Hello Share The Love Sunday readers! This week I have had some strange experiences surrounding betrayal, negativity, confusion and naysayers. Well, I should say naysayer because really there is only one. This got me thinking about how we sometimes outgrow friendships or realize that some of our relationships aren’t exactly healthy for us. Sometimes there is only so much negativity a person can take. Or, what about the friend that steals your ideas or does what she can to make you feel inferior? We know these people make us feel bad, but what do we do next? How do we stop being friends with someone? How do we untangle ourselves from the web (both literally and figuratively) we find ourselves caught up in? How do we stop being friends with someone and most importantly how do we do it nicely? So, with a touch of curiosity and a hint of desperation I did what I do best: I turned to Google for the answers.
So, without further blubbering, here is what I have found on Google about how to stop being friends:
Alex Williams wrote in The New York Times: It’s Not You, It’s Me. People discuss their experiences and the pros and cons of being direct versus using white lies to end a friendship. One woman, Ms. Johnson, said the following about ending a friendship with someone who was always putting her down, “My main point was that life is very short and fleeting, and I value my happiness enough to eradicate the negative energy…”
An entire blog on Friendship. The Friendship Blog created by Irene S. Levine, PhD. She answers questions from readers and addresses many topics related to friendship. You could spend hours reading peoples stories and her comments on them.
I hope these articles on how to stop being friends helps some of you navigate through some of these painful or awkward relationship moments. I think protecting your own happiness and state of mind is very important. Nobody can do that for you.
Also, don’t listen to naysayers they are mostly just jealous because you are awesome. YOU ARE AWESOME!
I ran into an ex co-worker the other day and she pretended I didn’t exist. I know, you are going to say she probably didn’t see me or didn’t recognize me…or something, right? The thing is I know she saw me because I was yelling her name and waving like a maniac. Plus, she looked right at me when she heard her name and then quickly looked away (and completely turned her back to me). I mean, she knew her own name was being shouted, that part was obvious. Still, she chose to pretend she didn’t know me. How rude! I wanted to stomp my foot and yell, “Look at me because I DO exist! I am standing right in front of you.” I didn’t though. Instead I went off with Tiny-Small to look at Piñata’s.
The worst part is she was sort of my boss and so we worked next to each other (five days a week) for years and years. There is no way she didn’t recognize me. She had to have known who I was. I used to buy her lunch on a regular basis for petes sake. I listened to her complain about her family, her bills, her hair…. I know, now you are wondering what kind of person buys their boss lunch, right? Well, I am that kind of person, apparently. So take a long hard look at this face of mine.
This is the kind of face that screams, “Let me buy you lunch over and over again so in a few years you can pretend I do not exist!” Obviously, mine is a face that begs to have the word “Sucker” tattooed across it’s forehead. Yep. I’m too nice. I’ve been told that all of my life. I’m too nice to adults, to kids, to bugs and on occasion, even to my boss.
Somehow, even the homeless people in town know I am too nice. One guy asked me, in the grocery store parking lot, if he could come live with me for a few weeks. I had to say no because I was pretty sure Jim would get really angry with me if he came home and found a guy, his wife, his three friends and their giant dog camped out on our living room floor. The thing is, I did consider it for a moment. I mean, this guy needed help, right? I also felt sorry for the dog. Life gets pretty complicated when you are nice.
Anyway, I was feeling pretty sad about the whole ex co-worker ignoring me thing until my mom laughed in my face and told me I was better off. She remembers how miserable I was when I had that job and how stressed out I was every single moment I worked with my amnesic boss. She reminded me that I was probably lucky to be ignored and that I should embrace this moment as a positive one. Some people like to spread their anger, misery and general disgust with life around. I don’t have to be a part of that anymore. I no longer have to work with Ms. Grumpy pants and if she chooses to snub me, so what? It’s not like I am losing anything here. Yes, it is humiliating to be waving and yelling in the middle of the grocery store, but I embarrass myself like that on a regular basis these days anyway. No skin off my nose. Plus, I’ve heard it’s a great way to meet new friends…there are always people who think you might be waving to them. Love you guys…you know who you are!
Nope, I am a much happier person now. I only take people I adore out to lunch. I don’t have to fake smile if I don’t want to. I don’t have to be associated with a massive black hole of depression that wanted to suck my soul dry of every ounce of joy in my being ( that may be a slight exaggeration, but only slight). Nope, I am free of all of that now and couldn’t be more ecstatic. The fact of the matter is I am now enjoying my life much more than I was just a few years ago. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. Especially (ESPECIALLY) at work. Does your job make you miserable? Get a new one. I’m telling you, I regret wasting so many years of my life working in a job that made me truly despair. It didn’t have to be like that, but when you have people working so hard to rob you of your good feelings it’s going to happen. Run! Run screaming if you have to. It’s the only way to save your life sometimes.
