Marie Forleo introduction

Hi!

I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Before we get into today’s episode, I gotta tell you how flippin’ excited I am about the next 30 days. My team and I are working day and night, getting ready for B-School 2013. (More on that next week!)

Part of our preparation process is hearing updates from our grads. We wanna know exactly what results our clients are creating in the world!

Plus, nothing gives me more personal satisfaction and inspiration than seeing other people reach their full potential. It’s why I do what I do!

Check out these shares from Erin and Wokie, two women in our B-School grad community:

Erin

 

 

Wokie

 

Cool, right?

Now if you paid attention to these two shares, you’ll see that both of these women mention how powerful having the right community is to their success.

FACT: Who You Spend Time With Impacts Your Success & Happiness

Seems like common sense, but many of us forget how important it is to consciously choose who we spend time with.

After all…

The only time you can change someone is when they’re in diapers. @Kris_Carr Click To Tweet

YOU are a gifted and talented human being who is on this planet for a reason. You have a very special purpose and you’re here to give and experience love, and enjoy yourself along the way!

Time is the one resource you can never renew. You deserve to spend time with people who are kind, generally optimistic (hey – we all have our days) and of course, who want the best for you.

Especially when it comes to your friends.

If you ever struggle with having some not-so-positive friends in your life, you’re gonna love today’s episode of MarieTV.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

Have you ever had to break-up with a negative friend? Or you’ve been on the receiving end of this conversation?

What happened and what did you learn?

How does consciously choosing your community impact your success and happiness?

Tell me your story in the comments below.

Thank you, as always for sharing your genius.

P.S. I will say that if you struggle to find like-minded, positive people to connect with — you will always find them here!

With love,

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270 comments

  1. Life-long friendships are fraught with challenges like this. They offer us opportunities to step out of the comfort zone and speak our truth.

    It is never just one person doing “all the wrong things” in the relationship. It’s two of us, creating this issue together.

    Feeling scared or overwhelmed at the prospect of speaking your truth to a friend like this is the perfect sign that you are on the right track!

    Some of my besties and I have broken up and re-connected several times. What drew us back together was the promise we made to ourselves to honor our selves, speak our truth, and reach for the stars in life.

    Besides, when you “cut the cord” with one friend, without really doing the work, the next one will just offer you the same challenges.

    Thanks Marie for addressing this today <3

    Robin

    • “doing the work” is what I think about when it comes to boyfriends and I think to myself “I need to do the work” before we break up. I never thought about it in terms of friendships. Great insight. 🙂

    • I absolutely agree Robin; it takes 2 to tango. We have much to learn from ALL our relationships. Challenging… oh yes.

      And “cutting the cord” without learning the lesson is a sure way for the Univers to send you another just like it.

      • “”Cutting the cord” without learning the lesson is a sure way for the Universe to send you another just like it.”

        So true, Caroline!

      • Sometimes cutting the cord means you have learned a lesson and you’re ready to move on to something better. Trying to “do the work” with someone who won’t or can’t reciprocate will get you nowhere. I think the true test is what happens when that relationship comes along again – if you can see the signs and cut it off or communicate before it develops, you’re growing.

        • Erika

          I recently realized that i’ve had the same relationship with guys over and over and never really noticed. The most recent one I was dating was like this huge conglomerate of ALL of them. I really thought that if i could just “conquer” this one, that it would be like taking down the boss at the end of a video game and would make a difference. So I set out to “do the work” which was putting up with ridiculous situations, his terrible friends, inexcusable behavior and tried to prove that I mattered- all which was the most draining and energy zapping rollercoaster imaginable. High highs and lowwww lows.

          I’m an idiot.

          Perhaps that was the work that I needed to do, but I finally realized that “conquering” would never be an option. I walked away and haven’t looked back. I guess “releasing” him was what was really needed.

          Friends make you feel way guiltier for dumping them than relationships do because it’s more expected, but that doesn’t mean friends are any less energy sucking. The conscious effort to cut them off is also more soul satisfying than the ol’ drift apart. Sometimes you just gotta do what feels right!

    • Lucy Houston

      I like and agree with this comment: Besides, when you “cut the cord” with one friend, without really doing the work, the next one will just offer you the same challenges.

      Best friends are so often mirrors for each other. Maybe what you hear as “negative” is simply frustration for what you can’t solve in your own life…

    • Patricia Sullivan

      Dhu’l-Nun burst out laughing, shaking his head,
      “Look at the hot air of my so-called friends.”
      A true friend never feels burdened by the suffering of another,
      The kindness of a friend is like a shell engulfing one’s suffering.
      The sign of friendship cannot be found in good times,
      It is at times of calamity and suffering that we come to know our friends.
      A friend is like gold and one’s suffering resembles fire.
      Pure gold remains blissful in the midst of fire.

      • stephanie

        this is beautiful, patricia! thank you for sharing.
        i ve lived it myself: it is at times of calamity and suffering that we come to know our friends. it certainly is not easy, but it is gold and it is deep.
        all best to you (and gold). stephanie.

    • Caroline

      Marie, always happy to see your joyful and sparkling videos…in this type of situation, I always try to use the principles of NVC (non violent communication) and focus on MYSELF; FIRST step: tell the person “when you do/say this (name specifically what makes you unconfortable), it makes ME feel (name the feeling sad, angry…) because I need to feel ….respected, heard” (identify the need, not the easiest step but NVC websites have long list of needs to choose from). The IMPORTANT rule is that we want to avoid pointing the finger on the other one, any judgment, that would ruin the quality of the exchange. What is important is to maintain the heart of each other opened as much as possible. SECOND step: Propose an alternative “Do you agree next time we see each other to…”. The request is not also the easiest to find in a “non-violent” style and requires some training but this is really worth putting this into practice. There are workshops on this, very useful to understand how to use it at work, in a love relationship or any other RP. Hope this will resonate with some of you 😉 Cheers

      • Carol

        Love this reply Caroline. I myself am working on those NVC skills too. The best way to connect from the heart. Takes lots of practice and worth it in all those relationships.

    • I agree also, however the Universe just may bring one more to you to see if you can walk through that one without the hang ups. (a test!) Then you have done the lesson and it will not pop up again. Also, it is only a drain when you have a “charge” on the situation.

      What I have noticed since I will not buy into the “drama trauma” anymore, those people start to ween away from me or significantly start the programs I am into. Just saw this with my younger Sister, who has always been problematic and charged with judgement. Now it is like, wow the energy flowed and the complaining just dissolved away. Whoohooo! I am grateful I did hold my own and I know sometimes you have to and if it is repairable, the person will return on a more open level or stay away. Both is perfect.

      I had one other friend for one year of great conversation and joy. One day she just refused to accept my joy on a subject that she felt not happy about. I told her I am always in joy even with negative things going on. She said nobody can be happy all the time. I told her, maybe not you, but I can be what I choose to be. She left my life like a hot potato! Meant to be, OK with me.
      Great replays to this question!

      How does it get any better than this?

    • I agree with all the above. The more significant the relationship we are in ( whether its a best friend or a boyfriend, our relationship with our parents…) the more significant/important the lesson we need to learn in this relationship.

      My good friend (and a Reiki Master) said to me ones that the people that hurt us the most, push our buttons the most, irritate us the most are OUR TRUE ANGELES.
      These are brave souls (please bare with me here, I know how this sounds) that are willing to do something not very loving to help us remove our limiting beliefs, negative patterns of thinking and re-establish self worth, self love and many times teach us how to get in touch with our authentic truth and actually speak it, LIVE IT.

      Unfortunately apart of this contract with these “helpers” is developing the courage and strength to say NO, disconnect and let them go (with love) ones their job is done.

      We contract our selves into these often complicated but life changing relationships so we can learn the most powerful lessons and realize how much we deserve nothing else but love and respect.

      I choose this perspective when I deal with “difficult” people in my life and it really works for me. To see these people as teachers/ mirrors is a positive way of processing the pain and discomfort they may cause me.

      I think it’s the most important thing in life to choose our company in life every day without guilt or shame.

      And this is the perfect place to meet positive, beautiful women that are here to support each other.

      Thank you ladies for your beautiful light!

      • “Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone – but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.” ~William Hazlitt

        • Right on, Chris. Beautiful quote!

        • Linda

          Oh this is exactly what I needed to hear. I have been with someone who shares only one similar value of being ambitious but then rest all fundamental values are different. She is a show off, I believe in humility. She believes in Prada, I believe in local handmade bag. And rest everything is different. I feel like she’s always imitating me, and I crave to learn from her original self. I never come put of the meeting recharged like I do with other friends. She’s always hiding stuff, or keeping them a secret. But I feel like sharing and bouncing off ideas as true good friends. So I parted ways but I keep thinking if I was wrong ! I was certainly jealous of her wealth, but I acknowledge that and learn from that aspect. Leave that aside, I still think nothing else feels right,

          What would you do in that situation ? I need some advice.

      • I love this perspective, it has helped me get through at least one breakup, makes it less painful <3

  2. I’ve had to break up with a lot of friends over recent years, but it kind of “thins the herd” to the strongest and best friend group I can have. And for better or worse, I’ve never shied away from a fight worth having. That gets the right people to stick around and the wrong people to go their own way.

  3. I drop bad friends like a hot potatoe! Even if we’ve known each other a while. It is awkward when you get to a point where you’ve grown up (or at least more positive) than the other and they don’t like your new approach to living. Marie’s right, they find it annoying and you’re putting a damper on their fun. I did what Marie suggested, only less wordy. I just said (in the situation), “I just don’t think that’s right. I don’t think about those things anymore.” They got upset and haven’t spoken to me since. And I’m fine with that!

    Like a bad ex-boyfriend, you just need to maintain your distance for a while!

    If a negative person tries to re-enter my life, I don’t shoo them away, but they usually leave on their own accord. They remember what happened last time we spoke, can feel the vibe, and keep it cordial and friendly.

  4. While growing my fitness business, I’ve really appreciated what amazing friends I have. I’ve always been pretty selective about who I like to spend big chunks of time with, but this has been even more important in terms of getting a new business off the ground. Meeting supportive and positive people while holding on to the great friends I already have has made a world of difference.

  5. Tash

    How interesting the universe delivers what you need at the right time. I was about to text a friend who I have been avoiding for weeks and decided to check in here first, and I am glad I did.

    My friends aren’t negative ALL the time but they keep repeating the same cr*p and I end up spending hours listening to them. My pattern is normally to feel guilty about not wanting to listen to them and just end up listening out of guilt! I needed this today because I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting more out of life. I had accepted that this was it and it’s not. I need to apply this to some not so healthy working relationships too.

    I can’t say that I will cut them out completely but it gives me the chance to be clear about where I’m at and where I’m going. If they want to come along for the positive ride they can.

    Thanks Marie!

    • Go, Tash! You’re in the perfect point to make a change, and I can totally identify with your situation. I’ve been there before and I found that when I stopped tolerating constant complaints and started owning the type of relationship I wanted instead, new and amazing friends flowed into my life. I wish the same for you!!

  6. Oh wow; what a timing: I’m right smack in the middle of this with a friend…

    “Breaking up” with a friend is never easy but what can make it smoother is to connect with your heart before you say anything. Yes, a little woo woo but hey, it works.

    Personally I thought I needed to “break up” with a certain girlfriend but I was wrong. My ego had lot’s to say about her (nothing really nice) but I meditate on it and even picked a few Tarot cards and I was amazed to see that this relationship could be totally transformed, for the better.

    I’m glad I took the time to breathe on this one. Magical things are now in the works with my friend.

    • Lucy Houston

      Thank you for your comment. I am in the midst of something similar and my “ego” is so mad and hurt and wants to send nasty emails. but there is nothing essentially wrong with our relationship – it’s not negative, or filled with drugs and alcohol. I don’t know what went wrong, but I do think I need to “hear from my heart” before I do something stupid and end all communication. Thanks.

  7. Abby

    Hi Marie, I love this episode because everyone goes through this at some point or another. You mentioned something that’s KEY that I truly believe and that is that WE are responsible for the people we allow to enter our lives. I believe that once we create our personal boundaries and put that energy out there, people won’t even step to you. In other words, it starts with yourself. To focus on others draining you constantly although true can borderline a victim mentality. Thank you for this! Much love, Abby xoxo

    • You’re welcome Abby!

    • Linda

      Oh I feel there is something profound in there. I am going to reflect and apply.

  8. Great topic! It’s true that the people you attract in your life are a reflection of your attitude, and you also reflect what you’re surrounded by on a regular basis. The best part is, you have a choice!

  9. Oh my goodness! This is so timely! I cannot hang out in the negative, draining energy and I find when I’m in that myself, those kinds of friends show up even more.

    So, when I notice that’s what’s going on, I take a look at myself and see where I’m putting out the low vibration yuckies! Once I clear up my energy, everything else shifts.

    Really good suggestion of an email to send – takes responsibility and offers a solution.

    Thanks Marie (and waves to everyone here!) – have a good Tuesday!

    • L

      Lisa, I agree with the timeliness of this particular episode. It’s been a constant in my life the last three weeks and the negativity & energy drain is taking a toll. I like how you wrote that when this happens you take a look inside to see where you might be putting low vibes out. Very good suggestion. Also, what book is on your pic cover. I would love to read it.

  10. Oooh!! This is just perfect.

    I mean… how much desperate girlfriends should hear this? How many times did I say this exact advice to those girls who just don’t understood that staying around their exes is so toxic??

    And if you’re not saying anything about it, you’re feeling bad AND you’re not helping them. Same thing for negative clients.

    Bleeeh…

    Go Marie! Please continue to say out loud the real no-BS thing! You go girl! 😀

  11. What a hot topic Marie – I found myself nodding “So much YES!” during this episode. I am a super positive person who doesn’t suffer fools and I have the same kind of positivity vibe that keeps the debbie downers away. HOWEVER, I had to break up with my longest running friend a couple of years ago because I realized a number of things, one of which was that although she was my Longest Running Friend, she was in no way shape or form my Best Friend. (BIG difference!) I had just been calling her that since Grade 8 and never changed the dialogue! I realized that she was in fact my WORST friend, constantly lying to me, dragging our friendship down way more than I realized. I expressed to her that I felt we were forcing a cancered friendship to work and it was making both of us miserable to which she responded with complete denial and fought me tooth and nail. So I just bowed out politely saying I wish her well (which didn’t go over well). I was actually thinking of Jim Rohn’s quote at the time too! And lemme tell ya….since I cut the cord my life has improved DRAMATICALLY. I used to dread dealing with her. I used to feel so horrible when I realized that I was the only one defending her lies (unknowingly) when everyone else knew the truth and thought I was such a sucker. And I used to feel so desperate that even though I was her “best friend”, I had zero ability to help her get out of her negative patterns. (and they were very very bad) One thing that helped me was knowing that she had a huge pack of drama queens that were more than happy to rally around her in my absence so it’s not like I left her hanging. We just separated two worlds that were never meant to be joined for that long anyway. I consider the experience a real test of courage and I hope that other people stuck in that position find the courage to do what’s right for them as well.

    • Very interesting distinction Heather – longest running vs. best friend!

  12. Joanne

    2012 was the year of break ups for me… I had been constantly surrounding myself with people who needed “fixing” as to avoid fixing myself.. I had to break up w friends and family member alike who did not seem like they really cared where I was headed and were not supportive of positive change..
    In 2 instances, one friend and one family member actually did step up to the plate and say.. We will champion your change! Which is a happy ending.
    In several other instances, those relationships did fall away, but I did a lot of affirming to bless all parties involved.

    • In the same boat as you with the fixing! Kudos to you for addressing the situation and to the people in your life that supported your positive change!

  13. Sometimes a friend “divorce” is necessary. When I turned 35 I weeded out 2 friends that were draining, negative & overly needy, much like the woman described by Victoria in your video.

    I have never been happier, the time I spent giving them advice is now spent doing better things for myself, like shopping, working out & napping!

  14. I broke up with two friends and one of them has really ruined her life with drugs and alcohol but the other that was on the same path turned her life around! She went back to school, got out of an abusive relationship (which I heard about for 3 years) and looked me up to let me know she still really loved me and wanted me back in her life. I chose to break up with them because I couldn’t support them killing themselves with drugs, alcohol and drama. I will always love them and am so happy to have my one friend back in my life~

    • maych

      Hi Kelly, such a great story, found myself in it.. Thank you so much for sharing, I am also struggling with a dear friend who has been on an alcohol-drama path fot the last 4years and I am finally getting to the point of losing all hope for him getting better, making some good choices for himself..
      So yes, I think the only way (and u gotta be really strong to do that and really follow through!!!) is make some boundaries and be clear that I wont be there anymore, if he decides to continue with this path and doesnt listen to any of my advices, yet always turning on me when drama and break-downs happen.. Thanks again for sharing, I know it is my decision to keep living with this or to finally make the cut and start living my life to the fullest. Any advice from u would be highly appreciated;)
      ps: happy for u and your other friend!!!;)

  15. Hi Marie! I’ve also heard that saying that you are defined by the 5 people you spend the most time with. So true! I’ve found that when I allowed negative people to linger in my life, it brought my energy down – I’ve never been able to lift them up – it always devolved into the lowest common denominator. I’ve had to let go of friends, colleagues, and family members over the years and every time I release one of these Negative Nellys, I always feel immediately better – and I create space for better people to enter my life! Often, I don’t have to do anything “official” – I simply get too busy and they fade to someone who is more available for their bad juju.

  16. Tracy

    I think we all have been on the giving end AND the receiving end of this topic. It’s tough for both sides…. the pain you feel you are causing by ending a life long relationship and the pain that comes from feeling like you’ve just been abandoned by the only one who “gets” you. I believe Kindness and Compassion are what helps me personally through those tough life decisions. And losing a great friend just reinforces one of my top five edicts…. having a Plan B!

    • Nice Tracy! Thanks for sharing the perspective of both sides and whole heartedly agree on kindness and compassion. xo

  17. WOOOOOH! Heavy and appropriate

    I will say that doing this for friends is REALLY hard for me, I am intensely loyal but “we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with..” hit me hard! Thanks Marie!

  18. Ohhhhhhhhh, my!

    Yes, this is such a sensitive one.

    I was too much of a wimp to be as honest and forthright as your script, so my toxic relationship went back and forth for awhile.

    I’d pull back.. feel guilty.. jump back in.. Rinse and repeat.

    She finally let me go.

    darlene
    p.s. I’ve always loved the Jim Rohn quote.. and Kris’ is hilarious (and true!)

  19. I love this post. This has been a question I have been asking myself this year as I can tell how much it affects my happiness. I’ve found it can be really tricky to find friends who don’t let fear hold them back from their dreams. I’m looking forward to connecting with those type of people through this community. Xo!

  20. Erin Giles

    Marie I have had to break up with a friend, but it went fairly easy because I moved:) This is something I think we all have to deal with as movers and shakers in the biz world and thankfully there are just as many amazing women waiting for us here in your community!

  21. Great episode, thanks for addressing the more personal side of things, Marie.

    After a break up a year ago I went through a friend-clean up as well and was amazed to see how I did not even miss the friends I chose not to have contact with anymore. New friends I have more in common with started to show up almost immediately. It was a good eye opener and reality check.

    But my question is, what do you do with clients you don’t align with and who drag you to a different space you don’t want to be in? Sometimes we simply can’t afford to ‘break up’ with them?

    • Claudia – Perhaps you can start taking a tough love stance with those clients that drag you down. Remind them that their actions are simply not working for them and encourage them to take steps – no matter how small – to achieve what is important in their lives. Best of luck!

    • Hey Claudia! I’ve been in your shoes and witnessed MANY business owners in the same space. It may be helpful to consider another perspective. It’s not that you can’t afford to break-up with clients you don’t align with, it’s you can’t afford NOT to. Whenever you let go of what’s not working (in biz or life) you make room for what does. Takes faith, clarity, compassion and courage – but it works!

      • Jill

        Marie – your comment here just hit me like a brick! “Whenever you let go of what’s not working (in biz or in life) you make room for what does.”

        Now, my challenge is my draining, complaining mother. I can’t break-up with her, but I can LET GO of her drama. My sisters and I call her Drama Mama! If I don’t engage with her drama, I’ll have tons of room to spend that energy on making the world a better place. Now, just to do it!

        p.s. I think I’ll Tweet and Facebook that line!

