Friday, October 10, 2014

The difficulties of bad non-romantic relationships

Courtesy of Flickr user Ares Nguyen
We all have rough times in our lives. And it's in those times that we discover who our true friends are, correct? So when people constantly bug us, disappoint us or have us slapping our foreheads on a regular basis, let alone when we're having a tough time, when do we say "enough is enough?"
That's something I've been asking myself quite a lot lately. Those around me know that it's been a tough 14 months, sometimes made more difficult by some of the people in my life. I'm a very private person, in that I keep the deeper concerns and pains close to my chest, and very few people ever really know what's really going on. So I can't expect that people will be mind readers to know that now is not a good time, or that I want some peace, or anything else. However there are some things that are really never called for. And it's people who don't get that other people do have their own lives and problems, sometimes worse, yet they have to constantly bug other people with their own, often petty problems. Or those who know how much a friend wants something and can't currently have it for whatever reason (I'm talking not just material items, but things that are important to them for deeper reasons), and will rub it in that they do have it, or can have it if they felt like it. I mean, seriously. That's just not cool. Especially if the friend you're doing that do is having a really rough time.
Courtesy of Flickr user Giedrius
The easy response is to just cut them out of your life. But it isn't always that easy. Sometimes, those people were once genuine friends, or pretended to be genuine, so have come to know secrets, and over time have become unappreciative of a friendship. So in that case, what do you do? Do you tell them to get out of your life and risk them being vindictive and telling anyone and everyone your deep, dark secrets? Or do you
grin and bear it until you are sure of coming out unscathed? What about if it's family? Could you easily cut ties with a family member that is always making everyone's lives their business and turning every issue around to be about them? It's easy enough to say to someone in a bad relationship (not romantic, but familial or friendly) to get that person out of their lives. But when you're on the outside, you don't know the underlying issues that can prevent someone from removing a stressful person from their lives.
So what do you do when it's someone you care about in a bad non-romantic relationship? Well, having been in bad non-romantic relationships myself, as well as being friends with people who are/have been, I can tell you this; sometimes intervention is needed, to convince your friend that it is necessary to cut ties. Other
times, when there are deeper reasons, then you support them when they're frustrated and give them a shoulder to cry on, without judgement, until it is feasible for the bad relationship to end.
Courtesy of Flickr user Kim Manley Ort
Now, I know this sounds like I condone abusive relationships of any sort. Let's get it straight: I don't. If someone is in a physically abusive relationship, intervention is definitely needed. Psychologically destructive relationships can be harder. And in any case, you can only help those who want to be helped. However, I'm not talking about actual abusive relationships, just friendships with negative, selfish people who are poor friends. Nothing is black and white, straight cut. Especially relationships, romantic and
non-romantic alike. There are many nuances and levels that can make it difficult to cut someone out of your life. So if you have a friend who is in such a relationship, and there are good reasons for them to not have cut ties just yet, then please, don't walk away just yet. Be the good friend that they need so they have the support when the bad relationship does end.