6 posts categorized "FRIENDSHIPS"

July 31, 2012

Are Your Friends Helping You Rise Or Pulling You Down?

IStock_0grpofwomenallThe saying, “You are who you hang out with,” is an interesting truth.  I remember in high school watching good kids get caught up with the wrong crowd and wondering who was going to win that tug of war.  Would the “good” kid turn bad or would the “bad” kids turn good?  Often the determining factor was the length of time spent together.  If the “good” kids hung around long enough with the wrong crowd, they seemed destined to become one of them.  If they left the group soon enough, they maintained their “good” core. 

Let me just note that I believe most humans -- with only the rare exception -- have a good core.  Unfortunately, though, people can lose themselves along the way.  People can get caught up with the wrong crowd, make bad decisions and then begin to see themselves differently.  Naturally when they see themselves differently, they act differently.

I see this dynamic play out in adult relationships as well. 
•    A “good” guy hangs out with a couple of friends who party, cheat on their wives and “have a good time.”  At first, this bothers him, but soon it just becomes part of the scenery when he’s with his friends.  Soon he starts increasing his partying.  He comes home later and later.  He starts to flirt while he’s out and learns to also “have a good time.”  Before he knows it, he’s become one of the gang.

Continue reading "Are Your Friends Helping You Rise Or Pulling You Down?" »

May 17, 2012

Women And Friendship: Are Your Friendships Dragging You Down?

IStock_0cattywomenallThere is nothing like having a close friend you can count on to help you through life’s crazy journey.  Friends can be there to comfort and support you, cheer you on, wake you up, warn you, guide you and just be present with you.  Friends can also, however, do the opposite. 

Friendships, like any other close relationship in your life, should pull you up rather than drag you down.  Although many women are pulling one another up, there are also a number of women who are not.  It’s important to know the difference between the friends who are pulling you up versus those who are dragging you down.  Below are five signs that your friends are dragging you down and are not the healthy supports you need in your life. 
1.    They give you harmful advice.  If your friends are telling you to get drunk, sleep around, get revenge, etc., they’re dragging you down.  Often this kind of advice comes from women who are also partying, etc., and they don’t want to feel bad about themselves or what they’re doing.  If they can get you to do the same, they won’t have to look at their own stuff.  If your friends are out partying a lot, sleeping around, etc., chances are they’re running from something that they don’t want to look at.  Getting you to join them helps with their denial.  Stop joining them and instead open your eyes.
2.    They tell you what they think you want to hear.  Friends should be a safe place to get honest feedback.  If your friends are constantly “yessing” you to keep you happy, they’re not helping.  It’s not helpful for our friends to always take our side even when they know we are off.  True feedback is a gift and when friends are courageous enough to give you honest feedback in a compassionate way, that is a courageous and loving act.  Telling you what you want to hear is not.

Continue reading "Women And Friendship: Are Your Friendships Dragging You Down?" »

July 31, 2009


The quick answer to this question is yes…or at least you are soon likely to be.  Parents have known for a long time that the power of the almighty peer group is jaw dropping.  What we adults often fail to realize however, is that this is also true for us.

Research has shown that affairs are more likely to occur in work environments that condone them.  There’s something to be said for the power of the phrase “everyone’s doing it.”  Apparently, the knowledge that everyone is doing it makes it more acceptable for you to do it as well.  Even if you have always been vehemently against affairs, the more you’re around those who condone them, partake in them or encourage them, the weaker your views against them will become. 

This is true in a work setting or in a one-on-one friendship.  Women who are thinking about an affair are at greater risk of having one if their friend is having one.  This is also true for men.  I suppose it helps to reduce our guilt if we know our friends are doing the same thing.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t make it any less damaging or wrong. 


October 03, 2008

ARE THE MUNDANE “NECESSITIES” OF LIFE GETTING IN THE WAY OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? All important relationships require time and attention


I remember one day many years ago, (not sooooo many years mind you!) a friend from high school began to act more interested in my life and what was going on with me.  When I asked her what was up, she said that she realized that in order to have a friend, she had to be a friend.  It was a turning point in our friendship.

Since that time, I’ve realized that I’ve forgotten this all important lesson. Unfortunately with the onset of marriage, kids, work, traveling, writing, etc., I’ve spent less and less attention on my friends thinking that they will always be there.  Although this may be true, that’s not me being a friend.

This happens in romantic relationships all the time.  We take each other for granted because we assume our partner will always be there.  We get tired, busy, and complacent, taking care of all the mundane “necessities” in life; meanwhile the days…keep… passing…by.  Before we know it, we feel distant, drained, and unsatisfied; we wonder what happened and hope to God we can get it back.

Continue reading "ARE THE MUNDANE “NECESSITIES” OF LIFE GETTING IN THE WAY OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? All important relationships require time and attention" »

February 13, 2008


One of my relational cornerstones is: Don’t speak ill of others--it reflects poorly on you (not to mention it doesn’t feel so great to the person being talked about either). This cornerstone is about gossiping.  Gossiping, throughout the ages, has been used maliciously, as a means of connecting to others, as a way of making you look/feel better than someone else, as a deflection, and absentmindedly. 

The problem is: when we gossip--we hurt others and ourselves.  We hurt ourselves by being out of integrity and by teaching people we can’t be trusted.  We hurt others by speaking about them in a negative light.  It may feel fine when you’re on the speaking end of the information, but I guarantee you it’s not so fine when you’re the one being spoken about.

I remember being in a group of women who would talk about other people without a second thought it seemed.  Inevitably, I would walk away wondering what they were going to say about me once I got out of earshot.  It was a very uncomfortable feeling.  At that moment I realized that if we talk about acquaintances, there’s no reason to think we won’t talk about our friends too.


February 06, 2008


When I’m working with clients on relationship issues our work almost always begins with strengthening the self.  It’s pivotal that the person has a healthy core in order to sustain a healthy relationship.  Not surprisingly, as the person begins to become healthier s/he becomes more aware of what’s unhealthy.  This can definitely shake up relationships and friendships.

I often hear from people who’ve made a lot of personal changes that they don’t enjoy being around their friends as much as they did before.  They begin to see their friends as unhealthy and they don’t want to be around that energy anymore; at the same time, they don’t want to lose all their friends.  What’s going on?

First off, let me just say this is normal. As people get healthier, they have a much lower tolerance for unhealthy.  As you get better boundaries, you notice the poor boundaries of others…and you want nothing to do with it.  What used to be fun gossip, now doesn’t sit right in the pit of your stomach.  Telling your girlfriend her husband’s a jerk for what he did to her no longer seems like the most helpful response to make.  Talking about superficial things just isn’t nourishing you anymore--especially when your life has been falling apart and you’ve had to do some work to get to center. 

Continue reading "PERSONAL GROWTH AND LEAVING FRIENDS BEHIND: Making old relationships new" »

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