  22. Another great video, Marie!! This is such an important topic. When people need a real help with life situations, it’s unfair to themselves and to their friends to just vent their frustrations constantly to people in their lives that may not be able to help them.

    That’s what we life coaches are for! To steer people in the direction of making positive changes in life.

    As far as breaking up with a friend, there is so much to be said for saying goodbye with love :).

  23. Three years ago, I went through the very painful break-up with my best-friend of 15+ years. It was not something easy at all, but what it came down to was she was no longer the friend I needed in my life, and I was no longer the friend she needed. It had been toxic for years, but I needed to dig deep into my courage-vault and finally say “enough.”

    I told her that I loved her dearly, would always consider her the person that brought me to adulthood, but that it was time to say goodbye and God bless. We left the convo on very good terms because I wanted to keep the integrity of our relationship’s history intact.

    But I wont lie — I miss her still and I think that’s OK, because at one point it was a treasured friendship. But it takes a lot of heart, love & courage for yourself AND for your friend to be like “this isn’t what I want anymore…”

    Good luck! -Rachel

  24. Juli

    This was great, Marie! I am 31, so I’ve been through this with several long-term friendships already.
    I walk a fine line with one relationship right now because we almost stopped speaking completely (after a 16 year friendship) over the holidays last year after he had treated me horribly for the second half of 2012 and I finally put my foot down. I stopped answering his calls, emails, etc., for about two weeks, and he realized what was going on and has since totally changed his behavior.
    I decided a while ago that I was going to change my spiritual path, and I saw the results in my relationships immediately. Once you start prioritizing *you*, the negative people either fall away or decide to make changes because they’ve realized they want you in their life. If they walk, let them! Better people will arrive!

  25. While I’m all for getting draining people out of your life, I wouldn’t be too quick to drop a life-long friend (unless they’re flat-out nasty).

    Being honest with them, even if it’s said with love, can be a little confronting for them, and they probably won’t respond well. Perhaps start by seeing less of them and see how that goes.

  26. Marie that was a classic tweetable! How true is that statement. I know I’m on the right track when the friends of old ask what kind of drugs have been on? It’s called JOY!! 🙂

  27. Great video and very true. About four years ago, my relationship with two friends came to a head. We had started out in the same ‘place’ in life but their lives had led them to follow the careers of their dreams whereas I had given up work to bring up my children and then to start a small home business. I was happy doing both of those things and very happy that my friends had created the careers they wanted too. The only problem was that they expected me to be as available as I always had been which was nigh on impossible. Gradually they began to ignore my emails/phone calls and when we did talk on the phone or met up, the conversation was always about them. They began to criticise me too and eventually it came to a head when we had arranged to meet up but due to the day they wanted to meet on, I had to bring my children which they balked at. Afterwards I sent them a message tellilng them how I felt but heard nothing back from them. One friend has never contacted me since and when the other got in touch after almost a year and I said that I didn’t want to be friends anymore, she blew her top and told me I was bringing up my children badly.

    Since then I’ve made a point to not get involved with negative ‘me, me, me’ people. I don’t have the time to be drained and pulled into dramas. I have too much to be getting on with my family and my writing, and I’m happier for it.

  28. OMG, Marie!!
    I looooveee when your posts connect to my actual situation!! In fact, when I got your mail I was writing to a friend about how I felt in our friendship, how her “unkind” ways hurt me. I totally know that it’s my responsibility to deal with this, I am not saying that she must change or that she is “unkind” because she doesn’t care about me, but things got to a point where I needed to speak my truth to her, because I was starting to take some distance without telling her anything and I didn’t want to hurt her.

    For me is very important to be with kind people, but it seems kindness is something missing on these days. For example, I have another friend that he doesn’t even answer my nice emails, or he doesn’t even say “thanks for your nice words, Daniela”. Can you believe it? Am I asking to much? What do you think? People tend to tell me that I expected too much from others, do you think so?

    Sincerely,
    Daniela

    • Hey Daniela! I wouldn’t take it personally or make up a story that your friend is unkind for not responding. People process things much differently and have very different ways of receiving and showing love. Also, if you send emails to encourage (to anyone), make it a gift — meaning, give to give of your heart because it feels good, not to get something back. If you give and expect for a response, then it’s not really a gift, it’s a transaction! oxo

  29. In the last few years I’ve had to confront major relationship decisions in my life, particularly with people I have know 20 plus years.

    What I learned about myself is that I really value the word friendship and I see it as a real “responsibility”. It is your responsibility to be truthful, to be transparent, to support and defend your friend. Even when you risk your image in the process. What better character-defining moment than when you have to choose between what is right and how you appear to others? Especially when it is for a friend.

    I also realized that I was always giving much more than what I was getting in return. Whereas I would also be the friend that followed up, called back, stood up for them, and sacrificed resources (time, effort, money, attention, etc.) I did not get this back in return. I believed for a long time I did not need to. That it was enough for me to simply give and that eventually I would receive. But my husband, in all of his wisdom, sat me down one day and made me take a look at who was around me. Literally drew me a diagram, plotting out all the breaks so that I could SEE what my heart refused to.

    Two years ago I made the choice: I determined I had a wonderful group of people around me that understood what friendship meant. I also realized, within that very group, that there were others that did not. Their negativity, their duality, their lack of transparency and reciprocity was so blatantly obvious when compared to the others that I really had no choice but to end the relationships, as they were.

    And it was the best thing ever.

    The result: My life changed completely. I can speak openly with people that truly value our friendship. I continue to give without needing to receive, but I always do. I changed careers from corporate HR to a private venture with a friend doing coaching and training. And made my most important friendship, the one I share with my husband, my biggest priority.

    It is not easy to redefine those relationships, but I assure you: it is necessary. Al some point, we do need to take inventory of who is in our lives, how much they put into our emotional bank account, and how much they take out.

    Great topic! Happy Tuesday to everyone.

    • Monique

      “What I learned about myself is that I really value the word friendship and I see it as a real “responsibility”. It is your responsibility to be truthful, to be transparent, to support and defend your friend.”

      This really resonates with me. I completely agree that friendship is a responsibility. One that I take very seriously but I find that the people do not like to reciprocate. I have also noticed that a few of the people I called friends are unable to share in my victories and be genuinely happy for me when things go well to the point where I no longer share these things with them. I never used the script, I just made myself unavailable and created distance from them. I’m tired of attending pity parties!

      • Monique, that’s precisely what I did. I simply stopped participating in activities where I knew these people would be and soon realized, I did not miss them. I didn’t miss the drama or the gossip or the feelings of false camaraderie. I felt “icky” when I was with them because I was always somewhat cognizant that they did not truly care about me or my life; they were simply living a moment and I happen to be in the room.

        One of the best things that came out of all of that is that my other friends, the ones that didn’t suck up all of my time, the ones that lived in the background became my center. They helped me see that time is really finite. You have to be “present”. With your family, with your friends. You have to be there in every way and if your eyes are telling you one thing but your heart is telling you something else, you cannot be truly present because you live in constant fear of being hurt by the relationship.

        So, yes… you create distance and for a while you are a “bitch” or “crazy” or whatever else they want to call you. And then you see them and you’ve moved forward and they are still right where you left them.

        No pity parties is darn right! You gotta keep moving, no matter what.

    • Leticia, this was an incredibly astute comment – thank you for this! I’m only 25… and a sagitarius… and I always used to blame myself for shirking the responsibilities you mentioned above/for not being able to hold onto lifelong friends. I saw myself on the other half of the failing friendship equation. But the truth is, I was changing. In my formative years (which I still consider myself very much in), I was finding my own way, and I had to let those friends who didn’t understand be. This goes both ways, too – I used to blame friends all the time for not holding up their end of the bargain, but in reality, they were simply becoming their true selves,and our true selves happened to diverge.

      Now that I have a good understanding of what I’m about, I can hang with people who support me and my growth and I harbor no resentment over friendships gone by. It’s nice and necessary to build the community that you need, isn ‘t it?

  30. Lucy Houston

    This was really great to listen to, but also very hard. About a year ago, I was on the receiving end of a friend who let me know that she didn’t want to process my life with me anymore. And by “process”, she meant issues with my dad, but also spiritual growth types of conversations. We had been very close, very “healthy” in our words, very positive, and kind to each other for 20 years, so we worked through it. Things were fine – until 2 weeks ago, when it came up again. What frustrates me about this, is that it seems to me that she doesn’t mind processing HER stuff, but somehow feels weighed down by mine. I listened for MONTHS to her issues last summer when she was going through anxiety issues, problems with work and her mom. She had no problem “dumping” all of that on me when she suddenly needed a friend. But my stuff, was too challenging for her.

    So from the other side, I can tell you that it doesn’t always come across as authentic when a friend “takes the high road” and treats you as if you’re being a burden, when she is doing exactly the same thing IMHO. Best friends are often mirrors for each other….

    On the other hand, she has given me a gift because I have realized through the pain of rejection that I need to care less about what she (or anyone else) thinks of me, and focus on how to find my center. Thanks for your post Marie.

    • Lucy, I had the exact same issue and found it a blessing when the time came to make a choice for myself. Sometimes we are pushed into these decisions, but you can always extract something positive. I’m not saying it has to always be about you but we do need to value ourselves. A relationship cannot be healthy if there is no reciprocity in the positive stuff (i.e. listening, positive feedback, etc.)

    • Thanks for sharing this Lucy! We all really appreciate it 😉

  31. I love Q&A Tuesday. Marie provides just the boost I need.

    As a dude, I didn’t feel like this content was for me at first, but I’ve changed my opinion. I’ve gotten a lot out of this. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week.

    Thanks and keep it coming.

    • DUDES are always welcome here Brad. While the ladies outnumber the fellows, we still have thousands of amazing men in our community. Love to hear that Tuesdays are your favorite day 🙂

  32. This hit home! I used to attract “wounded bird” friends, because I thought that my positive outlook would help my negative friends see the light. Instead, they just drained me and took me down with them. In 2013, I am only surrounding myself with great people who want to see the good in situations instead of focusing on the bad!

    One big thing though, it is so very important to actually have a talk with the negative friend to let them know why you can’t spend time with them anymore. I once got into a disagreement with a negative friend and just let things be. We stopped talking for about a year, but then she popped back up and wanted to reconcile. I never addressed why I didn’t want to be friends with her openly, so I came to the conclusion that things would be different. They weren’t at all. A year later the friendship ended for good, but I know there never would have been a round 2 if I had faced it head on the first time.

    • Laura

      Hi Ashley-
      I’ve been debating on whether to speak up or not myself. My thing is with family though which may make it more complicated. Thing is, I’m not feeling too safe about telling them the truth. In the past doing that has gotten me verbally attacked, even when beginning conversations with “I feel” and not being accusatory. It’s been turned on me and I’ve been the one having fingers pointing at me, etc even when I’ve been willing to take my share of the responsibility on the subject. So I think at times it just might be safer to just create the distance.

      If the person does come back for reconciliation, then in the beginning and at the time of reconciliation…that might be a good time to address why you felt the need to create distance the first time. So in the re-do you draw your lines in the sand and the other person can now choose to respect it or not.

  33. Great topic.

    I’ve ended many friendships but I’ve rarely found I needed to be so direct. I usually find that I am the one doing the heavy lifting of calling to hang out or seeing how they are doing – once I realized it was time to let them go it only takes a call or two saying 1) I am busy or 2) suggesting something I want to do before they stop calling me.

    And when they stop calling, it is a confirmation that it was the right thing to do.

  34. Totally have had to “break up” with old friends. But I also learned that it’s too heavy for me to throw people away. So, what I do these days is let people know where I am, what I stand for and what my boundaries are. ie I don’t argue, complain, or gossip (much). I then allow them to choose their place in my life. If they choose to remain close to me…awesome, but know that when those things happen, I’m shutting it down immediately, with a smile and moving on with the conversation like it never even happened. 🙂 They’ll either get sick of that and leave or get sick of that and stop the behaviors.

  35. Beth

    This video totally resonates with me right now, Marie! I am working on changing my behaviour because, although the majority of my relationships are supportive and positive, I always find myself in a close relationship with at least one person who is very negative, pessimistic, and draining to be around. These relationships take on many different forms (a boss, co-worker, boyfriend, close friend etc) and even after I eventually realize how draining the relationship is for my energy and ‘cut the cord’ with that person, I attract another person to fill that spot right away.
    It feels really good to take responsibility for my side of the street and admit that I’ve actually been attracting these relationships into my life. I’m afraid to step into my own power, fulfill my life purpose, and create the life of my dreams, so I’ve been chosing to stay stuck in unhealthy relationships with people who seem to hold me back, when really, I’m just holding myself back. I’m SO willing to change this crazy, self-defeating behaviour, and your video is a huge help for me in doing that.
    Thank-you so much, Marie. I’m grateful that a community like this exists and that I am a part of something that inspires love, creativity, and happiness in the world.
    Love,
    Beth

    • Monique

      Beth, I understand just how you feel!I think it is my desire to help people that causes me to consistently end up in those situations. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not my job to ‘fix’ people but it is my job to be an inspiration to them.

  36. Great vlog, Marie!
    I’ve dealt with this before and in my experience, I had to learn that I had to heal and get rid of the people-pleasing mentality. I’d keep friends in distress close (even though my intuition – my whole self – was screaming RED FLAG! RED FLAG!) b/c, deep down, I wanted to rescue them, and that made me feel good. It wasn’t until I came to terms with that reality (which was pretty hard since it’s WAY easier to blame others) that I finally became free.

    The funny thing is, I’m going through something similar now with a friend.
    I have a group of fab girlfriends, but there was always one of them that just always rubbed me the wrong way. As I got to know her, my gut feeling was confirmed over and over.
    A year ago, I decided to keep my distance and only hang out with her when we were in a group setting. And that has worked for me. I don’t seek her out, I don’t plan anything with her by ourselves. I’m friendly and cordial with her, but I have drawn the line.

    I know that eventually she’ll drop out of my radar, but for now, keeping distance has worked wonders. I’m not going to change her, I’m not trying to convince my other friends to see her for who she is; they need to get to that conclusion themselves.

    I’m doing what’s right FOR ME. 🙂 AND I’m happy!

    • LD

      I have a group of 3 friends and one of them is very negative and self-centered. I want to loose one and remain close to the other 2. But we always do things together. Do I have to give up the 2 I want in my life?

  37. A great reminder that we teach people how to treat us. It is up to us to have strong boundaries and enforce them.

  38. Hi, yes, I’ve had this problem twice recently.

    I broke up with two childhood friends because I found a life partner and married. I used to be everyone’s favourite flakey third wheel, who’d had a rough start so I took a few years to sort myself out and grow a backbone.
    I lost touch when I started traveling and living abroad and working on my career, and they sort of floundered in their home towns. They’re both amazing, intelligent women, but neither really pushed themselves where they wanted to go, and they got stuck.

    They were both toxic in their own ways; and the more happy settled and assertive I got, the worse my friendship with both of them became. I actually got dumped by both of them- leading me to feel horrendous, as they both verbally abused me on their way out the door and told me I wasn’t worthy of being loved.
    It’s left me feeling really conflicted- now they’re gone, I see positive change, but the way it happened and the words they used have haunted me into some heavy soul searching, but after a year or so gap, I think it was mostly because I’d become assertive and settled down happy, despite having early troubles.
    It hurt a lot- I’m a soft-hearted loyal person, and it really stung!

  39. Thank you Marie. This is so true! Within the past few years, I have let go or have walked away from negative and toxic people who were allegedly my friends. I realized that they were not really my friends. They were “emotional vampires” as Dr. Judith Orloff calls them. I took responsibility for allowing them in, blessed them and let them go. Since then, there have been positive, uplifting, badass friends showing up. I’m happier and healthier for it.

  40. Sandra A

    In 30days 2 friends say adios!
    I broke up with a friend (20 year relationship) early this month because it was one way. This friend never wanted to evolve at all. She would lay all her emotional cyclical stuff on me but would never take any advice and continue her same pattern. For many years I held on to this friendship thinking that she just needed more time to grow. Well, it became clear that she just did not possess any empathy, she was emotionally stunted and she did not help me grow on any level. I was exhausted and I told her so. I told her with the kindest words I could that we simply were not the same page anymore.
    Outcome: She still keeps in contact, she still does the same things but she shared none of it with me. I feel great not having to be ‘there’ for someone who is not ‘there’ for me. Freedom!
    Well, just last week another ‘friend’ broke up with me (5 year relationship) because I told her that I could not attend her destination wedding. Did I mention it would cost me well over $1000 and it was scheduled immediately after a trip I booked for myself before she was even engaged? Suffice to say, she felt our relationship was one way and that I did not meet her friend checklist criteria. I have never really been able to connect with this friend, and continued the friendship out of guilt more than anything else.
    We had friends in common, I had much love for her but I had no idea that I was disappointing her as a friend as we never spoke much to begin with. Literally – moments of silence when it would be just the two of us.
    Outcome – FREEDOM!! Albeit at her hands. Sure I wanted to fight out my side of the story, let her know we were really not that close to break up in the first place. I wanted her to know that she only formalized what I was already doing…being cordial. But, I decided its best to let her feel that power.

    LESSON: If a friendship is not working – discuss it, maybe the other person feels the same. Otherwise – spend way too long being drained by a soul vampire OR carry unnessary guilt in a faux-lationship.
    I am about to turn 40, and am down to 4 amazing friends and I am doing amazing myself!
    PS: Thanks for this blog, it could not have come a better time!

  41. Chloe French

    Marie, what a timely episode! It seems so many of us are going through this right now.

    In my case, it’s not so much that these people are nagging or negative (although their attitude can be a bit dicey at times, but aren’t we all like that some days), but rather a pattern where they call when they need something and then disappear for weeks or months, and then reappear…and then disappear. In the times that we talk, I notice the conversation doesn’t flow and that genuine connection isn’t there.

    But we’ve been friends for forever so I keep trying. I’m the one who puts myself out there to be supportive and hear about their life. It’s hard to get them to share (or it becomes a 3 hour long therapy session, but that’s sometimes what friends are for!). And then it hurts when they don’t seem to care a whit about my life and goings on. It usually feels like we’re just reading a script. Very “oh that’s nice, dear” and distracted. So sad.

    I’d love to know what I have done wrong and to get some closure, but I can’t even get them on the phone or to return an text/email sometimes for a month or more. This pattern has been building over the course of a couple years.

    My life has changed in so many ways during the last 2 or 3 years. A lot of it has been challenging but deeply rewarding. I’m on path for the life of my dreams, not perfect by any means, but good and in line with my aspirations. It seems that the healthy, positive blessings in my life have increased, and my dear old friends have decreased.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that those lifelong friends are most likely not coming with me into my new adventures. Rather than chasing after them, I am letting them go. Why would I want to be around someone who doesn’t want to be around me? What a no-brainer! No more calling or reaching out or forcing friendships that aren’t there. It’s taken me a little while, but I’m finally at peace with that. I don’t want to be “friends” merely out of habit or obligation but from genuine connection. I’m making space for the Universe to bless me with a new crew, and it feels great! 🙂

    Friendship shouldn’t feel forced. If you are living in the place where your relationship is hard work for months and years, you should probably release that heavy energy and open yourself to something new. Maybe your friend will come back at a better time.

  42. Madeline Yau

    I have been there where all my so call friends just don’t get it. So lately I’ve been spending my time reading and doing things I enjoy. Even if is alone. I’ ve learned those type of people don’t do anything for you so I manage to just distance myself. I’m in my 30’s so you think differently and have different interest it’s ok just find new friends that enjoy what you like now.

  43. elinor

    I find the idea of looking at the part you play in your relationships empowering. Overtime I have learnt – still working on it- to have healthier boundaries and kicked the guilt for not being ‘nice’! If I feel good about myself, i know I’m doing the right thing.

    Sometimes, distance is necessary to give two friends the space and time to grow and break free from unhealthy dynamics.

  44. Unfortunately, many times, I’m that friend that I should break up with, I’m my best friend and my worst enemy :))
    I just commented on this on my FB page (flawless and healthy)!

