Do your friends stress you out?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Chances are there are one, two, or God help you, a few friends/acquaintances in your life that are constantly adding to your daily or weekly stress levels. You know the routine; at first their drama was kind of interesting and their stories made your life seem...perfect compared to theirs. But then something happened and you began to dread or avoid seeing these people. In fact, you stress yourself out anticipating the stress you are about to encounter!

So what do you do?!

There are several people I have known over the years that I would put into this group. They are nice people, really, but I became so overwhelmed that I literally had to cut them out of my life. Talking to them made me stressed out and not myself. ALL THEY DID WAS COMPLAIN. ABOUT EVERYTHING. These people could have struck gold, won the lottery, found a purple lion, done anything extraordinary in their lives and they still would have found something to complain about. It got real old, real fast. 

I'm too busy balancing my feminism/femininity as a modern/traditional woman to deal with so much drama from other people. I just don't have time. I am much more satisfied and happy using my time for things I consider important in my own life. Don't get me wrong, I will ALWAYS have time to listen if a close friend needs to talk. But if all you do is talk....constantly....and complain...constantly....then sorry, but that business closed a while back.

So here's my advice....stop talking to these people. It really is that easy. Too many woman say 'yes' when they should be saying 'no.' Think about yourself and your happiness. Do you cringe every time Betty calls about a lunch date? Does Nancy only share gossip about people you happen to like? Does a night out with Ann in the group seem more like a support group than a party?

Ask yourself what these women add to your life. Is it mostly positive or mostly negative? Listen to your instincts and you'll know who can stay and who has overstayed their welcome. And to be fair, it isn't just women who act this way. Men can be just as guilty of these acts as women.

Now, you might be wondering 'what if I work with this person!?'

If you work closely with this person then it is time to be firm. When Susan starts her usual chatter, be polite but let her know you are not interested and have work to do. If that is too direct for you, then interrupt her and steer the conversation in a safe neutral direction.

Figure 1. Courtesy of this article about how to deal with stress.

So take a deep breath. Relax and...Begin!


Mike January 13, 2013 at 7:39 PM  

If your happy then you don't complain. That's really the truth.

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