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What Needs to Change?

February 18, 2015

ImageYou’ve come to the point where you know you can’t do the Paso Doble with your friend any longer, but what to do? The transactional pattern you’ve created is so wrought with stress and dysfunction it might seem easier to burn the house down than to begin the seemingly impossible task of trying to forge change. However, out of loyalty and a history with your friend (which could contain some really happy memories), you might want to see if you can preserve yourself and the relationship.

Start thinking about what needs a-changin’.

Begin in the now. There might be a zillion examples of craziness throughout the years that you’ve put up with, but start with the most recent. I say this because you probably haven’t truly challenged your friend on the things that have bothered you in the past. You can’t keep mum for years and then release a torrent of grievances. Well you can, but it’s not fair. It’s like pulling the rug out from under someone and it’s likely to cause some pretty significant damage. Put the past in a box for now and focus on the last few weeks. Try and articulate what has occurred in the friendship recently that you can no longer put up with (even if it’s been going on for years).

Here are some examples:

  1. When she’s mad at me for unknown reasons I get the silent treatment and then she acts like it never happened.
  2. When we’re with other people he makes comments that embarrass me and then plays it off like it was just a joke.
  3. She calls incessantly when she’s in a crisis which seems to be most of the time.
  4. He hardly ever asks how I’m doing and if he does he doesn’t appear interested in my response.

Now create your list of things that are specific to your friendship. The next few posts will discuss what you can do to try and implement change in a friendship that you’ve decided is worth trying to save.

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