    …..seriously thou, when it comes to friends/family that show obvious signs of dislike towards you and/or your business, you should just distance yourself; sometimes explaining it, sometimes not! They know you “caught” them, what else is there to say: fight? I’m not into that, I prefer to take the high road. If you get rid of the negativity they bring, you make space for better people to come into your life!
    Thank you Marie for all you do:)

  45. Jo

    OOOOH! Great topic! This comes up frequently in client sessions, people not getting the support from family members and friends around the changes they want to make to their lifestyle along with too many “Negative Nelly’s” trying to have a negative input. I especially LOVE the reminder that positive people are really annoying to those who are negative…. Makes a heap of sense.

    I have personally drawn the line in the sand and broken up with family members who didn’t support or contribute anything positive. It sounds harsh, but I know from experience that my life is all the better for it. Finding the courage to do this was the hardest, but with positive friends support, made it do-able.

    Lets face, we all need a good vent somedays, but we don’t have to constantly live in that energy. I’m a great believer in “getting out” whats troubling you then creating a balanced statement and action plan to help you move forward. Not easy every day, but the more you practice the easier it will get!

  46. Robyn Wiltshire

    I was gently but firmly broken up with by a few friends about 5 years ago and at the time I was VERY hurt and confused. They didn’t specifically express the core issues to me (because, as I now know – they didn’t want to get into another “debbie downer” conversation with me about body image drama.)

    As a result it took years to:
    a) get present to the reality of what it was really like to be friends with me
    b) take accountability for who I was being in my life c) make peace with the fact that I was left to guess why they wanted space from me and forgive.

    The beauty of it is, their choice molded my growth and development in a unique way that not only led to healing my traumas and dramas but also landed in me a unique position to (just very recently) start a coaching business for body confidence and self esteem.

    It took me A LONG TIME to realize they were being a stand for health. For their health. For my health. Also, it took me a long time to realize that they were not willing to look me in the eye and be honest – and that in the end, I didn’t share the same values as them. Since making changes in my life I’ve attracted new friends. Friends who support me and guide me in ways that those former friends were not interested in doing. I’m held accountable, but safe to be myself.

    By chosing to see the heartbreak as a gift of guidance. As Alanis Morrisette calls it: a generous trigger, I was able to course correct and find a more appropriate way of living and being in my life and in my friendships.

    It SUCKS in the moment. It hurts. But the empowered choice is always there… So I’d say, this was a biggie for me – a blessing. A game changing experience.

    • Robyn, thank you SO much for sharing your story and the power of honesty, compassion and time 🙂 This is so valuable! xoxo

  47. pve

    Change is hard for some and making changes for the better is worth it. Life is too short to be “drained.” I prefer to spend time with people who feel the gratitude and goodness of life.
    I do have one friend who is all about “her” and that is one that I have distanced myself from.
    pve

  48. Excellent video, Marie! I am really young (25), and I have had to make many changes in who I allow into my life. Many of the people my age aren’t ready to let go of the drama and the negativity because they mistakenly believe that talking about it brings us closer, that dwelling on it makes them feel better and solves problem. It has become so energetically draining, and, like you always say when you end your videos, I know that I’m meant to be spending my energy doing what it is that I can do in the world, not recovering from the effects of so-called “friendships.” It always seems difficult to have that conversation, but once you do it, it’s like a breath of fresh air! I think it’s difficult if you feel that you care so much for someone and you want them to see how much better life would be if they consciously chose to live it differently, but you (and Kris!) are so right that we can’t change people. Only diapers, baby.

  49. Elizabeth

    Great advice, thanks so much Marie!
    What if the person is your mom and she just came to live with you in a new state and she’s got the discussed negative patterns and is sucking the life force out of you?
    Bless you for your time and beautiful energy!

    • All our moms are special Elizabeth 🙂 a. I would not suggest living with her (if it’s at all possible) b. TRUE listening often helps people transform (that’s a bigger lesson for another day! and c. gentle but clear boundaries are amazing. I’ve used them to great success with my family!

      • Lori!

        I had a similar follow-up question, Elizabeth, and I’m learning the lesson day by day that Boundaries are Beautiful!!! If they’re used gently, as Marie points out, there is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. Anyone “sucking the life force out of you” is definitely here to help you learn a huge lesson. Bless them and be good to yourself.

        • may

          do you mind sharing the script of what would you say to a negative mom. and please give the details of the boundries. Thank you

  50. LOVE Kris Carrs quote. I understand the need to be honest, for ME, I would shift it around to take full responsibility for how I’m feeling. If this friendship isn’t working for me anymore, that’s the vibe that I would lead with. It’s not about what I SAY but how what I am saying is being received. If I’m saying I am tired, I am tired and you need therapy, how is that about how I’m feeling in the friendship? About what I am putting out there? (putting out being tired) If I keep coming from a place of how it makes me feel, it feels more genuine and I can walk away feeling like I honored myself in the process. I mean, she doesn’t have a problem being negative, you (the Q’r) does. Honor that. Nothing to be ashamed of.

    *See how I just wrote that whole paragraph about me? vs you? It FEELS different, right?

    *And, harder said than done. You can always love her AND honor your feelings at the same time. The love never has to go away. Just changes.

  51. Grace

    This video arrived at the right time for me! I was thinking of making contact with a friend of over 20 years again and, now, I think I will just let things be. We had an ugly disagreement, but, for the first time, I was able to express how tired I was of her put down comments and her perception there are many things wrong with me, including I have too much energy! In retrospect, she brought out the worst in me because I always felt on the defensive around her. There is a void now because she was the tell everything kind of friend I could drop in with any time, but there is no one in my life now who is dumping this kind of negative energy on me. My challenge is to be more pro-active in bringing the right new friendships into my life. Thanks for bringing up this topic, Marie!

  52. This couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time…

    First of all, I’m a guy (surprise surprise, I’m sure, most of the MarieTV audience is female), and I used to have a great friendship, a bromance I would even say, with a friend for almost 7 years.

    We would have our ups and downs, and because we knew it each other so well, we know which buttons to press to make the other extremely angry. When we were good, it was great, we would laugh, hug, cry, and everything was good. When we were bad, I just wanted to push him in the face. (Masculinity ,yeah!) Unfortunately, we were much more civil (sneaky) about it, and just made snide comments that hurt each other’s ego.

    I wish this advice had come sooner, because during the last leg of our friendship, I just let it fade away. I didn’t take Marie’s advice of confronting him and breaking it off tactfully. I just stopped calling, I stopped inviting him to events, if I saw him in passing, I would try to avoid him, and (our once greatest past time), I stopped playing video games with him. With mutual friends, if he was brought up in conversation, I would quickly change the subject.

    In the end, I think he got the message (the nail in the coffin was him defriending me on Facebook). I don’t know if I went about this the right way, but I feel pretty good with my decision. Maybe because I’m a guy though, if I had confronted him, I felt like it would escalate and get pretty emotionally and physically violent rather quickly.

    Dominick

    • Dominick,

      Your story sounds familiar (unfortunately). I can tell you though that if you didn’t address why you had to create the distance, time will work on your memory and you will forget how he made you feel. That’s what happened with me years ago. It was until I finally made a conscious effort to address the behavior that it made any difference in the relationships. Some I was able to salvage, others went the way of the dinosaur.

      Glad it didn’t get to the point of violence (that’s never good) but chances are in a few years, he or you will cross paths again. World is very small. If he hasn’t changed the behavior you will be right back on the same ride. Destination: drama!

    • Hey Dominick! Thanks for sharing, and you’re NOT alone here (as a man) or, in your situation. Hindsight is always 20-20, so trust you did the best you could when it all happened. (note to self and all: we all do the best we can at the time!) The Universe will serve you up an opportunity to grow/heal/reconnect/re-learn/re-do whatever you need. Thanks for sharing your story here – helps us all! xo

  53. Nyk

    Wow I so could have used a script from Marie when I ended a long term friendship not quite two years ago. Sometimes it is ( a matter of out growing a friendship ) or at least that is what it was in my case. I had done alot of work on improving myself and my life and just wasn’t willing to be treated poorly anymore. Needless to say it wasn’t easy and it is still super awkward when we run into each other (she just pretends I am not there) but as soon as I ended it I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I not regretted my decision once! Now I am working on getting better at sniffing out the friendships that won’t work for me before hand and nipping it in the bud before it has a to turn into something that I will loss sleep over later. I realized through this process that I was letting friends choose me with out any thought on my part as to whether or not it was a sound fit for me …which usually resulted in them treating me as there shrink (which I am so not qualified for nor do I want to be ) not anymore now I am conscience and deliberate when I choose rewinds and less afraid to let dysfunctional relationships that do not serve go.

  54. When I need to break up with a friend I gently speak my truth by saying a few lovely things about how meaningful our relationship used to be and at the core of my message is:

    “The common thread that brought us together no longer exists.”

    I feel that talking about it is better than just abandoning someone by not answering their calls. Closure is dignified.

  55. Mimi

    This one is tough because you should theoretically be there for your friends through thick and thin. If you, yourself were encountering a difficult time in your life that left you feeling negative and hopeless, where would you be without the support of your friends and family? However, Marie, you are right- you cannot change people (unless you change their diapers :))- I have a friend whose toxic. She’s 30, and has never had a job, and continues to get degree after degree with her parent’s money. Because she’s never had the responsibility of having to earn a living, report to a boss, or make difficult decisions on behalf of a company, I find that I’ve outgrown our friendship. Because she can sleep in and has limited deadlines, she disregards promptness when meeting with me for lunches or dinners- and has been up to 1.5 hours late without a call. I will be back at my office in a meeting and will hear from her “why aren’t you here?” as she strolled into a lunch spot. However, when she becomes real busy with finals or exams, it’s impossible to hear nothing else about how busy her life is. I’ve tried expressing to her that her lack of time management has put a strain on our friendship but it doesn’t change her experience to put us on the same level of understanding. I’ve distanced myself from her as a result, and choose not to make plans with her during the work week- and always ‘double up’ my options on weekends should she cancel or arrive late to a happy hour. At this point, after hearing this Marie TV episode, I’ve decided to ‘break-up’ until she grows out of this phase.

    • Lucy Houston

      HI Mimi,
      I had a similar situation with a friend about 10 years ago. We would make plans, and then she would back out, for no particular reason. Just, “I changed my mind”. It was maddening, since I had taken the time to plan out my day with her. As a side note, because she had been abused as a child, she felt this was part of her healing process – not wanting to feel “trapped” in plans. While I said I understood, I also said that I was tired of being treated like my time was unimportant to her. So we had it out and “broke it off”.

      A few years later, she contacted me again, and is now one of my best friends. She talks about that time when I confronted her as a watershed moment. Sometimes when we care enough to stand up for ourselves, we help our friends in the process.

  56. Yes Marie. I have had to do a lot of “break ups” these past few years. I have found myself in a place where I haven’t completely “filled the spaces” yet, but it feels so freeing to not have to deal with those that aren’t on board with self growth, positive change and development. I decided I was going to limit my time with these people and when I realized I could choose who I spent my time with and how I spent my time, I took action to focus on where I wanted to go. I still have my own days (we all do) but at least I don’t have to deal with the draining of the others that continued to keep me stuck in a state of disempowerment. I always like to ask, “What is possible” and see where that leads me. I had to change my way of thinking and perspective, so it’s possible for others to do so too. I just bless those that aren’t ready, limit my time (or don’t spend time with them) and focus on being around the people that support me.
    Thanks for sharing this. Such a great video and a very important topic. I’ve had the worst come out of me when I’ve been around these people, so I try to be very conscious of how I spend my energy. I try to stay as positive and proactive as possible and set energetic boundaries.

    Thanks Marie!

  57. For me it’s about conscious choice. Once I am aware of the energy a friend, family member, or client brings to me…I feel empowered to choose my response (versus a reaction). Sometimes it is to let go. Sometimes it is to let myself grow. Knowing that I only have this one life to live lets me be in control of creating it on my terms…and pushes me to make conscious decisions based on my values. It ain’t always easy but I’m glad when I make the choice for myself knowing fully what I want, and need.

  58. Natara

    I actually had to break-up with ME!!! I realized that I was the negative person in all my relationships and that I was the person no one wanted to hang around (so much so I didn’t want to hang with myself) because I thrived on drama and attention. It has been a process changing me and I wont dare say that I have done a complete 180 but at least I recognize the issue and I am working on it.

    • LOVE this Natara! Good on your for having fun with this idea and bringing awareness to something that doesn’t serve the brilliant, loving woman you are. (And FYI, we all have parts of ourselves we can break-up with! You’re in good company 🙂

  59. Fayola

    I went through a dark period recently where I was unhappy in my job and the direction of my life in general. I was there for a looong time. During that time I would feel guilty talking to a certain friend because she was frustrated by what seemed like my lack of ability to get myself out of my funk. Finally (thankfully) I was able to gather the courage to make the changes I needed. Her response, “Thank God, you were so draining!” I told her that I was sorry my depression was so hard on her since it was so much fun for me. Things have never been the same since.

    I do however cherish the friends who stuck by me and allowed me the time I needed to work out what was keeping me down.

    • Great perpective Fayola! Thank you for sharing. Just a thought (take it or leave it) – we all say things that may hurt others from time to time, and we may not know it. If you still love that friend, a simple talk and some forgiveness can go a LONG way 🙂

  60. Tal

    LOVE this topic Marie! I think it’s a necessity in life to let go of the friends who start to drain us, and replace them with friends who support us and who accept the support we give to them as well!

    I’ve found that most of the time the friends whom I no longer connect with just start drifting away naturally – we meet up less, emails get shorter, and there are less phone calls. I have never sat down with a friend and officially broken things off, but I think looking back it would have been best to use that approach for one particular friend I used to have (she started to go a little crazy, and for my own sake I just decided to disappear!).

    Thank you for your message Marie!

  61. My first comment. YAY! 🙂

    I have found that when I am trying to give someone more than they are willing or allow themselves to receive, they have to make me “wrong” to make that yucky feeling they are feeling go away…. so they get defensive, or justify things, or so, “I just don’t understand” because I am not in there “shoes”. They can not receive from themselves, a life without judgment, or full of possibilities and opportunities, so how could they possibly receive that from me? If they don’t see their power, my saying they are powerful changes NOTHING. Now, that I get an operate from the space, that, people can only receive from me, ONLY what they receive from themselves, I can be committed but not attached… come from a place of no judgment or conclusion that my “advice” or whatever is right, and just say, “Isn’t it interesting that you feel that way…” and since I have no judgment about it, not feel the “drain”. I don’t have to fix or be right… I just bless them 10,000 fold with consciousness attach. 😉

  62. Sometimes Marie… I have to cut in from the other side…

    Hear me out.
    I get it. I know what you mean about being surrounded by negative people.
    It impacts you and causes great damage to your *sparkle*.
    But let’s keep it real. We are all human and we all face problems/ challenges along this crazy (sometimes bumpy) ride of our life.
    And what is a friend for? If not to share these challenging situations with… get things off your chest and feel that someone’s there listening… yes, to your complains and bitching sometimes… if that’s what you need to just say out loud….

    We don’t need therapists – we need friends!

    (ok, some people do need therapy but this was just to make a point about small fixable problems). (or perhaps if we did have true friends and communicated better with the people in our life we wouldn’t need therapists – hmm… debatable.) (I’ll leave that for now ;))

    Let me share a bit of my personal experience. My life was very happy-go-lucky. I bursted with positivity, motivation, happiness! My business and personal life was perfect (believe me, some people didn’t want to hear about that either!) But my circle of friends was great, we hung out, enjoyed life – good times!

    But then, I got severely sick. “I” wasn’t fun! Oh how I wanted to even pretend that I’m ok for a day – but I couldn’t. And this didn’t last a week, it lasted close to 4 years…. it was the hardest time in my life, not only was my health in trouble but it brought on depression, created problems in my marriage, and it was challenging with a small child and me as a new mama with all this happening at the same time ~ all while maintaining my own business.

    Through this *living hell*…. I learned who my true friends were – it was the ones that didn’t get scared away and they stayed through my misery… listening and supporting me.
    Some drifted away – it’s possible that I was too negative and I was messing up their sparkling energy.

    So please don’t look just for the fun and happiness in people. The best thing you can do for others and for yourself is to LISTEN better… if someone’s being negative… maybe it’s for a reason. Maybe they need you.
    What if one day you will need them?

    We can just aim for the *friends* that are the happy sparkling kind – but are they truly real? Are they honest with you.
    A lot of extra-happy people just sugar-coat their life anyway! No?

    Are you kind inside or perhaps just selfish?
    Or maybe you haven’t yet walked the hard side of life….?
    And you don’t know what it takes to depend on a friend.

    I think that’s the problem with today’s society is that we all want things made perfect and made happy.
    It’s not all about laughing, partying with your friends and all is good… it’s also about being a good listener, supporting each other, finding the good in rough situations, understanding how the other person feels – putting yourself in their shoes…. along with the good times of laughter and fun.

    If someone’s too much for you, I get it.
    But watch out how you’re going to break it off. What if they are hurt and this could devastate them further.
    A gentler approach is to distance yourself from that person, but to not fully *break up*.

    In life, you hit high points and low points. If you don’t learn to process the low points and understand that that’s part of life. You may not be able to handle them when they come knocking on your door.

    Who will be the people in your life then? All sugar-coated happy-go-lucky type? If they go by these rules, you will be the first to get dumped!

    Just saying.

    Be real and always be kind to others…. it’s not all about you. Sometimes it’s about them – be there. Listen.
    If you need space, drift apart…don’t dump.

    xo Ella

    • Ella,
      You have excellent insight here. There are simply times when usually positive people are just going through some really rough times. Well said, and I cannot add anything.

      • Thank you Fiona 😉 ♥

        • Amen Ella!!!

          Sending you a virtual hug right now… I’ve been through exactly what you described years ago due to health issues, and again 6 months ago when my business was growing faster than I could balance on my own (a “good” problem, but made me temporarily less fun to be around for a few months, and cost me a close friend).

          I agree with everything on this page, but feel much more needs to be said about THE WAY to end a relationship – with kind communication, mutual dignity and consciousness, so both parties save face and learn the lessons of their shared co-creation, not just one person saying, “It’s you, not me – seeyalaterbye” and not learning or acknowledging what they should have done different. I have seen some people hide behind selective fragments of new age and 12 step doctrines to excuse unexamined selfish behaviors, sometimes just to escape responsibilities that have become inconvenient. This doesn’t serve them or anyone else, and the weeds will simply sprout up in another part of the yard. Everything is an opportunity for a breakthrough and growth – for BOTH parties.

          For those who need to end or demote friendships, whatever you do, please do not write a one-way Dear John email out of left field, defriend all social media and 100% refuse contact, especially if you have previously been nothing less than cordial. Unless someone is physically threatening you and it’s a safety issue, this is 12-year-old behavior, and is as immensely cruel and traumatizing as it would have been back in 7th grade. I will be brave here and admit for the sake of others… 6 months later it still hurts and I still think about it frequently, aching for some measure of logical closure I will probably never get.

          By all means, distance yourself from people who are bringing you down and do what you need to do, however if the relationship is organically fading away naturally anyway, there is no reason to go nuclear on a person who already has enough pressure and now feels like they lost their best friend too. I was always taught you never burn a bridge for many reasons, strategic, as well as humanistic. If you were also colleagues with the person, remember this adds a whole new layer of professional closure details and ethics to stitch up properly. Again, I’m supportive for doing what you feel you must do, just be sensitive HOW you do it.

          Conflict-communication is an underestimated yet VITAL branch of assertive, healthy communication for all relationships! I think the Japanese custom of “saving face” is a fabulous role model for all of us who need to address this sort of conflict. (If you’re not familiar, I highly recommend googling it and looking into other insights on conflict resolution.)
          Hope this is helpful. 🙂 <3

          XOXO,

          Laura

          • Carol

            I recommend the Non Violent Communication,founder Marshall Rosenberg. Check out the website.

