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October 25, 2013

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One can go from overvalued to devalued in a flash with the toxic crowd. When you unwittingly disappoint or frustrate your friend by not being available or by unintentionally saying or doing something that touched a nerve . . . you are out and they will let you know it. Some will let you have it directly when they are annoyed with you. They will tell you how horrible a friend you are for the perceived offense. Others have more indirect methods (i.e. passive aggressive). They will refuse to return your calls. They make snide remarks designed to guilt you or embarrass you in front of others. They might insult you or belittle you with a backward compliment or say something nasty behind your back. When you are devalued by a friend you are useless to them and have become a very bad person in their eyes and perhaps your own.

To illustrate here’s a little story: A friend invited me to her daughter’s birthday party. I had already scheduled a trip out of state with my daughter to see my in-laws. She appeared irritated when I said we would be out of town but that my husband would be at the party. When I saw her at the gym after our trip and asked her how the party went she replied, “It was GREAT! All the people who really love and care about Belinda were there.” I was wise enough at this point to say, “That is wonderful!” Then I jumped on a treadmill and ran like hell.

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