So, it’s true, happiness really is the best revenge! I take my revenge with a vat of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and a toddler-sized bundle of joy and happiness, how about you? What are you doing to make sure those ex co-worker (who pretend you don’t exist) types are no longer sapping you of your precious energy and happiness? Don’t wait until you are crying yourself to sleep at night. Be happy now.
Also, are you on Pinterest? I’m super desperate for new pins to steal. Come follow me so I can follow you. It’s lonely over there!
Not to just repeat the title, but I am going to repeat the title: 10 things painting has taught me about relationships. I mean, that is what this post is about. It’s a list. A long list (forgive me), mostly about relationships, but also a little about painting. Maybe I should just zip it and start the list.
1. Not everyone is going to like you or your painting. It’s true. You are fabulous, but there will be a few people who just can’t stand you. Some will tell you to your face. Some will avoid you. Some will talk behind your paintings back. Some people will just blurt out, “I don’t like you. I don’t like your paintings.” Some will just walk right by. Some will tell other people, “Who does she think she is painting THAT?” The good news shows up in number two:
2. There will always be people who think you are super cool, amazing, smart, funny and nice. They may also think the same thing about your painting. They will say, “Look at that beautiful use of color.” They also might say, “That girl is going places and I hope she remembers me when she is famous.” They will want to be your friend and hang your painting on their wall. These are the loves of your life. Hug them like you mean it. Good friends are sometimes hard to find and they help you combat that negative energy you feel from all of those number one type people (see above) out there.
3. Some people won’t like you at first, but you will start to win them over with your charm and wit and free baked goods. They will get past the initial shock and awe that is you and realize you aren’t half bad. You might even become friends…possibly best friends. Same thing with painting. Someone might see your painting one day and exclaim, “What the heck is that crap?” A few days later you will catch them looking at it and hear them say, “I think I am starting to like this one.” Then, a few days later they will buy it and hang it on their wall. Seriously, this stuff happens ALL THE TIME.
4. People get jealous. Sometimes they get jealous of your painting. They will either think you spend too much time with other people (or with your painting). They might think your other friend (or painting) is cooler than they are. They might be jealous of your ability to attract the beautiful people to you (or to your painting). They might get jealous of your talents, ability, time…this list could go on forever. My husband gets jealous of my Twitter followers because he thinks I would rather talk to them about politics (he’s right because they can’t break my TV). I know that has absolutely nothing to do with painting, but it has everything to do with jealousy. My point is, people get jealous. I get jealous. Jealousy makes the world go ’round. I should totally turn that into a love song. I mean, sometimes jealousy gets you motivated, but also it can put a lid on your creative process. So, just like in life and relationships, don’t let the jealousy of other people stop you from doing great things. Also, don’t let your own jealousy stop you from doing great things. Just do great things and be happy that you are doing them.
4. If you want to have strong, solid relationships with people you have to spend time with them, care about them, and devote some energy towards their well-being. Same thing with painting. Showing up is half the battle. Practice makes perfect. All of the practice I’ve been doing with my painting has paid off. All of that reading to my daughter, feeding her good foods, and pretending to be both a ballerina and a monkey starring in an off-off broadway version of Annie has paid of too. My daughter and I get along pretty well. Don’t be afraid to dive in and give something your all. It works.
5. Sometimes you have to know when to walk away from a painting…same with people. Some people just weren’t meant to be and some paintings just weren’t meant to be either. That’s Ok though because look at number 6:
6. There will always be new ideas and new paintings and new people coming into your life. You may have some dark, lonely periods. You may lose your creative spirit or a few friends, but they will be replaced with a new vision and a new support system. Change is one thing you can count on. You will not be like you are right now forever (good or bad).
7. Sometimes you won’t be able to paint something and then two years later you can paint it like a boss. Same thing with friends and loved ones. Sometimes they go out of your life for a while and pop back in when you least expect it. There are always surprises in art and in relationships.
8. Sometimes you just don’t have the right tools to work with. You want to paint, but the paint is sticky and the canvas is torn. It’s a good idea to get the best tools you can. Same thing with people. You can surround yourself with positive, supportive people who believe in you or you can surround yourself with people who don’t. You will go much further and be much happier if you have the right tools and the right people in your life.
9. Painting is messy. Paint gets on your clothes. Things go right and wrong at the same time. Same thing with relationships. They aren’t always easy. Things go up and things go down and sometimes things go round and round. It’s OK to get messy. Develop strong problem solving skills and you’ll go far both in art and in relationships.
10. If you are struggling with your painting ask for help. Someone out there knows more about what you are doing than you do. Don’t be afraid to get an education on the subject. Same thing for relationships. Learn how to communicate or get some help from a professional when you are struggling. Don’t spend years doing things that don’t seem to be working for you. Ask for help.
That is my long-winded wisdom for the day. Stop laughing at the horses! You’ll make them cry and ruin their watercolor.
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