          • Laura, Thank YOU!
            I enjoyed reading your comment so much 😉
            Breakthrough and growth for Both! Yes!
            Defriending on fb – never a good idea!
            No burning bridges – I agree!
            “Saving Face” – no, not familiar but I will be looking into that 😉
            (sounds like great blog-worthy material too ;))

            I wish you best wishes and great luck in everything!
            Virtual hugs to you too 😉
            xo
            Ella

    • Fayola

      I agree with this 100%. I had a period of negativity that lasted quite a while and I will say that I cherish the friends who were able to ride it out with me. Those are my ride-or-die, for-better-or-worse friends. All fair-weather friends have been noted and distance has been placed between us.

    • Ngoc Khong

      Ella,

      You said a good point that we don’t need the all sugar-coated happy-go-lucky type of person in our life.

      But I think we should differentiate between the all-day-long whiners and the friends who are in trouble and definitely need our help.

      And Marie was talking about the whiners, who constantly complain without doing anything to improve the situation.

      How can one help these whiners if they defend themselves and still complain anyway even though one has listened, been there for them, and given them advice?

      I think, the best thing to do would be “breaking up” or staying away for a little while. This is good for both sides.

      Then, true friends will re-connect.

    • Hey Ella! I agree with you wholeheartedly. And, as you know, I’m answering a “single question” from one individual, based on what she shared with us. This case, unfortunately, wasn’t the situation that you’re describing. Drifting apart is awesome if that can happen, but if it can’t, I’d prefer people communicate honestly. Not returning someone’s phone calls or ignoring them isn’t kind either! Great share and thanks so much for this perspective!

    • Alice

      What happened to Ella is exactly what happened to me. Before I got sick, I had an attractive personality and an active social life. I”ve been sick for over four years now with no end in sight. Where are my “friends”? I have one friend who has actively tried to understand what I’m going through and to maintain our relationship. Apart from that, it’s been pretty thin on the ground. These days I think that money is one’s best friend.

  63. This is an important topic because it gives you the chance to look at what You can do in the situation. So often, myself included, my life has gotten really ugly, and I wonder why. Well most times it was because I ignored the promptings God (or Universe, however you see the Divine) was giving me about what to do. If you are getting the prompting to end the friendship, then kindly do so, and go onto more positive things. If you are getting the prompting to fix things in your own life that are reflections in her behavior, then do that. This is where we need to understand that the Divine will guide us. I firmly have come to believe that We have the choice to choose our way, and if we let Him, God will give us promptings when we could use a course adjustment, that will save us great grief, if we adjust our course from His promptings. So now, look inside and see what you need to do. God will guide you, and we learn to listen.
    Best,
    Fiona

  64. Margarita

    I actually had both experiences of being “dumped” by and having to breakup w/ a long-time friend. As the dumpee, I now realize that this girl was very traumatized by her life-long illegal immigration status and was going through stuff so although I felt used by this girl (she broke up with me when she finally got her paperwork in order), I don’t mourn that friendship at all. As the one who broke up with a friend who I’ve known since I was five, it was the fact that she didn’t show up to my mother’s funeral that put that made it painfully obvious that she was very self-centered and rarely supported me if it wasn’t somehow agrandizing her and her ego. To a certain degree, it makes me sad because I am a very loyal person but I’ve learned that people enter and exit your life for different purposes at different junctures and that’s ok.

  65. Regina

    A lot of the comments to this video are shocking to me. To put a label on someone by calling them negative is like saying that you are little miss perfect and that you never have any issues in your own life. Where do people get off? Cutting off a friend means that person is not really your friend. That is like saying, “I have been working at this marriage for some years now and I have had enough. I’m getting a divorce.” If it is that easy to through away people then you and your friend should split.

    • Luna

      Hi Regina,
      I think you make a good point and nobody should walk out on valuable friendships. Nobody’s perfect, we all have our dark times and our venting moments. The problem is when a person keeps their life in a dark place by continuing to make the same bad choices and then the negativity from their life becomes an emotional burden on your own. Everyone goes through hard times and friends should be there for each other, but I don’t think anyone should keep toxic people in their life. I pay attention to how I feel after spending time with someone. If I show up happy every time and every time they drag my energy and my mood down, then that’s not someone I want in my life. People like that are essentially robbing others of their vitality and the energy exchange is demonstrating that it’s not a good match. I can’t do anything for anyone if they drag me down into the bottom of the pit with them. We need to value our wonderful friends, but also stay aware of how much energy we have to give and not let it be sucked dry by people who will take every bit of it without giving anything in return.

      • Great point Regina, and I don’t believe that’s what most people are saying As we all have our flaws and issues, and we all have dark times and need support. I think Luna said it perfectly. It is a tough subject and it’s about looking at the individual situation and making choices that feel right to you!

  66. For the past couple years I have been attracting more and more awesome people into my life.
    I have a close friend and we are on a break (friends for 15 years ). We are on a relationship break because we are on different pages and her energy really brings me down. It is the most healthy and loving thing to do, because we both need space. It would be the ONLY way for us to even possibly be friends in the future. Who knows if we will come back together.

    I had a distinct moment when I realized that our relationship was just not working. All my other close relationships were awesome and easy, except that one. How can this relationship be more work then my relationship with my husband?
    I have more healing and letting go to do in regards to our past and she has changes to go through as well. We spoke and it was clear to both of us that we needed space.

    For a while I thought we could possibly talk things out, but the times we did, it never felt like resolution. She is who she is and I am who I am. So our wave lengths were just not matching.
    I am much happier without her in my life right now. I would hate for her to know that though. I love her and wish her the best.

  67. Haha! Marie! I’m laughing at the lollipops and rainbows!

    I remember getting my hair done as a teen and the hairdresser telling me, “You make me sick! You are just too happy for a high school-er. What’s wrong with you?! Why are you so happy?” I just smiled (took it as a compliment) and I’ll never forget that moment.

    To this very day, when I’m around certain adults — they give off this I-can’t-stand-your-happiness vibe — but they usually go away soon. I love being around happy, positive, enthusiastic peeps– probably why I appreciate your community so much!!

    Anyway, this video resonated with me completely, I love Marie TV!
    Seriously thinking about getting a t-shirt with, “I Love Marie TV” on it. 🙂

    With joy,
    Melodee

  68. Regina

    A human life is NOT disposable. Garbage is disposable.

  69. Luna

    Sometimes negative people want to feed on my positive vibes because they don’t know how to generate their own. They feel better after being near me and I feel drained after being near them. I recently had to cut someone off after two difficult years of them driving me nuts. I had to acknowledge that I allowed them to cross my boundary for a long time by not being directly honest with them out of concern for their feelings. I did us both a disservice and our relationship as neighbors was basically a lie because I didn’t speak my mind assertive enough to drive the point home to her. I kept hoping by explaining it nicely and a little vaguely that she would get it…but she didn’t. If I had nipped it in the bud immediately, it would have saved a lot of trouble and in the long run her feelings would have been less hurt then they are now. Bottom line is that sometimes people are going to get their feeling hurt and that’s just too bad. It’s not right to let anyone rob you of your life force energy and get in the way of your personal evolution. My first responsibility is to myself and my happy zone and from now on I have a ruthless sword ready to cut away anyone trying to invade it.

  70. Hi Marie! Thanks for sharing about this. Sometimes when you are growing and changing YOU, you must leave the OLD, TIRED, NEGATIVE and uninspiring friends. I did this last summer and none too soon. Life is TOO short to not take the time to focus on your dreams and the steps to take that will make them a reality. This includes hanging around people that lift, inspire and motivate you to make certain changes so you WILL attain your dreams. I’m not there yet, but working hard on this everyday and I can truly say that I do not miss those friends. Marie, you are right…people that are negative can’t stand being around positive, bubbly and full of life people. So, just do it, like NIKE says and start by one at a time. Be sure to find people that are going for their dreams to surround yourself with…trust me, it really makes a difference.

  71. jaynie

    I had to break up with a good dear friend of 25 years last year before Christmas.
    I had to move away from her and she not being a big phone talker
    made it hard to carry on a relationship except when she said she would be available to talk. Only on her time and never spontaneous. If I would call
    she wouldn’t return the call for days even weeks. She rarely called me.
    She said I am a very dear friend and she cherishes our friendship. She would say thank you for keeping the friendship alive, it means a lot to her.When we get together we have a blast and pick up where we left off. A friendship needs to be effort coming from both friends. I miss my friend, but its been over a year now and I feel better not having to keep up the whole burden.

  72. WOW.

    Last Friday, I got in a fight with a long-time negative friend because she keeps making fun of other people.

    After a few days of hearing her comments, I’d had enough… so I said something about it. She got super defensive and started acting like I was the bad guy.

    I had a feeling that this was a friendship that I needed to let go of. Like Marie says in the video, I’m sure my positivity is annoying to her just as her negativity DRAINS me.

    I’d actually prayed for some kind of help with this decision last night. So thanks, Marie, for answering my prayer. Amazing.

  73. Gotta say… so much easier to break up with a BF than a BFF!

    Marie, I really appreciate the script. It’s important to put your feelings and needs out there to honor the friendship and try to generate something better…. but if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work. Had to let a friend of 20 years go 2 years ago. It had to be done… but looking back the conversation could have gone better….

    Love the comment about being positive… When I decided to get happy I couldn’t believe how many facebook friends dropped me. But then I realized that I was also connecting with more positive people around me.

    Thanks for another great episode.
    Ingrid

    Ingrid

  74. I have had to let go of friendships on occasion and always found it sad. I do not think close friends are a dime a dozen. However, there are times when you just can’t continue to support the road a friend is taking. I had a friend of 20 years asking me if she should date a married man. (Being a dating coach for women I get all sorts of questions). I just couldn’t see spending time on the phone listening to the hardship she was embarking on. So I had to let go.

    Living my truth is not the easiest way to live, but it keeps me in my integrity. I don’t take friendship lightly, so this is something that needs to be thought about before taking the step. And, then you just have to forge ahead and do what is right for you.

  75. Perfect timing on this one! I just had this happen last night where I had to make a firm boundary and cut someone out of my life. What I found though is that there is really nothing for me to say or contribute because the other person is not willing to hear it. Sometimes we want to have the last word and be “right” about the breakout when all there is to do is walk away.

  76. There are times in life when it’s amazing how the universe speaks to you… I am going through a change in my life and have come to a place where I have realized that I need to let go of most of my “friendships”. I think the problem is that we define friendships the wrong way. We look at the period of time we have known someone but that is NOT the method to which we should measure their value in our lives or our value in there life. It’s been amazing for me to look at my friendships and see how much more abuse, neglect and basic bad behavior that I will tolerate from a “friend” as opposed to what I would tolerate from my “partner”. There should be no difference. We should require all of those people around us to treat us the same.

    I don’t think that I have a obligation to save anyone but myself and holding myself to a standard of “friendship” that takes away significantly from my life to “fix” someone else is not healthy. Someone made a comment that “humans are not disposable”, disposing of a friendship is not disposing of a human life. Also, I think that there is a huge difference in “dumping” a friend and ending a relationship. I would equate “dumping” a friend to pushing them away, avoiding them or “creating distance” (which ironically someone said you should do instead of dumping”). For me, ending a relationship it tying it up. It’s sitting down and having a conversation about life and being upfront, honest and clear. That way every one knows where they stand- creating distance with someone without explanation is rude.

    My two-cents!

    Michelle

    • Yes, I wrote that.
      What’s ironic about it?
      To drift apart is to cease communication gently…
      To dump is to confront and *break up*, which could create more drama and possibly hurt someone if their behaviour wasn’t intentional.
      I simply recommended the first option. I see a big difference.
      This is about friendships not a relationships – it is different when there are romantic feelings involved. (those should be confronted). Let’s not confuse the two.
      xo

      • I agree with Ella, but I am realizing many people view it the same way as Michelle, so it is really a 50/50 split as to what is the preferred way – to break up, demote or just fade away.

        The piece that is complicated, is that sometimes good people are trying to do the “right thing” by breaking up, but it can backfire when it is only a one-way closure which robs the other person of any chance to apologize, make amends or try to improve. This is like filing relationship bankruptcy and leaving the other person holding the bag to clean up the mess you just created. What is the point of causing them extra pain from a one-way, primarily self-serving communication, when you could just fade away naturally and gently? The ending needs to consciously serve BOTH people, not just one. (See my earlier comment re: the Japanese tradition of “saving face” during disagreements.)

        Great thread, Marie! 🙂 xo

  77. LOVE this, Marie. thank you.

  78. Incredible – I just did a video blog on this exact same topic yesterday. In fact, I used the same Jim Rohn quote! Great minds… 😉

    Breaking up with negative, energy draining friends who wanted me to “stay the same” instead of grow and succeed, has been one of the best (and hardest) things I’ve ever had to do. But, you are absolutely right – we are entirely responsible for the people we CHOOSE to hang out with and the energy they bring with them.

    During one of my latest friend break ups a couple of years ago, my friend was hurt and lashed out by saying “You have throw-away friendships and loyalty means nothing to you. You are constantly making new friends and then tossing them aside when you get bored!” Ouch – that hurt, but only for a little while. Until I had time to check in with that comment and realize it just wasn’t true. Yes, I used to change friends frequently, but what I discovered when looking back it’s because I was GROWING and changing at a rapid rate and many of my friendships just weren’t a match anymore for the vibration I wanted to stay at.

    Awesome video, Marie. I especially loved that you provided the questioner with a script for exactly how to do the break-up. So many of us just don’t know how to say what we mean and feel.

    ~Edie Kay

  79. Great topic and great take on the subject! It is so important for people to realize that they are the ones who have the power to allow (or not allow) certain types of people into their lives.

    And for anyone on the fence about B-school….hop off that fence! If you are looking to increase your circle of POSITIVE energy, you want in 🙂

  80. Marie

    I have a life long friend who only calls when she wants something from me. If I cannot provide a quick fix for her , or I say no to her; she doesn’t call me. She never calls or asks about I’m doing or how my kids are . I feel like I am always the one to reach out. Eventually, when she does pick up the phone she sighs and is not that interested in what I have say. We have talked in the past and shared our feelings , but it doesn’t change. And I feel like she has let go of our friendship without telling me. What do I do?

    • Been there moving on is all you can do, if she calls and you want to support her do it because you want to not to get something in return. Being of service to life is always a good thing for everyone.

  81. I feel said that my so called 2, 9 year old best friends and I have changed status. The first one whom I have been challenged with can’t stop taking drugs even though they are prescribed she uses them to excess until they run out then becomes “normal” till her next appt. she doesn’t understand that being with someone who’s eyes are rolling in their head and slurring when they speak is not the kind of friend I want to be with. When I walked away an told her to go seek help send call me when she is sober she stopped talking to me.
    Friend #2 said I wasn’t a friend cause I acknowledged an ex boy toy of hers on his new life she says I disrespected her.
    Now a bit about me my life has been built on living a life filled with healthy body mind and spirit. I study ACIM meditate everyday don’t do drugs if any kind eat organic healthy food have been a teacher if meditation for 9 year previous to meeting these woman. My life is filled with sharing God love and positiveness. And u have taught these woman all the healing tools I have learned through out my life. Friend #1 still choses lack friend#2 I am happy to say decided to stop being s victim to men an create a business for herself which I was there for from day 1 when no one else believed in her.
    I still chose to be friends with these woman they chose not to be with me.
    So as for me I take responsibility for all in my life I don’t quite get why I would create this in my life. Haven’t found the gift yet.
    We are woman friend 1-58 friend 2- 43 this week I will be 60 any insure please

  82. Love the tweet, soooo true.
    Funny this subject came up today as an old friend I broke up with 10 years ago called me yesterday wanting to meet again.
    It will be interesting to see how we both have changed or not.
    I know I have grown a lot as I am more peaceful and less prone to anger outburst after listening for hours to miss drama queen. It seems to me that the kind of behavior which made me crazy 10 years ago would get an amused chuckle out of me now, we will see…
    There is at least one thing I know for sure now ;
    everybody I meet is a reflection of myself and even more than that,
    everyone is just an aspect of me, in fact
    There is only Me or we are just One
    ….lot more fun to see it that way
    so Marie, as a very creative and fun aspect of myself I am grateful for your existence and inventive creations
    Keep it coming girl

  83. Mel

    I have had to say goodbye to people many times in my life. Although it felt difficult in one way, I always thought fondly of them, I did have to walk away. It has always benefitted me because then I’m better able to serve others by walking and talking my truth. I will say that even those I walked away from still are considered friends and any time we’ve run into each other it’s positive. So don’t be afraid to do it, you may just be helping someone else to gain their own inner strength and positive focus…like that of: well, if SHE can do it, so can I. I also agree with your ending comment, Marie. We must break our own bad habits and create the person and life we want…we must take our own responsibility.
    Love and light
    Mel

  84. Interesting topic…made me realize how I’ve isolated myself from having even 5 close friends, let alone the many that came with youth. I’ve been unconsciously dropping friendships for years…they were all either draining because of the negative life loops they were in or I found myself unconsciously inviting people to make fun of my ideas/beliefs. They thought they were using an “endearing” jovial approach, but ultimately it felt humiliating to be someone who is seen as just so “quirky/creative” that I’m fun to make fun of. The woman who finally tipped me over on this whole topic was an engineer. Her hilarity became my humiliation. My husband is my best friend. He gets me. And I have one or two other women who really appreciate me. But 5 friends would be pushing it.

    Anybody else in this boat?

    • wendy

      Absolutely — 5 friends sounds completely un-doable! I have exactly one: my husband. And, of course, my cats. That’s it and I’m very happy with this arrangement. I have always seen friendship as something requiring far, far too much work for far, far too little benefit. So I stay away from it. I am my own best friend, and I like it that way! Actually, if I never had to spend time with any humans, ever again, I’d be just fine. It would be a relief.

  85. Hi Marie,
    Great Video! I must confess I always wait for the end of your videos to see those funny bloopers or comments! 🙂
    Anyway, I wanted to drop a little comment to this video. I don’t know if this is the right place or not.
    You (and a lot of other speakers) say that spending time with optimistic, kind & nice people makes us better person. What if, wanting to change the way we feel and act, we cut the friendships and relationships that drain us and that are not feeling right, but in return we can’t seem to find those optimistic, intelligent and joyous people to make new relationships?
    What if we can’t seem to find a good individual in person – as we can always find a few of them online. I’ve been searching for new friends and relationships for quite some time now, but I can’t seem to find someone that can bring out the best in me, as after a while, the true ugly truth comes out and I can see the REAL person. And I do not like what I’m seeing.
    All I’m trying to say here is that it’s pretty difficult to find people that can make you a better version of yourself. Do you (or anybody else here) know where or how we can find GOOD persons that we really should hang out with?
    Thanks,
    Andrea

  86. The “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” quote has been making the rounds lately and it has me thinking. I have always been drawn to people who are, in my opinion, smarter and more informed than me. It challenged me to grow and improve. I also tended to be the Debbie Downer person in the relationship and there were many times when I lamented that I just didn’t know how to be happy. I think that truer words were never thought. But, I never gave up trying and eventually I came upon information and tactics that has helped me be more at peace and happier.

    I am grateful that I have had friends that draw me to a higher level, it is that friendship that has helped me grow. I am just now learning to believe in the notion that I have things that help them grow. That is harder for me to see. As I accept that, I think I have learned to feel more generous. The notion that I have gifts to give of myself that help others makes me less of a downer. We all like to feel that we have something to offer.

    I think that a lot of negative people feel that they just have nothing of value to give and that makes them frightened. Frightened people are often either overly aggressive or defensive. Since being frightened is, in many cultures, a sign of weakness, it is often one of the last weaknesses we will admit to ourselves.

    I think Marie hinted at this in her video, but one thing that I have gotten out of my learning from Tony Robbins is that in every situation, every relationship we maintain, be it positive or negative, there is something that we are getting out of it. What is the reward for staying in a relationship that does not change or grow? What is the reward for listening to and offering advice to a person who does not appear to use it or value it? How is this situation serving me? It is important, I think, to know the answer to that, because as others have pointed out, if we don’t address the benefits we are getting from that relationship another will simply replace it, until we don’t need those benefits anymore.

    In my life, I have had many genuine friendships move on because the people grew and moved into different places or because I didn’t keep up. Some drifted apart painlessly. Some people actively “broke up” with me. One person broke up with me for reasons that to this day I do not understand and it hurt me deeply at the time. Even so, I carry with me the gifts that those friends have given me and those gifts are now part of the gifts that I can pass forward.

