are not indulging her so you don’t hold the appeal you once had. Don’t see this is a slight, just make sure you spend more time with the ‘Radiators.’

So how do you spot a ‘Radiator’?

“Radiators have an aura around them. They listen, they are interested in you and they have an open-minded view. They are not judgmental. They don’t enter into catty comments about others, but they are open and honest too. Friends should support one another, so you should come away feeling uplifted and rarely, if ever bad.

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Wise words to us all, BC or AD (after descendant). Time is precious and we all need some warmth from our friends - the best we can do is find ourselves a Radiator and never let them go. 

How have you dealt with a draining friendship?