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Deny it if you will, but we have all had “that” friend at some point in our lives. The friend that is needy, possessive, or always right. The friend that you are embarrassed to admit you let walk all over you. The friend that always turned everything you said, no matter how polite you were, into something negative. If you are one of the lucky few who have been spared, keep your radars up because they will find you (or unfortunately, you may be “that” friend).
What does it mean to be a true friend? How much of yourself should you give? These basic questions were at one point in my life easy to answer. Growing up, we are taught to be kind to others. Treat others the way you want to be treated. However, when we actually do grow up, things get a little more complicated. Especially with “that” friend.
I think that every mother should have THE talk with her daughter, and I don’t mean the birds and the bees. Every daughter is warned about the male predators they will face in their lives. ‘They only want one thing,’ rings through my ears. However, few of us are warned about “that” friend who will inevitably suck the life force right out of us. “That” friend that will have us questioning our own actions. “That” friend that will have your self-esteem plummeting faster than you even realized.
The key is to recognize the warning signs. Of course, that is easier said than done. Most of us don’t see them until it is too a late. For me personally, I know now that I had become an enabler without even realizing it. When you are consistently put into a situation where “that” friend is ragging on other friends, acquaintances, or family members, listen to the bell that is going off in your head. This is definitely a warning sign. When “that” friend has a tendency to yell and belittle you because she suspects that you did something she didn’t approve of, grab hold of that light bulb flashing above your head. When “that” friend constantly does things that add unhealthy stress to you and your family, take cover and run for your life.