  87. Sylvie

    The behaviours described in this video seem consistent with BPD. I came across this information a few weeks ago, and it changed my life. See, I was breaking up with my own sister… Which came in great conflict with my core values. Same type of relationship: draining, will not take responsibility for her actions, defensive, will not seek help, always fulfilling her own interests first, impulsive, aggressive, fright of abandonment, etc. Worth a look, but be careful… handle with care, with the help of a professional.

  88. Christina

    Marie, who colors your hair? Did you do a subtle ombre there? I love it!!

  89. Great script filled with compassion, kindness, and respect! I hope to not need this; I seem to be able to fore-spot the potentially contaminating (Maya’s line: when a person shows you who they are believe them!?)

    But the concept of admitting friendships may have a defined scope is super valuable. I remember the first time a friend broke up with me. It stung like crazy and made me feel used for the circumstances during which our friendship was helpful to her. Once she no longer needed what I could offer, she didn’t want to maintain the relationship. BUT, it taught me that not all relationships are forever, that in this realm, fluidity is as relevant as in other parts of life. This truth doesn’t diminish the quality of the relationship while meaningful, but allows for life changes to move relationships accordingly. How many times before had I tried to maintain contact with someone I truly liked, but couldn’t easily because the circumstances that created that relationship no longer existed!? Now I can release them.

  90. Marya Teixeira

    I can’t possibly agree with this break-up. How it is possible to call yourself friend and the next minute or second you are not a fried of this person in need any more??? I understand about saboteurs, negative charged people, etc etc…but the word friendship must keep its strong moral value. There is no break us between friends…only time-over, temporary separation till things get better or till our head gets far from they influence. If somebody is on certain behaviour its because is somebody in need. So, lets help them by showing a list of possible therapies/solutions and keep pointing the annoying behaviour and make them feel uncomfortable in order to generate action/changing.

    • Of course we are only hearing one side of the story but from the side of the story that we do have, where is the friendship for the writer? If someone is always in need, never seeks to be out of need, how is enabling that helping the friend? Perhaps that is the only thing that the needy person thinks she has to hold on to others with? If people continue to allow that, how can she grow to see the gifts she really has to give? If friendship does not have give and take from both sides, if it is only flowing in one direction, can we call that friendship?

      From what I heard of the question, the writer has suggest helps and therapies and they have not been received. How long do you continue to be a tool for another person before you accept that that is all you are to them? Is that genuinely friendship?

      It is one thing to stand by with a friend through a difficult time, even a long difficult time, when they are taking actions on their behalf to be the best they can under the circumstances. Sometimes those actions are tiny, tiny, actions, difficult to see. Sometimes we see things that are not there in the hopes that what we think we see in the other is really there, even when it is not. Sometimes we are not the help the other person needs and we need to accept that and make room for the person or persons that are.

      How does the script “I can never let go of a friendship under any circumstances” serve us?

  91. Girl, your video editing cracks me up. Negative people drain me both emotionally and physically. I didn’t figure this out until college. I was in a sorority and one day I finally snapped. I was done with all the ridiculous drama, and from that day forward I chose quality instead of quantity when it came to friendships. Ten+ years later (wow..really? That went by fast) I am so grateful for snapping. Now I have two distinct groups of people in my life: friends and acquaintances. The friends group is small and high quality. The acquaintance group is higher quantity but is kept at arm’s length at all times. Sometimes acquaintances try to unload their crap on me but I refuse to engage so it never works and they give up and find someone else to leach energy from. Life is too short to let toxic people into your inner circle!

  92. Lisa

    I had the same issue! I broke it off a few years ago. My husband encouraged me to break off the drama. My BFF and I had been friends since middle school, so almost 15 years so it was really hard. We had been a lot together and we often took little breaks from each other. But this time might be permanent because I realized although it seemed like we would make some changes our dynamic was pretty much the same just different circumstances. Now that I have moved on and have surrounded myself with much more positive people I never want to go back! I have never felt so emotionally healthy in my life before and I can say I am content and want to stay that way. (;

  93. I always come back to this saying: That which we dislike in others is what we dislike or fear about ourselves. This magnifies the fact that we have a little work to do with ourselves too. I’ve definitely fired a few clients and divorced a few friends (and boyfriends) in my time. Not an easy thing, especially if you are lacking emotional connections else where, but cutting that cord will force you to create stronger bonds with others. The older I get the better I get at making sure it’s the right people I connect with.

  94. Eve

    Hi Marie,

    Thanks for sharing this. I totally agree with you even if it is really hard to do so.

    What about family, close family like mother/father? Do you think we should say goodbye or should we protect ourself in some other way?

    My mother is a very very very negative person since, well, ever. She has many opportunities to make her life better, but always took the wrong path.

    I’m trying to distance myself as much as I can… Sometimes I really think it would be better for me if we weren’t talking but I could not do it.

    What do you think?

    Thanks
    Eve

  95. This topic really resonates with me as I had to end a thirty year friendship a couple of years ago. While it is not possible to change behaviours in our friends sometimes their behaviours can prompt us to sharpen our skills at setting boundaries. It is uncanny how eliminating friends can open the door to a new friend who will test us on the very same issues and we are back to sharpening our skills again.

    Sometimes being diligent about speaking the truth to a friend and repeatedly stopping the life draining interaction as soon as it starts to rear its ugly head will naturally dissolve the friendship. If it doesn’t perhaps your friend may be willing to grow with you.

    My experience taught me that I had to increase my conscious awareness of each and every moment that I started to feel drained and stop my friend in her tracks. Having two small children that constantly push my boundaries created a self leveling situation for me….I just had no more energy to spare. It’s okay when a five year old tests boundaries because that’s their job but, it is not okay when an adult friend behaves in that manner. In the end it was best for me to cut ties completely and focus my energy on more uplifting things.

    Thank you for this topic Marie as it was so timely. I had just been in communication with this friend for the first time in a couple of years when your message landed in my inbox. I knew that it was speaking to me and my internal voice asking “how strong are your boundaries now Patricia?”

  96. Just some months ago, one of my best friends went into a very sick situation with her ex boyfriend, the guy was pure trash, EVERYBODY told her to get away from him, and she spent 2 years suffering because of that fucker.

    I presented her a friend of mine and they were pretty happy, when she finally decided to get away from her ex, oh, surprise, now he wants, back. She ended up with him again and became really crazy, so I just asked some things of mine she had and blocked every contact with her.

    Even her family was opposed to her getting back with that douchebag, but she started saying that she didn’t cared about anyone, that she only needed him to be happy, so she went full retarded.

    I knew all that shit was going to happen so I took off from her life as soon as she got back with him, was pretty hard for me, but I didn’t wanted to be like the few hypocrites who were congratulating her while thinking on the back “she’s so dumb (I’m censoring the real word, you get the idea)”.

    I really loved her as a friend, it was really hard to take that decision, but I’m not having any crazy people around me. I worked pretty hard to make it so the last 4 years to go back now.

    • Andrea

      Before you judge your friend so harshly, please educate yourself on the dynamics of emotionally and physically abusive relationships. I believe it takes an average of seven attempts before a person is finally able to sever ties with their abuser. I got back together with my ex three times before I finally found the strength to leave him for good, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of loved ones. Your friend needs you now more than ever.

  97. Thanks Marie,

    I love this episode, yet not for the reasons you might think. You see, my partner just broke up with me for no defined reason. What you said about positive people “annoying” the negative people around me, resonated with me that this is most likely the issue. My other friends have said as much, yet the way you articulated this just struck a chord.

    He was doing us both a favor, as now I can focus on being my authentic rock star self, and not get the pull from his different fatalistic approach to life.

    I also loved your script, and your call to accountability.

    =o) You Rock!

    Everyday Rock Star Coach Leslie

  98. Very well responded to, Marie! As a lawyer, I admire a well-chosen phrase. And that was a great one: diplomatic, truthful, helpful and compassionate.

  99. This is a very relevant topic for me right now! While I don’t feel like I have any negative friends in my life, I am starting to notice that I am drifting apart from most of my friends. Our lives have changed over the past five years (my friends have kids and I do not and never plan to) and I find I just don’t have a lot in common with them like I used to.

    I enjoy their company, though. I just feel like I can’t share 90% of my joys and successes because they will find it boring (this may not be true, but its how I feel). Instead I end up listening to baby stories and hearing all about their challenges as parents. Which is fine, but I actually really truly long to be part of a community of women that share my interests and experiences!

    So what do you do when you love a friend, but find that you have nothing at all in common with them anymore? (But you still want to be friends!)

    • It can be hard when focus changes. I have a very good friend from my master’s program who is now the mother of a 5 year old but was not when we met and for the first few years of our friendship. It is impossible for me to truly comprehend how much time, brain, and energy that her son consumes. I think it was impossible for her to imagine before he came along. But, the fact of the matter is that he does and he changed our relationship. When he was young and always at home we worked our visits around his schedule and adapted our time to the fact that sometimes he was going to be part of the visit and sometimes not.

      As a friend, I listen to her trials and tribulations as one who is an outsider, childless, but I offer insights that are from a different perspective than she would get from a mother. She gets the benefit of both points of view and I think it helps her. I, on the other hand, learn more first hand what it is like to raise a child since most of my friends either don’t have children or have children long grown.

      We also talk about things of common interest to us, science, our faiths, and how people learn. She has a different insight about why people do things than I do and I have learned a great deal about how to adjust my behavior and understanding about what is going on with some of the challenges in my life. She has helped me see things from a different angle and that changed my reaction, and thus the outcome of the situation.

      She finds it refreshing to talk to someone about things other than kids. But, of course, since her son is a center piece of her life at the moment, he is always there, with us, even when he’s not. That fact just wove itself into the fabric of our friendship.

      If the primary glue of the friendships was the social time together in places and in ways that kids preclude then it is possible that the friendship will move on or go on hiatus for a while. If there were shared interests besides non kid friendly social activities then I suspect those interest are still there, if a little overwhelmed by the amount of time and energy a kid or more sucks up, and would be a refreshing change of pace.

      In addition, I have learned a lot from my friend’s son, as he has grown. Don’t count the kids out. They could be interesting people in their own right. I love being Aunty Beth. Especially since, lacking siblings, I will never get to be the “real” thing.

      • Thank you for this, Beth. Having friends with kids definitely does give you some different perspectives, for sure. I think it may be more interesting as my friends kids get older since, as you point out, they could be interesting people in their own right.

  100. I’m ashamed to say that I let a negative Nelly tear apart my confidence and my work life. The negatively literally turned my world upside down. In the end it was all for the better but I look back and think to myself, why did I let that happen?

    I took this person out of my life as much as I could. Removed her as a Facebook friend, removed myself from her newsletter list and had to sadly say goodbye to other friends that we had in common. It took a good year for me to get over this, but by creating my own positivity bubble I was able to get back to my happy confident self!

  101. Taiha

    Such a great topic. I have been struggeling with this issue for the past two years with my highschool girlfriends. I figured it was just the age I must be at (twenty five) and blamed it on that.

    After watching Maries interview with Steven Pressfield and now after todays q and a, I have gained instant clarity on the real reasons I am no longer attracted to these relationships.

    I have always been incredibly ambisous and positive and have always tried to make these friends see the ‘bright side’ and encouraging them to live out their fullest potential.

    However once I finally stepped away from advicing them constantly, and actually started working more seriously in the direction that I needed to go in (writing a book) they began lecturing me that I was no longer being a good friend. One friend who I had been friends with since I was eight, now hasn’t spoken to me in a year and would even blatently ignore me if we ran into one another at social events.

    Needless to say I have learned that enthusiasm and drive are ultra threatening. Most people in our lives liked us the way we were. Not the way we would like to be.

    It was hard to let them go, but after listening to Marie’s great advice I have become at peace with it all. By ‘clearing out closet’ I have made more room for myself, and more space for new and positive friendships to come into my life.

    Thank you Marie. And thank you to all of you have already commented on this. It is so comforting to know that so many other women have gone through this and come out better because of it!

  102. I’ve had to remove some friends & even family from my life. One of my longest friendships actually just ended not long ago. For years, I’ve been trying to communicate and keep the friendship going, and one day I just realized: “We’re not the same people we were at 18, and it’s okay. We just don’t have anything in common any more.” I wish her & her husband the best, but I’m not longer willing to be there and available only when she has drama she needs to deal with. The friendship door has to swing both ways in order for it to be sustainable (for me, at least). I find that, often, if someone’s being persistently negative and whiny, yet refuses to deal with their situation, if I just make myself less & less available, they either remove themselves from my life or they have a period where alot of people suddenly get busy and they realize they were giving in to complaining.

    Family is always more difficult, and rightly so. But I’m a firm believer that, no matter who it is, you can’t let anyone in your life completely drain you.
    And as Marie said, if you’re allowing it, you’re encouraging it, and that’s your part in the situation.

  103. Excellent topic – one I’ve struggled with and came to same conclusion of recommending therapy and adios with love.

    If I can help, great. If I am your mental toilet… not great.

    Most important to me is keeping my best self in tact: “please secure your oxygen mask first then assist those around you.” If I feel my oxygen mask is being grabbed at, I know what I need to do.

    Compares to participating in any physical bad habit with a friend (like going out drinking every night) but in this case it’s mental, in both cases, damaging.

    I’ve learned to accept that defining what I need for my well-being and rules-of-engagement are critical and I no longer feel like I’m abandoning someone if I point them in a direction of help.

  104. Guilt and fear can take over when you have realised that certain people in your life need to be set free. You can feel mean cutting the strings but if the person has been in your life for years you will also feel a spence of loss.
    I recently broke up with my boyfriend and was so sad about it until I realised that all my old girlfriends were coming back into my life. I had not realised that by being in the what I now know was , a negative relationship with him had some how pushed all my friends away. I now have renewed energy and so much love coming to me from my friends that I give it out again , not only to my friends and my children but also to my business.
    Go girls!!! Listen to your positive friends!

  105. What a super juicy topic Marie!

    I really believe we all play a part in how we’re communicated with. I have a lovely friend who I’ve known since I was 12 and if I’m ever venting about something, she listens, provides support and then closes the conversation on a positive note so we can move on to something else.

    I know I can talk to her about anything – good or bad. I just know I can’t dwell on the negative and spend the whole time whinging – she’s very good at shutting those conversations down (in a nice way!).

    It’s a wonderful skill of hers that I try to emulate – otherwise it’s too easy to get drawn into someone else’s drama and who has time for that?!

    Emma x

  106. Ashley

    Yes. I have had to break up with a negative friend. I just told her that I could no longer continue the relationship because she was emotionally draining. Then I no longer took her phone calls. It was the best decision for me, because all the weight lifted from the relationship immediately and I was free from a very angry person. It is never easy to tell someone something that is going to hurt their feelings, but at times it is the only option. Speak from the heart, that is never wrong.

  107. Years ago I had a friend that consistently was negative, everything sucked, her house, her car, her parents, her life, etc. I felt bad for her initially and was the sounding board for everything. It took me some time to figure out what the MO was and when I noticed it and pondered for some time on what to do about it. Can a relationship be based on guilt and feeling sorry for someone? Hey, I feel like Carrie Bradshaw just now! ha ha ha.

    What did I do?

    I braced myself and the next time she wanted to meet for a drink, which was code for she had a problem, I said yes. I listened to her newest issue and then said “Have you ever noticed that almost every time we get together that it is about something negative? Thought I want to help it is really draining on me and I wish you well but I don’t think I can be that person for you anymore”. She was shocked and upset but that was her deal, how I felt? After saying it out loud, I felt great. I didn’t realize how much of a burden on me she had become. I don’t want to hang with the neggies! 🙂

    I think about that friend occasionally and hope she is doing well and has a better outlook on life. I know that you are what you eat and what you believe.

    Thanks again Marie!

  108. Cathy

    Holy Wow,
    I did dig this video 😉 It is the first day I have come to your site. I am a Gabby Bernstein, Kris Carr fan so naturally I found you too!

    My friend complains to me for hours and hours and hours about her husband. She has recently decided to leave her husband and move back to LA from NY. Well the negative tape about him has not stopped….I spent my entire 5 mile beach walk the other day with her yapping in my ear…and I was SHOCKED when she said she wondered if he was going to acknowledge Valentines Day . WHAT? Right then in a flash of ah ha lightning I realized she likes to hear herself talk and that I was allowing her to muck up my very very valuable time at my beloved beach. Thank you for your blog. I didn’t really know how to handle her but now I do….with everyone in my life!!! Yay!!!
    Hugs
    Cathy

  109. Tana

    Hey, Marie, Thanks for the talk. I just had that kinda of conversation with an old friend. It was a great experience for me. I faced my worst fear. I have a “savior” complex. I was trying to save our friendship for a long time. But it was not healthy for me. My new things is,” if it is not a give and take relationship dont invest time or energy in the friendship. ” ME. lol

  110. AH, I just love this one (and you are so freakin’ cute Marie! I love the rainbows) and yes it’s true positive people get on negative people’s nerves! I am very particular about who I hang out because I am an energy soaker-upper and I just want to soak up all the goodies out there. But, here’s a little problem I have, and gonna put in parenthesis so nobody will see it (what do you do when the person you spend the most time with, like for example, your very own husband, sees the glass half empty??)

  111. Marie! Your hair looks amazing in this video… even more than usual! 😀

    Awesome advice, you’re right on the money. I haven’t had to do this with friendships of over 20 years, but I have let go of people in my life that enjoy drama, negativity and chaos. In my own experience, I found these kinds of friendships tend to fall by the wayside naturally because I don’t put my energy there, they sense it, and I shift all of me to what I WANT to create, and surround myself by.

    Peace & Veggies!

  112. Taryn

    You rock girl! I am soooo thankful to have discovered you, your site, your vids….you are one of the peeps I am grateful for and I have never met you!

    I have to say that what I am taking away from this Q&A is that I, who have been a lifelong positive person…have fallen into a bit of a negative slump – particularly around work!
    I used to “always look on the bright side of life” (and yes, I have recently watched The Life of Brian) but recently, i.e. the past year of my 38, I have gotten caught up in the negative-Nelly talk at my work place.and joined the ranks of the peeps that are NEVER happy about ANYTHING!!! It’s a downer and a drainer…I don’t want my energy to be used to fuel negativity, so THANK YOU Marie and team…this little wake up call reminds me to be true to my positive self and avoid the Debbie-downers! xo

  113. Lisa Gillespie

    Waaayyyy back in college I had a friend who tended to monopolize conversations. After she’d catch me up on her life, I’d start to tell her what was going on in mine but she’d continually turn the conversation back to her. After we moved to other parts of the country post college, our conversations were following this same pattern so, after some long and hard thought, I wrote her a letter (um, yeah, this was back before email).

    In the letter I told her that, while we had been close for a few years, it was clear that we had different needs when it came to friendship. She needed someone who could exclusively listen to her, while I needed to have more of an listening/speaking exchange, and that it was fine that she was how she was, but that it really wasn’t what I wanted in a friendship. I was very kind, but I let her go (and yes – I had to be willing to authentically do this, as I had no idea how she’d react).

    Interestingly, she called me immediately upon receiving my letter, totally apologetic and embarrassed – she had NO idea how one-sided I had perceived our friendship to be. Our bond actually strengthened after that, and while we only sporadically keep in touch these days, I feel comfortable with where we are. I’m also thankful that, through this situation with someone who was important to me, I was able to discover the power of (kindly) speaking my truth – a really profound lesson for me at that time of my life. Still is.

  114. Hi Marie,

    Very timely episode at the start of the year.
    I loved this for 2 (thousand) reasons:

    1) Thinking about my 5 people
    2) Thinking about ME being in someone else’s 5

    Woop! That Jim Rohn Quote is amazing because for:

    1) It means that if one of my dear friends is draining I don’t essentially need to cut them off to lead a more positive life but to turn up the volume on my fabulous five and ensure they are looked after and loved but not in the five.

    2) I should raise the vibration of my five! Make a nice big giant mirror to my five. Maybe ensure that I’m getting enough of my five and that my five are a good five, a five that make me and them better. Got to raise my game so my five are a high five.

    Gosh – as I write this it’s revelatory and revolutionary.

    This weekend I hung out with a couple and their daughter, who are positive, funny and cool Saturday afternoon.
    Sunday we had two friends over – one who is high up in her company and decorated but also FAB and ACE and positive and sweet and our fab no-nonsense friend. We drank, we ate, we shared, we laughed at each other and together and we got a fake fireplace up on the TV to give a warm feeling and played and talked.

    I started Monday feeling invincible, hit some deadlines, got some clarity and my husband seemed to love me more and I felt more connected to him…now I get it…

    This stuff works like alchemy.

    SO I don’t need to bin anyone, just turn down the volume to the invites that include folk and their behaviours that leave me feeling meh.
    And turn up the volume and create the space for my five to be fully alive.
    And to be fully alive for my five.

    Thanks Marie.

    Totally revolutionary.

    I am the average of the five people with whom I spend the most time.
    I am also part of 5 other people’s average.

  115. Suzie

    I had 2 significant relationships I had to end. One was with an abusive boyfriend (literally life or death); the other a female boss. She did help me and supported me during the break-up with my boyfriend but became resentful as I become more of my own person. My best friend “dumped” me after I broke up with my boyfriend. A huge part of all of this was I had decided to get clean/sober. They preferred it when I was weak, dependent and messed up. When I started getting better boy were there problems. It took me a couple of years and support from other in recovery to learn that it was best for me (and them) that we had parted ways. You are so right, you can not change a person. They will think, feel, act or believe what they choose. My ex did not believe that I loved him and I got tired and frustrated of trying to “convince” him.

  116. what if it’s someone in your family? Like you mom?

    • Amelia

      I had the same question. See my comment below. Curious how to handle that!

  117. Jamie

    I have this issue with an old “best friend” we drifted when she got in an unhealthy relationship and was getting dumped by the same guy at least once a month, but would never move on. At first I felt genuine sadness for her- b/c breakups are hard. But I saw she had no self respect as she leeched on to someone trying to move on from her. Like the person asking the question in the video- it’s completely frustrating to try and help someone talk through issues and then just keep repeating the same problems.
    I wasn’t ready to “break up” with my friend, but I did make this commitment: I was going to be HONEST in my interactions with her. This meant no fake sympathy for her fake breakups. No indulging in the gossip she spreads about mutual friends. No pretending things hadn’t changed between us. I stay in the present moment with her and react with honesty.
    This has made our visits with each other shorter, and our time spent together less. I feel better b/c I don’t feel like I’m letting her use me, AND I will always care about her and realized I don’t have to cut her out of my life completely.

  118. Amelia

    Quick question for the group: how much does the lesson in this video apply to immediate family members? This has been a significant emotional struggle over the past 10 years. I always knew I was really different from my family and I put in the work even though they did not know how to return a relationship. I figured if I told them “I love you” enough, they’d learn how to return love. Over time, things became more challenging. Some of them have a depressive nature, one is very cynical, and most are seemingly incapable of mature, healthy relationships. This was sad to me, but they are “good people” and I kept up the relationships, primarily out of obligation. The poo finally hit the fan when I was diagnosed with a really scary cancer (the stats tell me it is 90% likely to come back and cause my death within 10 years; I’m two years in, I don’t believe the stats, and I follow Kris Carr’s amazing advice). My family was pretty gosh darned absent during this personal crisis. I am sad to report that three of my siblings didn’t even pick up the phone even once. Not after diagnosis, not after the surgery, and not during the 6 weeks of daily radiation, or 12 weeks of daily oxygen treatment to repair the tissue. They are not bad people but they do not know how to have a relationship. It was very sad to realize that not only are my family members “different” from me, but also that they seem incapable of being very supportive when it is most needed. Suddenly, I got mad. Very mad. And I shared some of my feelings, which have not been well-received. I kept wondering quietly, “Why invest my energy in relationships that are depressing on a good day and non-existent when I actually need them?” Since then, I’ve cut out all unnecessary contact and I’ve been the happiest I’ve ever been. It turns out, I like feeling like an individual, not tied to a [depressive] clan I don’t really respect. I am interested in repairing the family relationships in the future, I guess, but I’m scared because I don’t want to rock my happy boat.

    If anyone has any advice on one’s obligation to maintain family relationships and how to manage toxic family relationships, I’d love to hear it. I realize my happiness is my primary job, and I’m getting pretty good at that, but I’m not sure if I should feel guilty that it took severing relationships to accomplish that!

    • Amelia,
      Chills and tears reading your comment… ;(
      You are one amazing brave soul and don’t ever change that. I wish all wonderful things in your life ~ full health and happiness on top of the list 😉

      My family sucks too – really, so I do feel for you! I had a health crisis about 5 years ago and no one understood me. No one cared. No one called to say “How are you, really”? My one little sister was away in another country for 2 years for school – and she’s one of those who I knew would have been there for me, but she wasn’t here to really talk heart to heart. (skype is not the same)

      I remember one time, I was due for a plasmapheresis (blood cleaning) and it was scheduled for 5 days and I couldn’t drive back by myself as it weakens you quite a bit. I asked my older sister if she could drive with me… She actually refused and just said… “no… I hate driving downtown”…. I cried for days because of her…

      I also changed my diet to vegan and gluten free to help my health and I would get invited to family dinners where there was Nothing I could eat.

      It’s hard… but it you need to pull through… for your own healthy sake.
      I didn’t fight with them but just realized that a little space was better for me. I also learned that that is one place where I won’t get support and it’s not worth it to keep these expectations. It only hurts you in the end… Years later, things are better and I also became more confident in my diet choices and just bring something that I can eat.
      There’s been a lot of growing up no my part….

      What helps is also to have a therapist – with so many emotional struggles that could come your way from family/life plus health problems, it’s hard to do it all alone…
      I had a therapist and it really helped to pull through.
      (If you happen to be in Ontario Canada, therapy is free.)

      Sending best wishes to you dear Amelia!
      Big Hugs!
      ~ Ella

    • Everyday practise forgiveness

      …even when you think or feel there is nothing more to forgive. Forgiveness will let go of the cancer as well.

      Write out your forgiveness in a journal or on paper somehow. Bless it and carry on with your day.

      Don’t poke a hole in your own boat. Sometimes our families are only a gift to teach us how not to be.

      Perhaps reading “when the body says no” by Gabor Mate will be helpful. There are many stories and interviews with people experiencing your situation.

      In the last chapters he talks about practical things…for people who feel guilty when they say no (you thinking you should from the sound of your last paragraph).
      According to Gabor Mate’s research if you feel guilty then you’ve done the right thing.

      Feeling guilty or feeling that you should feel guilty may be the road sign for you that you actually are moving in the healthy direction.

  119. If you are a parent who has unhealthy relationships , you are teaching your children to be the same. Be assertive and positive and move away from negative relationships and be a great and strong role model for your children.

  120. Be true to yourself. If you love a friend but they drive you nuts, it is important to tell your friend the truth.

  121. Last year was the year for me to say good bye to many negative friends. Of course I accept responsibility for my part in it as well. I chose those friendships knowing they were not a good fit. I didn’t walk away when my moral compass was telling me these were not good friends.

    At first it was hard to say good bye, but it didn’t take long before I felt so much better. I made new friends who were positive, uplifting, but also who understood we have our bad days…and thats ok too. Bad days are different than bad living. I am so happy to be surrounded by friends who are happy, positive, and a great influence. I know I am those things to them too and therefore we are a great match …at least for now. 🙂

  122. Marie! Thanks for such a great post. I stumbled upon your site and LOVE your energy and what you represent. 🙂 I recall being in this exact situation when I was in just entering high school. That was the time when I was going through a personal transformation of sorts and knew in my heart I could not “hang” with this girl no more. These lessons are great when they happen early in our lives (if we are conscious of them!), because we know they will happen again. The 2nd and 3d break up are always easier! Much love & light, Mo

  123. This was a very important episode for me. I grew up in a small town, with small town friends, with small town minds. I moved, got an education, and now have my own private massage practice. Yet my small town friends with their small town behaviors (bored so they create a lot of drama) haven’t changed. It’s been really hard for me to just walk away from these friendships, particularly my best friend. She’s caught in this cycle of selfish poor decisions that hurt people and her family, yet cries “victim” and ignorance. And she surrounds herself with people that feed into this, even cover for her. It drives me crazy, because on one hand I love her, and I know she needs more positive, functional, people in her life, but on the other hand, I want to ball that other hand into a fist and punch her in the face.

    We’ve been through so much together, more than a lot of other friendships have been through, and as much as I can’t stand her at times, she understands me in a way that no one else does. So there is this security in our friendship, and while I’m out here in the world trying to keep my business alive, there have been times where I have felt completely insecure and have ran back to that security, that comfort- which is my unhealthy pattern.

    It’s also hard because we share some of the same small town friends and those friends are so jaded by what she does, they act as if it normal, and don’t see the destruction it causes. Thankfully, I am finding new communities of healthy, successful people to belong to, and my hope is that will continue to grow and fill that need for connection that I struggle with letting go of with my old friends. It’s hard, and no matter what I say, I’m just arrogant and self righteous.

    It’s nice to know other people have struggled with this issue. It’s not easy, especially when then are childhood friends, it’s like ripping a limb off.

    Thank you so much for sharing her story Marie, and giving some good advice on the matter. I really appreciate you.

  124. suseeye

    Hi,

    It is a hot topic and I just wanted to add another insight to it.

    Victoria, I don’t think it is ever time to cut with a life time friend, I know that it is very hard to listen to the same winning and moaning again and again over and over all the time, and what probably frustrates you is that she isn’t going for the advice you are providing.
    In my humble opinion, I think what she might be seeking is some kind of love and connection from you. This woman loves you and holds you so dear to her heart that she is comming after connecting with you even if in a negative way. Maybe if you look at it again you’d find that this is the time you show your empathy, care and love and your all, you are such a caring person that you probably connect on a sole level and give her your presence and full love and concern. If I were you I’d try giving her the connection and love she craves with me through another way. Go out together, shop or walk, ask her about her dreams and fatasies rather than giving her the lead in choosing the topic to connect to you with. Send your warm vibrations to her heart through positive highlighting topics of your choice and most likely she’d tune in.
    Sorry to say this, but I do believe in change, and the best time to change a person is not when they’re in their diapers, its truely when you tap into filling their needs and send your loving healing vibrations to their hearts.
    If this is a burden and you just cant go through it, then just shut down for a while until you are strong and capable, but I dont feel it’s ever time to shut the door completely on a LIFE TIME friend, especially when it’s from someone loving and caring as you seem to be.

    With all the love.

  125. Nichole

    Hi Marie! Great video 🙂 i have a question not a comment..my question for you is: do these same rules apply if it is a close family member that would be impossible to cut ties with.. ?Say like… Your mom.? I feel like using that script everyday but its my own mom! Yikes not sure how to deal with that one. It is so draining though..
    Thoughts?
    Thanks in advance!

  126. Cathy

    Nichole and other Family Breaker Upper Wanna Bees,

    My personal opinion is that ANY person in your life should be held up to the standards/morals/behaviors that you wish to have them show up with. Sounds great right? Well it took me until my 40’s to grasp that first line and i WISH i had learned it sooner. I was one of those people who thought that because you were “blood” related I had to give you had some kind of “pass” for crap treatment. My mother has never been a mother and i went to live with my father in the 9th grade. I wrestled with the guilt of not wanting her in my life so i kept her toxicity in my life on and off for YEARS and this choice of mine caused me alot of heartache when i wish i could have just said goodbye. Several years ago she again weasled her way back in and literally in one week i was covered with her mess again. It was then that i decided that this was MY issue in needing to let her in my life and not being mature enought to say “no more” . If she were “only” a friend i would have been rid of her in my 20’s, never to look back. So i decided i no longer had a space for her in my life but i REALLY made peace with it this time. I thank her for making me one tough broad (through her lackluster mothering) and the amazing universe has given me 3 lovely children and the gift of being able to change trajectory and stop moaning over not having had a mother and BE a good mother (which I can glowingly say I am!!!!). I see SO many of my friends struggle with thinking they “have to” have mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers behaving badly in their lives. Now i say why? Life is WAY too short and here is the big AH HA…..their toxicity spills over onto you and into your life (yuck!!!)…..so there is an added incentive to kindly (as Marie would say) bless them, thank them….and MOVE ON.

    Living a great life….toxic mother free….

    Cathy

    • Nichole

      Thank you Cathy. My Mom isnt a terrible person by any means (not that anyone is) But She has had some negative things happen in her life and just doesnt get that she attracts a lot of it. She was a good mom when we were young but since being divorced and going through depression etc, she is constantly putting her shit on us.. (her kids) We cant even see our dad with out all hell breaking loose. And constant complaints. I wouldnt say my life is a mess because of her but it is definitely not as good as it could be. My therapist and life coach just keep giving me tools for better boundaries with her but it feels like Im training a dog to behave better. I just get sick and tired of it sometimes…I wish I could just hang out with her rather than end up either arguing or completely drained.
      Thanks for the feedback and sorry I wasnt more clear regarding my moms behavior.
      If you still feel that cutting ties is best let me know. I do get the guilt feeling a lot and want to leave that behind me too.
      Again many thanks!

  127. Cathy

    First, no one can tell you what to do. You have to decide for yourself. I have “helped” persuade friends make decisions they were not ready for and that has a poor outcome.
    You make a good point. They are NOT terrible. They are only operating to the best of their ability at their level of consciousness and for ME that is not “good enough” !!!! For a time it served its purpose but part of the lesson, I believe, is knowing when its time to part (something I used to be abysmal at). Elizabeth Lesser says people are put in your life for a reason but we often really struggle with “break ups” and just letting people go but we need to thank the person and realize our contracted purpose is over….fighting that creates enormous pain (i know). I just walked away quietly this time (there were times we parted very tumultuously and that never serves anyone well). I have her emails to me rerouted to someone that can retrieve them (including a 40 page manifesto she sent me a year ago that i thankfully never read but my friend did….and my friends comment was “you have made a wise choice, stay away from her”). If you will notice I did show gratitude for who it is my mother was in my life. That was key to my making peace. I have absolutely no doubt she has had a hand in creating a woman who is who she is today (me), even if that creation was a result of her NOT being there in ways a mother should. I am successful, independent and honestly can tackle almost anything. My lifecoach had me really dig deep to come up with things to THANK my mother for (not to her face, but through the universe). I was so unable to thank her that we initially thanked her for her egg and womb (how funny is that?)….which created ME!
    I will tell you that once I stopped being a willing subject to poor behavior directed my way, my life has SOARED. In the last 4 years I left my husband of 17 years, thereafter the rebound boyfriend of 2 1/2 years and made peace by walking away from the mother that i should have blessed and sent her way 20 years ago. If you cannot be in a relationship with ANYONE (friend, family, coworkder) peacefully and lovingly it needs to go. Period.

    Hugs

  128. Marie,
    Thanks. I always love your videos! I’m no Pollyanna all the time, but for the most part I believe in focusing on the good things in life and those with drama and mean spirits drain me. I call mine negative karma blocker and try to not spend a lot of time with those who don’t enjoy positive energy. While this is easy with new people you meet, it’s hard with old friends.
    My struggle right now as a busy mom growing a business is finding the right people to surround yourself with in real life. I have a lot of acquaintances, but find close friends who share your vision isn’t always easy. It’s something I’m working on, trying to nurture the meaningful relationships in my life. Thanks.

  129. Krista

    Hi Marie! I have a burning question about this particular episode! And it just happened to come at a perfect time. What if the people who are bringing you down and grasping at you as you try to raise above your old crappy thought and behaviour patterns are your FAMILY??? I can’t emphasize enough how much this is a struggle for me. They are exhausting! Just the thought of them and their negative ways lowers my energy levels and creates anxiety… HELP!

  130. Hi Marie,
    This is of topic, but I have to ask or put the wish out there to you 🙂

    I love your videos, and the work you do for the world by putting them out there – I’m very grateful for Marie TV. However there is only one tiny thing that I’m missing – and that is a search option/bar on your website.

    You see, I can’t find specific posts and videos on your website, that I want to send to my friends for specific post and videos you have. Looking through all those fab posts hunting down the videos takes some time. And when you have friends in distress that really could use some of that encouraging Marie magic, it would be so helpful just being able to search on your website for them.

    Thanks again for your work and much love,
    Veronica

  131. libby sinclair

    amen to all that you said. I find myself in the uncomfortable situation of needing to terminate a not so long term “friendship” – nip it in the bud, knowing that I only have myself to blame. When this woman offered me her friendship I was reluctant to accept for many reasons – but then this little voice spoke to me and said ” why be so harsh? why be so ever critical? why don’t you just step outside of your comfort zone for once and test the waters??? So I did and now I have this clinging, cloying personality in my life that I just want to extradite post haste. Moral of this story is that it took me about 55 years to FIND my comfort zone – why on earth would I want to step outside of it. Always listen to your gut, it’s there for a reason.

  132. Hi Marie! Great video! I hope you’re enjoying your CA weather, New England has been crazy the last week.

    Anyways, it’s funny because my best friend and I have “broken up” many times over the last few years. Usually one of us is in a moment of growth and the other just isn’t on the same page. But I’m happy to say that after a little time we both end up back together, supporting and loving one another – usually even better than before. It’s like we just need a little space to grow once in awhile.

    After 15 years of this back and forth I’ve come to realize she’ll always be in my life (even if we don’t see eye to eye, or we’re not on the same page) and I’m actually very grateful for this. She’s an incredible friend that I know always has my back.

    Thanks for touching on such an important topic!

    xo,
    Erin

  133. Nichole

    Thanks Cathy! I think i will try communicating this to her and if no improvements in the relationship are made iwill have to make the tough choice. Thanks again. Very proud of you!

  134. Timely, as often, Marie. It’s almost uncanny.

    I have a new friend… and friend is really not even a good word for it. This person is extremely self-serving. She has hurt others of my true friends, and yet has “been there” for me recently as I have been very ill with pneumonia. It just occurs to me that she’s “there” for me recently because she thinks it makes her look good. I found out today she yelled at one of the sweetest ladies I know because she offered to help her. The sweet lady called me to ask how I work with this toxic person. I said, ” I don’t, as much as possible. She was just able to step in while I was sick (in a volunteer position, no less – why yell at someone with nothing more than your pride at stake… ahem… exactly).” I think I need to set some boundaries with this gal as soon as I can get out and about again.

    Interestingly enough, she wanted to be the “hero” and bring me some chicken soup… nice thought, but perhaps because of the source… that stuff is the most vile crap I’ve ever tasted.

  135. Very

    Hi Marie! Long time viewer/first time responder. Yes. I’ve had to end two friendships. The first one was actually easy. See, we worked together; and in working together we realized we has other – though small – commonalities. Such as wanting to end the romantic relationships we were in. We basically counselled each other for months; what to day, how to say it. Then in hindsight – it was more like me constantly giving advice. Although not all that bad as she helped me put into perspective my own life and what I wanted out of it. More importantly: what I wanted from all aspects of relationships. I didn’t want to be the constant crutch that someone uses when they keep breaking their own legs. I have more qualities in me than being supportive. It seemed to me that my friend was taking advantage of that and I in the end never got any support in return.
    When I finally ended my romantic relationship, I told her and she became very upset with me. I didn’t speak to her for two days (it was during a weekend) and then we connected and it was the same thing all over again. I finally told her – and I’m paraphrasing – ‘You know what? I’ve been very supportive to you, and I know that change if very difficult. But you need to come to terms with that. You’re unhappy and I know that feeling, however, only you can make yourself happy. If you keep walking down this destructive path, I don’t think I can walk beside you. When you have what you want out of life figured out, and you’re content with it I hope we will be able to connect again.’ Needless to say – I never heard from her again.

    With my other dissolved friendship – I can’t say that I’ve been very forthcoming with ending it. I actually feel very bad about it. It’s the same scenario: person unhappy with the life choices they made but don’t want to make the best of it or change it. (Eventually I caught on to my pattern) See, she is a married woman with two children who couldn’t manage household finances. So she would ask me for money. Now I must be clear – she would pay me back always. But it was getting to the point where she would be asking me bi-weekly. I feel that she saw me with a disposable income as I had no dependents but at the time, it was a challenge for me to make ends meet. So if I help her, she’ll help me. Not so much. I decided to get out of the financial rut and go back to school. In doing so, I’d ask for her support. More like an ear to bend – I didn’t want to push my luck. So, I vented about the exams, assignments and group work I had to do and she sad to me – paraphrasing of course – ‘Well your the idiot who decided to go back to school at your age.’ Marie… I was gobbsmacked! It was at that exact point I realized that she didn’t support me at all. And I haven’t talked to her since.

  136. Emily

    I’m so worried that this is me. I keep getting myself into trouble (usually without meaning to off the bat) where things escalate to ridiculous levels. Like, court cases and scorched earth scenarios. I don’t *want* to be the person that’s in trouble and complaining all the time… but it really seems sometimes like as soon as I get up, something knocks me back down.
    I’m working to limit my damage radius (see last week’s vid, also relevant) when shit goes down and to not just bitch bitch bitch all the time (and celebrate my victories, and support other people, and all that stuff…) but I’m still worried that I’m driving people away.

    At the same time, I do have a couple friends that do nothing but bitch, and I find it’s draining to be around them. So I get it. I just don’t want to be a person who it’s not pleasant to be around.

  137. Tiu

    Dear Marie,

    I´m very thankful that i found you five years ago….and the wonderful community that you mangaed to create.
    I love todays topic and i felt like i can say something usefull about it based on experience. I think we all need friends who listen to us because therapy is really expensive :). But the type of friends we attract depends highly on ourselves. I have four really best and lifelong girlfriends who do not know eachother. So when i have issues to discuss with some one, i decide to which friend i should go based on the personality of that friend ( but i do it just intutively). So when i have some drama with some one i go to “G” who is always ready to get angry for me and feed my negative energy. By the way this friend has also a lot of drama in her life. When i want to discuss about my deceased mother, i go to “S” who is so talented in listening and understanding. And then when i feel bad about my life like when i think of all my imperfections i go to friend “R” who is just so positive, confident and happily imperfect. Then there is this friend “E” whom i talk to about spirituality and stuffs like that.
    So my point is that the woman who asked this question should observe her reaction when her negative friend comes up with another negative story. She should try to stay indifferent and see what happens. I think her friend will stop coming to her in such situations because she will be disappointed when she does not find the negative energy that she yearned for. I think that this way the friend will begin to look for other people who feed her energy.
    I love love my girlfriends and could not imagine life without them:-they are my therapists, helpers, funs, and inspirations.

  138. vasandra

    I have never ever broken up with a friend. In fact I’m always around when they’re in trouble, to help them out and be the person they need me to be to get them up and running and always kind of happy from a distance when they miraculously disappear when things are fine. I’ve never understood why friends break up especially when I’m not the negative one. And I feel horrible when friends disappear or break up wimme. I never share my problems because I feel I have a strong support system in my husband, my brother and family as such, and as such I’m a super confident and highly optimistic person. So it feels abysmal when a friend drifts away!!!

  139. So in high school a few friendly used to make fun of me for having (what they consider to be) an “overly positive outlook.” They would jokingly sing “Sunshine, Lollipops, & Rainbows” whenever they felt I was acting this way. So my reaction was to move in the opposite direction and that’s what I’ve been doing to this day- 14 years later. This video helped me realize that this positive energy is a force field, not a downfall. Whoa baby, that changes a lot!!

    Thank you Marie!

  140. Justine

    This is an awesome subject – thank you Marie! I’m struggling right now with some friends who let me down a lot (cancel on me at the last minute – even on my birthday celebrations) it infuriates me!! I guess in a way i’ve outgrown them because we don’t see loads of each other anymore but i tend to to work from home – solo (in a creative profession) so i don’t meet new peeps all that often – any ideas how to get better friends in my life? attract better people? Have a great day all 🙂

  141. Ashleigh Leighton

    This was great but what about when the person is someone you can’t really break up with… like a family member. Or even more difficult… your mom :/ Seriously feel like the negativity is blocking my blessings but you can’t say that to moms

  142. Judith Randolph

    Marie,
    Thanks. that was a really great subject and timely. Need more cleaning out of the old friends closet.

  143. I think we all have been in this situation where we are in a state of ambivalence not knowing for sure what’s the best thing to do, keep going or break up? One of the books I would recommend is “Too good to stay, too bad to leave” by Mira Kirshenbaum. She gives a checklist with 36 questions that really make you analyze whether a relationship is adding value or drawing you down. I have learned the hard way that unless someone is willing to change, there’s nothing you can do or say that will make this person change. Relationships make us or break us and we should only keep those that add value to our lives.

  144. Clearly this resonates a LOT with so many of us so THANK YOU.

    I rarely comment, but this one was too good Miss Marie + Team.

    We have all been there – but WOW – I thought being a shoulder to cry on made me a good person and a good friend – until 3:25. I always felt a tinge of guilt about letting certain friends fall away. I used to try so hard to be there for others, especially friends who were going through rough times – I know what it feels like to go through rough stuff and feel alone while it is happening. Fortunately I get BORED with bouts of sadness/lonliness/depression – faster and faster as this life whizzes past…I am getting better and better and “changing the tape” as Tony Robbins puts it. But that means I have less tolerance for people who seem unable to pull themselves up and out of it.

    I have noticed though, at the same time I might be seeming to “cut people out” I am filling my life with inspired projects that bring me to tears of joy – projects that need my full and positive energy – projects that have the power to effect and inspire MILLIONS (yup I said it!).

    If I had Debbie Downer on speed-dial, I would not have the energy to be creative in such a big, powerful, positive and infectious way.

    So thank you!

    No more guilt over here, even if I am both Catholic and Jewish!!!!

  145. Just cut the cord. Maybe that’s how a guy would approach it, maybe it’s better to talk and formally end it, but I would just move on.

    I was unlucky growing up by not being surrounded by people who cared about me beyond my family. So I never really knew or understood real friendship until I was in my 20’s. I had a few “friends” if that’s what you would call them as a boy but now as a 30 year old, I’ve learned to just “un-friend” people who are not a good fit for my life. Besides, my life is so radically different now with how I work and where I live it’s something I just need to do and it’s one of the benefits of my lifestyle.

    Relationships when approached from a position of scarcity will have your standards of what you’re willing to accept drop. It’s only by being in a position of strength and having choice in your life that you can be confident enough to choose who is actually apart of your life. So really, improve yourself and hang out with better people.

    It’s not hard really, if someone can’t treat you the way you need to be treated, what good are they?

  146. Carmen

    Oh, thank you, Marie! This episode really scratched an itch for me.

    I have a friend who is an entrepreneur like me and we have both been building our businesses for a few years. We used to be so in sych with our values but the path she has chosen with her marketing leaves me feeling slimed every time I open her newsletter.

    I have been supportive and attended her seminars and workshops and at the end had to sit through several of her sales pitches that felt really manipulative.

    I unsubscribed from her list and felt sort of bad but I was caught off guard when she actually called me and told me how disappointed she was that I was not being supportive anymore. I used my sweet NVC skills (tip of the hat to Caroline and Carol!) but I was still feeling bugged that she would try to guilt trip me.

    I have spent several months wrestling with myself asking, “Why does her marketing style bug me so much? Why can’t I just bless and release?” I recently had some energetic bodywork done to help me do just that and at the end of the session it occurred to me – I need to DECLARE WHAT I STAND FOR. I don’t need to get into it with her, but I do need to “do my work” by letting the Universe know that I stand for integrity, quality, compassion, and no-bullshit in my marketing. The truth is, she is my teacher and a messenger. I’ve finally heard what my relationship with her was telling me about my relationship to my marketing.

    Today’s episode is a little piece of synchronicity to affirm my Truth. Thanks again!

    (And, may I just say…I was a bit self-conscious in confessing to my clients in a recent newsletter that I frequently listen to the lovely late Mr.Rohn, and have for years. I know he’s a motivational speaker form the ’80s, but damn he’s a fine storyteller. And here I find out that YOU LOVE HIM, TOO! Could I crush on you any harder, Marie? I don’t know…you tell me!)

  147. Maria

    Thank you for addressing a touchy topic!

    I had to break up with a friend because being around him brought me down and really started to affect my self-image negatively. For example, if I looked nice in a photograph he’d say: “Nice pic- though, doesn’t look like you at all.” And that was just one of the many examples. He’d expect me to get job interviews for him, places to stay and help him out moving his things and never show any gratitude for any of it. All I’d get in return was more negativity, pessimistic attitude and destructive criticism.
    After a while it really started getting to me. I started dreading his phone calls and not wanting to spend any time with him. I realized that we had such different values as to how to approach many things in life. I wanted to keep myself open to possibilities and work on what wasn’t working in my life- While his response to many positive things was: “That just doesn’t happen to people like us.” He created this negative ‘we’ mentality in his mind and he dragged me into it even when I didn’t agree with what he was saying. So I ended the friendship and he didn’t take it too well. He tried to manipulate me, emotionally blackmail me and guilt me into continuing the friendship but for once I stood firm.

    However, he still keeps calling me although this was almost 2 years ago. I simply don’t take his calls. Sometimes he tries from a different number but when I realize it’s him I just hang up. The fact that he doesn’t respect my decision to end the friendship for my part and my power to choose the people in my life speaks volumes about the character he has and just adds another reason to the list of why I ended the friendship!

  148. Wow these are some words to really think about. Harsh reality of the fact that we are the some of the 5 people we hang out with. I have got to get rid of some family members. How do you suggest that one?
    I have found that some relationships end naturally and that there is no need for any conversation around it. I feel women are intuitive and know when a relationship is not working out between them. They stop calling or making any plans.
    That works the best for me when having to end a friendship. In the mean time I collect positive, high energy like minded women.

  149. Thank you so much Marie for that script. I have a lot of patients who are challenged by the negativity of the others around them once they start moving forward in positive strides.
    But one challenge a patient of mine in particular is having is the negativity of her widowed mother. She is her mother’s support system and it is an ongoing problem that her mother calls to vent every little problem of her life to her.

    Might you offer a script for family members whom you love but are stuck in a pattern of negativity?

    I would really appreciate insight on this.

    • I value and respect you as a person and while I’m happy to be there for you as you have been for me I need to take a step back. I feel like a fundamental boundary has been crossed and in a way we’ve switched roles. While I honor your needs as a person I must honor my own as well. I would love to continue being supportive but I need you to feel confident in addressing some of your concerns personally and not just to me. I fully support you in meeting your needs but I ask the same from you. I believe getting to the core of why our relationship has changed on a personal level would be a great help to healing our relationship and think that seeking an external mediator and counsel would benefit everyone greatly.

      I know you asked Marie but this came to mind as I read what you said. On one hand I think some of it is a tad bit accommodating I know I tend along that route but perhaps some of it can be helpful! I wish you the best in solving this issue!

  150. Kim

    Perfect timing for me on this one too Marie. I guess it happens a lot with relationships in general!
    I haven’t read every single comment, but I was wondering, what about if I live in a small town? And 1 of my 5 is this person that I want to break up with? It’s been years of the same patterns, and while I am growing and trying to become more conscious, present and compassionate, I don’t feel she is moving in the same direction as me? I’m glass half full while she is often half empty. I’m let’s talk reasonably and learn where we have gone wrong to heal and grow, while she is defensive, denying, angry and dramatic.
    I would break up instantly if we didn’t live in such a small community with tight friends.
    anyone else experiencing this?
    thanks for all that you are 🙂
    Kim

  151. Carolina

    I actually recently “broke up” with a long time friend of mine. I don’t regret ending the friendship, I only wish I could have done it in a better way. I sort of just cut the cord without much explanation…i guess i had so much resentment built up from so many years of repressed feelings (not a good idea to repress them!) that I didn’t know where to start in expressing this to her. So I told her the friendship was no longer positive for me and that we needed to end it. But I feel I sort of owed her more than that. I wish I had seen videos like this before!

  152. Carolina

    I have a question, I forgot to say!
    What about long time friends who you don’t necessarily want out of your life, but want to distance yourself from? How should you approach that? Make yourself less available? I feel like this is effective but at the same time a little harsh without again, a valid explanation. but at the same time, I do NOT have the energy to go through a fight or having to tell this person why I feel this way..I think this would just end in a chaotic squabble and just end the friendship altogether, because this is a friend who is so afraid to admit being wrong or imperfect. Help!

    • I think “loosening the relationship” as a dear friend of mine puts it could be helpful. Think of it this way, you get what you put into a relationship, so you have to do your part and really that’s all you need to worry about in it. What the other person does or doesn’t do isn’t your business unless you make it so. Sometimes when feelings of guilt arise its really because of a lacking relationships with ourselves. We see to fill an internal void by expressing it externally. If you feel the need to distance yourself and don’t you’re still putting off that vibe on some level and is that really kinder? Personally, I don’t think so. You have to ultimately do what’s right for you and honestly if it’s not working for you – it’s not really working for the other person.

      You can try to be upfront and forthright but that’s a judgment call on your part. While I err on the side of being altruistic in some cases it can makes things a bit sticky when personal feelings and ego get muddled in. For me in some cases having that “heart to heart” about the friendship made for a complete turn around and we were better friends (and still are) for it. In others it resulted into a huge nasty dramatic explosion – but what that says to me is that was likely to happen anyway and later it could have been worse.

      I hope my thoughts have been somewhat helpful to you and anyone else.

      • Carolina

        Yes they have, thank you! I especially liked the script you wrote, I gotta try it out sometime! 🙂 xox

  153. Marie, I have to laugh because I could have used this advice over the last two years several times! I try to err on the side of being positive. Sure like you said we all vent. But I try to keep it to a minimum. But in the last two years I’ve connected with several people who had a similar passion for some things that I do as well only to have negativity rear its ugly head later. I have to laugh because each time it wasn’t apparent at the beginning, then ever so slowly I noticed the gripe sessions would seem to come out of nowhere, then suddenly become more frequent, and what was worse I’d join in on them and it became a point of ‘common ground’ for us! Then all of the sudden I started to realize I didn’t feel great talking to them and in fact would sigh to myself mentally when the griping would begin. In the first case I tried to have a heart to heart and it got ugly and we parted ways not so amicably very soon after that. In the second instance I had a heart to heart for another reason thought things were fine and BAM suddenly I’m being given “the talk” and all this resentment comes out towards me when I was sure that during our honesty talk it had been brought out. Boy was I surprised! (And upset, and admittedly up till recently I still was until I realized this point…)

    “Sometimes people leave our lives to make room for better relationships.”

    At first I held on very strongly to that old familiar energy of feeling like it was “my fault” and trying to “own” all the issues in the relationship instead of acknowledge my place in it and releasing my attachment to things like blame and guilt. After I did that I started to notice something utterly miraculous. I have had all sorts of other people coming into my life with whom I’m on much better wavelengths with. Our similar ground isn’t superficial and we hold a lot of the same ideals so these have been lasting and much more fulfilling bonds.

    I look back and I see in each circumstance those friendships probably wouldn’t have weathered the storm as it were in the long run. And that the ending was necessary and okay for me to be able to expand and move forward.

    Finally I think this applies to ALL types of relationships including ones with less tangible things like groups of people.

  154. I have found that relationships for me, even if they’ve been life-long ones, tend to just “fizzle” once I start focusing on what it is I truly want in life. I have been “broken up with” as well and at first it might have hurt, but I realize it’s because I just hadn’t given those friends what they needed (given my ear to their negative drama) and they realized I “wasn’t there for them”. However this was me giving myself more space for freedom and positivity and I was okay with not having them in my life anymore. I can honestly say that these days I hang out with just about 2 people consistently and don’t give any “weight” or too much emotion to others unless their heart is really on the same wavelength as mine. Sure, some people need help and advice or just need a good laugh, but as Marie said – you can do and have those things – just don’t hang out there and waste your time too much on stuff that doesn’t move you forward in a positive direction.
    Cheerio,
    ~Jennie

  155. Evelyn

    Hey! I love this video but I want to touch on two points. Agape Love and setting boundaries.

    Marie, you said that you have very firm boundaries, and that’s awesome! But a lot of people out there don’t necessarily know how to set those boundaries for themselves.

    And Agape Love. Being able to accept and love a person for who they are and leave it at that. You don’t need to change your friend, you just have to accept what she has to offer as a person. Her spiritual and personal growth is just that; personal.

    Being able to set those boundaries and love your friend for who she is will do wonders for the relationship. She can still be negative, and you won’t feel like you have to change her.

    Just my two cents 🙂

    -Evelyn

    • Kim

      Evelyn, those are very good points. I tried that and it worked…until I got bit in the butt again by my friend. I think maybe I am too sensitive and when she throws stuff at me, I immediately feel like I deserve it or should take it. Upon further consideration, I realize it was just her stuff, and then I get even more upset for ‘just taking it’.

      Ultimately if someone is constantly bringing you down, over years, then no matter how deep the friendship, that isn’t acceptable. We wouldn’t ask women to stay with their husbands if this was the case. So why do we have to hang in there and take it from our ‘friends’?

      Alternatively I will love her from afar, where my butt is safe and not bruised. 🙂

      • Evelyn

        I think that ‘not taking it’ is a part of setting boundaries. I know that I can be extra sensitive over what my friends and family say too, but finding healthy ways to tell them that their criticisms aren’t welcome has helped me immensely.

        I usually say something like “Hey, it’s cool that you think/feel that way! But this is who I am and these are my choices. Let’s leave the conversation at that.”

        But if a friend does nothing but put you down? Cut them off.

    • Evelyn, I love those concepts. I do my best to be like that all the time (even when times aren’t tough and I’m not “breaking up” with someone). I think it makes things work better for me in the long run. The idea that we can change anyone but ourselves is 100% illusion and it’s just not a necessary thought to even have. You wouldn’t want it done to you so why do it to someone else??!!

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  156. Vangie

    When it comes to pessimistic people not being able to stand positive people, I couldn’t agree with you more. I had a good friend that I did not completely cut ties with, but I did distance myself enough to where his pessimism and and self-inflicted drama didn’t affect me anymore. He always had some type of negative circumstance going on with him. When he asked for help, he would find an excuse to not take my advice. When I tried to be positive, he would scold me for not reinforcing his sulking behavior. Since I distanced myself from this person, I have experienced an exponential increase in my personal, professional, and spiritual growth. I had no idea how spending most of your time with a downer can also stall your own personal progress. Now, I pay very close attention what type of energy I allow near me, which is why I love coming to this site and others for that uplifting vibe.

  157. Always tough to break up with a friend, but even tougher when you have a child together.

    I have not been happier since I decided to spend less time with my ex. Initially, we felt that it would be good for our son to “hang out” – get along and show him we could be friends. Well, we could be friends, but that would keep me going in a direction I did not want to go.

    Being friendly, yet not spending time together has been a blessing – I feel better, and our son gets to see his mom flourish. 🙂

  158. Oh, Marie, right on spot!
    I’m dealing with something similar at the moment. Similar because I have a feeling that its not over, you know, the final talk hasn’t happened yet.

    It wasn’t a fight, I just became distant because I didn’t felt good around her. She’s not a present or interested friend, only want’s to talk about her and her drama. And the question is that I’m really not mad at her, but I just don’t want to be with her, I don’t miss her as a friend.

    Sometimes I feel guilty because she didn’t do anyting serious, it’s just the way she is and I don’t want that in my life right now.

    Great advice, as always!

    Love,
    Marta

  159. Leigh Ann

    This is so timely for me! I have been struggling with the idea of “breaking up” with a friend for a while now. I honestly don’t mind lending an ear, but this particular person will take the smallest little issue and go on about it for hours. The worst part is, I will have a serious issue and she will just gloss over it and go back to talking about her “problem” like I never even opened my mouth (e.g. like the time I had to have a biopsy because I had a suspicious breast lump). She’s also extremely negative, to the point where every text message she sends starts out with “Ugh” or “Today sucks” or something else negative. Talking to her is honestly a drain, but I feel guilty when I think about moving on — almost like I am thinking I am better than her (which I am not).

  160. Andrea

    Ouch. I’ve been on the receiving end of this. My best friend of seven years quit talking to me when I was struggling to end my abusive marriage. She was very judgmental about my situation, and didn’t understand why I didn’t just leave him– she had no concept of the dynamics of abuse.

    Ultimately, I do think that parting ways was the best thing for both of us, but it still really hurt to lose my best friend during a time when I was hurting so bad. If she were really so dragged down by me, I wish she would have said something to me. I loved her like a sister and would have done what I could to salvage our friendship.

    Anyway, before you give a friend the heave-ho, let them know what’s going on with you and why you’re having difficulty in the friendship. I think I deserved that much, but unfortunately, my “best friend” didn’t seem to think so.

    (And yes, I’m still a little bitter. I’m working on it.)

  161. I was so glad that Marie didn’t just say “dump that person”.

    I believe that life keeps teaching us the same lessons until we’re ready to learn from them. We are ALL doing our best, and if we COULD do better, we WOULD. But that doesn’t mean we should let people walk all over us – or even keep smiling and supporting someone when inside we’re screaming “I’ve had enough!”

    I love what Marie says about the negative pattern we have when we continue to tolerate people’s negativity or complaining.

    Sometimes it’s time to have a difficult, honest conversation that says “I love you, but I can’t handle THIS any more”. Then we see if they are willing to change their behaviour or not. But we have set OUR boundaries.

    Also, a great way to evaluate your friendships is to consider how we feel about ourselves AFTER spending time with someone. Here is a simple and powerful 5 Step Process to Review whether YOUR friendships are working for you: http://lifecoachonthego.com/5-steps-to-review-friendship/

    Hope that helps! Keep the tips coming Marie!

    Emma-Louise

  162. sheri4L

    i get it! But I don’t have anything to sell
    i love your energy to sell something but don’t know what
    Hate my day job where I sit and wait for something to happen.

  163. chrysalis04

    OMG, this just set me free. All this time I have truly felt responsible for the natural falling away that occurs when people are uncomfortable with your energy because it is in conflict with their own. I have always STRESSED OUT about this and GRIEVED and felt that if only I had or hadn’t said/did…blah,blah,blah…I could have saved that relationship. …Just “bless each other and go your separate ways.” It’s really ok. Great advice.

  164. Steph

    Hi Marie,
    Just wanted to say you’re great and to thank you for talking about this topic.
    This is something I have been struggling with since I broke up with my friendS. I actually even wrote about it on Mastin Kipp’s TDL. I just needed to get it off my chest. But yes, I went through this and it left me friendless. I realized why I was so drained and upset after hanging out with these “friends” and it was because I wasn’t being myself and wasn’t letting my light shine because of the fear I had of not having friends to hang out with. Being alone. So instead I stayed in negative states, saw myself comlaining about this and that, I pretty much found myself doing things I didn’t want to do. Then I asked myself is this worth having in my life? And as it turned out, it wasn’t. And I let them go. I stopped hanging out with them and let them know why. Now I do find myself alone but I still meet people through other friends I know and am trying to build better friendships with people who are positive to be around, that also has to start with me as well. Now that these relationships are over, I still hold resentment towards them because they weren’t willing to change and didn’t really get what was happening. I still go over the scenarios that happened again and again and this is just something I’m trying to stop. This taught me a lot about boundaries and how to establish healthy ones. Thanks again Marie! Here’s to positivity and letting our light shine through!

  165. Hi, Well, I really don’t have to worry about friends. The best ones are dead. They were the best of the best. We had some great times from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. We raised children together, created businesses together, cried together, and laughed together. Today I remember and love each one of them for all I learned about living. In the 1980’s I created a nationwide business from my kitchen table. (I still have the table). We went from 0 to over 100 millions dollars in 5 yrs, and I sold it in 1989. So, I retired. By 1995, I started again, and created another Million Dollar business from home. That lasted until 2003. Today, I am 70. I have a lot to say, and tons of advice to give, sprinkled with handfuls of wisdom. My life has been nothing like I dreamed or planned. It has been so much better. I was a lousy student, so I went to college and majored in ART. I have been married 3 times. The third one has been a charm and we have been married over 30 yrs. I had 1 child, she was an independent little LEO, who basically raised me. She turned into a fabulous women, with with a great career, who died at 37 from a brain tumor. I didn’t think I would lived through her death, but I did. It’s been 12 yrs now. I think back, and hear her saying, Mom promise me you will sit down and tell your story, teach other women how to become all they want to be. So ladies, I am ready! I have had so many young women say to me, “I have always wanted to start a business, but I wouldn’t know where to begin.” Well, I do. I can teach them all the mistakes I made. How to have a small business or a million dollar business, or anything in between. I have learned a lot in 70 years. What I need to learn, is how to teach this on the internet. So, Marie…..I need to take your B-Class. I believe you may be the only person who can help me sort out 70 fabulous, years of a women who really lived, took the crap, dished out to women, in the 60s, lived to tell the story, and refuses to give up. I want to teach on video, ebooks, and just MAYBE finish with a book. So, “what cha thin”? Where do I go to sign up for the B-Class?

    • Joan, You are amazing! very rich life indeed, nice 🙂 I would love to hear all that you have learned, go for it!

  166. I currently have a person whom I no longer consider a friend and have explained to this person time and again that we need to live seperate lives and move on. This person does not respect my boundaries and steps over every line I draw. He has MS and often due to his disease, forgets conversations and requests people make of him. I do consider his situation and yet I also feel manipulated by it. There is an underlying energy of victim and he is absolutely a co-dependent. I have come to realize our relationship was built around me being the leader and him ridding my coat tails. We had a business together which failed miserably and resulted in a lawsuit with our former landlord. He opted to settle out of court against my wishes and is now responsible to pay our slumlord thousands of dollars which we would not have owed had he had the guts to fight her in front of a judge. To make a long story short, there is no place for him in my life and yet he still calls me and texts me randomly. He shows up on social networks and I have currently blocked him from my email and Facebook accounts. I feel like I am being stalked at this point and frankly, my friends agree I am. My fiancé is ready to pounce on him and the only thing that holds me back from a restraining order is he is in a wheelchair and has not threatened my life. IAfter watching your video, I feel it is time for an official break up letter andfinal parting request.
    Thank you for supporting me to have the courage to speak up and the voice to do it with kindness and compassion.
    Namaste!

  167. Once I started to bless those around me that didn’t understand my new lifestyle and moved on without hesitation my business soared. Thanks Marie!

  168. I had a friend of 11 years that I had to dump a few years ago. She wouldn’t acknowledge me when certain friends were around and would only hang out with me with her guy friends or alone. I noticed once we started hanging out a little more and wondered what the deal was. She was mean spirited as well, making fun of my hair or clothes sometimes. Come to find out that’s how her and those friends she wouldn’t let me around talk to each other. Well, I limited my contact with her and remained acquaintances for about 4 years after noticing this behavior. It was me learning the value myself (and finding out she’s a closet alcoholic (which is something I just will NOT tolerate)) that helped me to move on. We’re not even acquaintances and I treat her like someone I used to know when I run into her. At no point do I want to reestablish anything with her and I make sure that’s clear.

    Another ex-friend remains an acquaintance simply because her children are my son’s siblings. She sometimes doesn’t get the hint when she calls and I have to force her off the phone. But I stopped being friends with her because she was a very selfish and self absorbed person. She also has an un-diagnosed case of Munchhausen by proxy. Her children are always sick or someone in her life is. She’s always “helping” these people. But what’s actually happening is she’s around them to gain sympathy for being a “good friend”. At any point when I (or anyone else we know) have ever actually needed help, she was nowhere to be found. It was only when I had a huge event like a hospitalization that she’d come around. It’s sickening and I have never confronted her about it, but have only limited my interactions to how the kids are doing. I cut her off when she tries to call me about being at the hospital with a friend, so she calls less. Thankfully.

  169. Sarah Moffat

    Hi Marie!
    Just found you as I was research the Thesis Word Press theme, and it looks like you build your site on it. You’re Awesome! haha! This video was great, compassionate, funny, and real. Love it! I also LOVE the FORCE FIELD effect! I want that! haha! Well, I actually image that in my mind when the negatives come from the outside towards me… GET BACK!

    Keep up the great stuff!
    S

  170. M

    Hi Marie,
    Thanks for this great video. I have recently had a similar situation.
    I have this “friend” from high school and she is always complaining and moaning about her life. Whenever I thought she’d made a change to feel better, there was a new drama. To be honest whenever I spent time with her, I’d go home feeling down and generally not so great. Whatever I said, nothing could really lift her mood and the way she felt.
    So I stopped contacting her for a while. At some point she sent a text message asking how I was and asking whether I was mad at her for not being in touch. I replied: “No I am not mad. Simply you are always so down and I just do not really know what to say anymore.” She said: “Oh well, good that I know that then.” And I haven’t heard from her since then. Part of me wants to talk to her face to face and let her know that the way I said this (well wrote this) wasn’t right and wants to apologize. But another part just wants to stay away because I do not feel well around her and her negative energy.
    What would you suggest?
    Thanks so much. Loving your videos.
    M

  171. Great advice! Toxic people are bad for your own mental health. If someone is always sucking the oxygen out of the room it is time to move on.

  172. I almost thought it was a mean thing to do as my BFF is constantly need me to see her & listen to her. In short, full of negativity, feeling low & not wanting to change self instead keep on blaming the world around. After one last meeting we had last year in December, I realised we didn’t have things in common to talk about anymore. What we used to love to talk are the things that I want to flush out from my life totally. BFF in another hand, keep on repeating the same things over & over again. I used to feel like so much needed whenever she said “I need to see you, I have things to tell” but now I am certain that it was the negative energy I was absorbing. Hence, cut the story short, I switch off the button for our ‘soul-searching-conversation’ & made myself not available to see her anymore. It has been 2 months & I am feeling good about my move.
    To all other women who experience the same, we must learn to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first before others.
    I am so grateful for discovering this site & thankful for all the wonderful things & positive energy around.

  173. mel

    I accidentally found myself in a bad friendship with someone in his thirties (I was only 19 at the time!!!) and it was the most draining thing ever. Misery was all he wanted to talk about but he claimed he just wasn’t “ready” to deal with it. If I had a friend over, he’d keep me on the phone for so long… not actually speaking but just keeping me hostage. He’d say he was bored and expected me to entertain him. It was just bad all around.

    He had an opportunity to leave the city and leave the job he hated and almost didn’t even take it!!! What??? Sure as heck I told him to go and thankfully, he did.

    But yep, there are definitely two sides to every relationship. I was too forgiving because I have a lot of problems myself and didn’t want to be a hypocrite. In fact, I would probably BE that downer friend. Maybe I am, in a way.

    When I am feeling really low, things aren’t going well and my brain starts conspiring against me in a really bad way, I usually don’t talk to anyone. I will go to work or to parties or school on days that family members die like nothing had happened at all. But it’s probably really obvious in my face and distant demeanour, so that’s probably just as bad as someone complaining all of the time.

  174. I think your answer was dead-on, in terms of tone. However, I have found that many times my friends don’t understand what “advice” I am giving or how their actions impact my life. If the original question asker can be as specific as possible, both in advice and in expectations, it helps, at least in my experience.

    I first learned the effectiveness of specificity from a close friend when I was in my early twenties. She had a dramatic on-again, off-again relationship with a boyfriend, and would call crying. The first two times I gave her a pass. The third time she called, I went to her house and sat her down, and said:

    I want you to know that I care very much about you, and it pains me to see you suffer. However, as your friend, it is very discouraging to see you continue engaging in this relationship that, to date, has ended in tears – every single time. I have spent five hours of my free time in the past month talking to you as you work this out. And I am happy to talk to you today. HOWEVER, I want you to know, this is your LAST free pass. After this, I will not talk about this relationship. YOU know how this ends. He might be a jerk, but you are KNOWINGLY entering into a relationship that causes you pain. If you CHOOSE this pain, it is from this point on YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, not his, and not mine, and to continue to expect our support is disrespectful of our time. I will talk about anything else, but THIS topic is off the table.

    This conversation was the most effective one I had ever had, and has worked for me in variations ever since. This took “him” out of the picture, and made her accountable for her OWN behavior instead of as a reactive energy. She also realized that she was alienating the people who cared about her by wasting their time. Of course, she went back to him a few more times. HOWEVER, instead of dealing with her emotional weeping, I could gently remind her of the pattern and then be off the hook, and let her think about HER actions. (The next few conversations went along the lines of “Did you go back to him?” “Yes” “Is it now a disaster?” “Yes” “Was last time a disaster?” “Yes” “Okay then. I’m sorry you’re sad but if you want my sympathy you have to stop doing it to yourself. Do you understand that?” “Yes”)

    It takes people time to change. I don’t necessarily advocate completely cutting people off, because it can feel hopeless to them. However, if you give them a window of acceptable behavior, and your friendship on the other side of it, it can often inspire more profound change than any “advice” you can give. I have been on the receiving end of this type of kind chastisement and was incredibly grateful to have a friend who was willing to call me out on it and tell me how to shape up. Winning back their respect and friendship was far more powerful a motivator than any other one.

  175. Kristie Moe

    I, just this moment, told a friend that I was done with self-limiting beliefs.

    Her response was, “Ha! No you aren’t. Good luck with that.”

    I think it is time to have the talk.

  176. Kate

    This is such a great topic. Thanks for broaching it Marie. I aspire to your forcefield of positivity. I think that I will watch your video again just to see that forcefield move you made one more time.

    I’ve thought about this topic for years as I’ve transformed from some humble thought-beginnings: think nihilist gaulouse-smoking teenager to someone people exclaim, “YOU used to smoke? You’re so healthy!”

    I’ve let several childhood and young-adult friends go, and have kept one, who has been my neighbor for most of my life, and feels like a sister. The nature of our relationship has changed. I don’t spend as much time with her (she’s not in my top 5). I’m careful about what I share with her, while loving and appreciating her arty-eye that I can trust with any interior design choice, and the way she adds zest to any party. She’s always there to help out in a pinch, and can be a life-saver.

    At one point, before I’d established these boundaries and created a new support system, I did find our friendship draining. Now I’m grateful for her support, and also grateful because I feel that I’ve become a better friend to her, too. When she’s down I love going over to her place, getting her flowers, washing her dishes. It makes me happy. Then I go on my merry way. I’ve created the space for myself that allows me to hold space for her, and this feels good.

  177. Gene

    if a friend hates a friendship why would they not end it but just ignore what wrong with it

  178. Laura

    I have found that if you change yourself, people who are no longer at your level/vibration will either “magically” disappear from your life or move to your level/vibration. If you wish to change someone else, you have to change yourself first. It works every time!

    Of course, this is why Marie doesn’t attract negativity – her vibration is so far above it, it stays away.

    You’re awesome! No wonder you’re so infectious 🙂

  179. Nathalie

    I am in a weird scenario at the moment with my mum and bf of five years. She has advanced breast cancer and I have been living with her. She has very dramatic ups and downs, shouting and crying, throwing things, its just crazy.

    If I go out she cries and says don’t leave me along and I fee crazy guilty when I’m not with her. I went out for a friends bday the other day and got berated. In addition to that I have been with my bf who has been pursuing a career as a pilot. he lives in a remote part of Australia where it is really hard to find the work I want.

    Both of them are pulling me in really different directions and I keep thinking that maybe this is just a difficult period and it will be okay soon. But I just don’t know when it will end. mum is sick but she really expects a lot from me and if I go live with my bf I kind of feel like I am going from one situation with no control to another with no control and giving up so much. If I stay with my mum I am kind of giving up my life. If i go with my bf I am giving up financial security and my career and marriage and kids which is something I want and has always been a sometime in the future thing that we never seem to get serious about, even when we were living together.

    Am i the negative nancy who is not making the most of my scenario? or are people expecting too much of me? i keep going back and forth thinking is it me? I have a tendency to be negative but I try not to. I have a counselor who I work really hard with and have done some really strong work on boundaries, even writing them down and showing mum and my bf. but this situation is driving me insane.

    do I try and change myself more and accept my scenario or do I set stronger boundaries? I dont know if I’m the toxic person or its them?

  180. Chandra

    Wow Marie,

    I LOVE your shows but this one really hit me and I was smiling all through it!!

    I am such a happy person but also very sensitive to others and always wanted to keep everyone happy. I know now, that’s the most stupid thing to strive for so Im letting that one go. But unfortunately,through the years I have learned myself to temper my positivity and see it as a bit of a negative and annoying thing. I am trying though to become more authentic everyday, and are meeting more positive people who bring more sunshine in my life. But unfortunately, one of my closest friends, my bestie, kept her distance and we are kind of going through a break up after 19 years.

    Although it’s hard to accept this loss, my life has become so much more sunnier and happier and the people in my life accept my happy and positive attitude. I would love to be more authentic every day and to never feel ashamed or uncomfortable anymore because of my happy and positive attitude.

    And you are sooooo right: these people really hate positive people. But it’s no longer my responsibility, and I will keep choosing these 5 people. And guess what: they will all have that bright and sunny positive attitude!!

    Thank you sooo much! Keep up the good work!!

    lots of love
    xxxx

  181. Having the fantastic health and financial resources to travel with my wife as much as possible, to see more on the globe and meet more of its men and women.

  182. MC

    Hi Marie!

    I’ve been very blessed to come across your website and life tutorials! I have truly enjoyed your teachings.

    I came across this video this morning and I have to say that it kind of shook me to the core. Perhaps, it’s because I’m often on the receiving end of this and have a difficult time understanding why – I feel as though people run from and the friends I thought were close friends, make excuses to see me.

    I’m not going to sugar coat my life, it’s been hard and so has everyone’s. Yet, each and everyone time I’ve been knocked down or created my own demise I’ve managed to pick myself up and brushed myself off and marched on! I welcome change and have tried without success to surround myself with positive people but how do I do that when those very people run from me. And I believe it is because of this type of advice. Sometimes, I feel it’s this kind of advice that puts up walls and continues the cycle and epidemic of loneliness in this country.

    I’m not afraid of changing, I welcome it! And I’m aware that there are some things I just can’t change. But it’s hard to implement change without a support system. I’ve dabbled in therapy and frankly think some of it’s practices are outdated and archaic. Coaching seems about right but I’m not financially there to afford a coach. So naturally, I turn to my “community” but often get shut out.

    I’ve been grateful the opportunities I’ve had and am grateful for those that have put faith in me. But I struggle to connect, to say exactly the right thing, appear exactly the right away, have exactly the right talent. My self esteem and my resilience to continue marching on have been completely broken and I often feel like I don’t have that energy anymore.

    Sincerely,
    -feeling the impact of being dumped by friends

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Hi MC. Thanks so much for sharing your story so openly and honestly with us. I’m really sorry to hear your friends aren’t supporting you during your time of need. You sound like the kind of person who’s genuinely caring and only seeks advice you intend to take, and people like that aren’t who Marie is referring to in this video. She’s talking about people who continually ask advice, yet never take it, and choose to continue suffering rather than take action. That’s not you.

      We absolutely support friends helping each other through tough times and we’ve got our fingers crossed that there will be some great people in your life to be there for you. I know there’s only so much we can do virtually, but you’re welcome to write to us at any time at infoATmarieforleoDOTcom and we’ll always be happy to send some Marie wisdom your way.

      In fact, I have some now! Because you mentioned change and changing, I think you’ll like this episode on how to change your life and make it stick: http://www.marieforleo.com/2014/04/change-your-life-todd-herman/ You’d also mentioned that you worry about saying the right thing and doing the right thing and that your self-esteem has been broken. I’m really sorry you’re feeling that way because I know that’s a tough place to be—we’re sending lots of love your way. If part of that is because you’re fearful of being judged by others, definitely check out this episode: http://www.marieforleo.com/2011/11/fear-of-being-judged/ It’s all about how to deal with the fear of being judged. It might be that people don’t expect you to be as perfect as you think they do.

      No matter what, we’re cheering you on. You have some incredible gifts and talents to share with the world and we’d love to see you doing just that!

  183. dianceswann

    Hi Marie,
    I love your video,
    Well actually I have a negative friends, since my friends seems like to showing her expensive brand and just make fun of me, so i just stop talk to her and never answer her chat anymore.
    I join new community in charity which make me have many new friend each time i do charity and i feel happy

  184. Beautiful! I always learn new things from your videos. Thank you!

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