In this blog I’m going to discuss bad associates and people who burn bridges, so that all of you can know what to look for.
There are many different types of friends in this world, let’s look at a few:
Friends for a season – These are the friends that are very temporary and only have one mission and that’s to feel better about themselves or to make you feel better
Friends for life – These are the friends who would fight the devil himself to protect you, they will only make judgments about your life that will help you and will support you no matter what
Fake friends – These are the one’s who have an agenda, who know they will need your help in some way or they want your spouse and think making friends with you is the easiest way.
Bridge Burners – These are the kind that are sheep in wolf’s clothing, they are out to make your life as miserable as possible for their own purpose.
I’m going to focus this blog on Bridge Burners because, I recently with through this with someone. I had a so called friend who was focused on “helping me” to get on my feet and had the agenda of getting me to sign up for her business. Now, that was all great for the first I don’t know 3 weeks. I kept my distance for the most part and let it play out. In the beginning I felt happy, later on I realized that this was no friendship and shortly thereafter, the true colors were shown. A bridge burner is someone who appears helpless or to need your help and basically fish for information and then burn their bridges with you. They will often turn on you at the drop of a hat, become cocky or rude and then flaunt all of their new learned information. They often take on the appearance of someone who’s well maintained and in somewhat control.
People who burn their bridges, often do not realize the impact or consequences of doing so and tend to repeat such action with every new person they meet. It’s almost like an endless cycle that will not stop until that person realizes that what they are doing, isn’t the answer. After so long, the person will understand that they have lost something that could have been potentially life changing for them. There are people like myself who refuses to follow up with someone that I’m done with. Other will people give many chances and though I believe in second chances, that has conditions. In my case, the person I’m referring to decided this was a funny matter and straight up said that they will say whatever they want to. That’s when you can tell that the person is enjoying being in control of the situation. The difference is, many people like myself, enjoy knowing that person not only isn’t in control but, that their time of fun and happiness will come to an end.
Now, there’s several things you must watch out for so that you can identify a bridge burner almost immediately.
They seem overly friendly, despite not knowing you
They have an agenda that’s likely known to you or appears to you
They have bipolar mimicking behaviors or thoughts
They seem to be entertained by your being in a bad situation or having less than they do
They constantly comment on what they do for you.
They list off “problems” that they have and look to you to repair it.
They often don’t have time for you or are rude when they finally do come around.
The above describes in detail the different ways to know if someone is going to be a bad associate or a bridge burner within the first month or so of associating with them. You must be extremely cautious around someone who starts to show the signs and make sure that you haven’t or don’t tell them much of anything about yourself, that you know is bad to get out. A bad associate or bridge burner will make sure they spread rumors about you or tell everything they know. They will become manipulative and hateful. For example, in my case the person was being unprofessional, rude, mocking, vengeful and had periods of bipolar moments and also making “joking” threats. Such as “I would love to slap you right now”. It’s the kind of person you cannot be exposed to for long periods. That usually is a clear indication that not only will they not be supportive of you but, they may turn into someone who becomes a legal problem to you and your family as well. The important thing is that you rid yourself of toxic people as quickly as possible!
I have been thinking back about all of the people I used to be friends with and why I was friends with them. As time passes by most people end friendships and start new one’s. That’s the cycle of life for almost everyone. Sure there are a few friends that you keep throughout your lifetime or at least for many years. Most people though, are here for a season and that’s it. What do we learn from those people? Well a lot of times we learn the warning signs of what a bad friend is and how to avoid getting one in the future. Sometimes we learn how to dig deep inside and find those emotions that were once there but became lost.
I had a few friends that I thought were going to be friends for life. It turns out, they weren’t real friends at all as some betrayed me and others just moved on and lost interest. Those that betrayed me did so behind my back and i didn’t find out until much later. I have other friends that I’ve had for a long time who I still talk to but live far away from. It’s not really a bad thing because I’m learning about friends even now and it helps me to form new friendships and dump old friendships that have lost their character.
I think at some point all of us wonder why we were friends with someone that we cared about or hung out with. As we mature, things change and we begin to realize that those people no longer fit our lifestyle. For instance, people who you just hang with or party with, won’t be friends for life because as you mature and lose interest in those things, you lose interest in the people who weren’t really friends, they were just someone fun to be around. Then there are those who end up getting married and having children and are focused on their new family life and less interested in their social life.
The one or two great friends that you keep can be very understanding of your new life as they probably have the same one. They understand that you can’t always talk on the phone, text or hang out because they have kids too. Still, when you’re able to talk to that friend you realize that nothing has changed between you and it’s actually refreshing to talk to another adult for a change, besides your spouse. Everyone needs someone other than their spouse to talk to, otherwise things can get pretty frustrating.
i don’t think that people should ever be friends with their ex’s regardless of how the relationship ended. i think that it’s crossing boundaries because they will always know your business and always be comparing the life you had with them, with the life you have with your new spouse. They will always be stalking your Facebook page or making snide remarks. It’s just a bad mix all together.
Feel free to comment on my blog and tell me your experiences.
As a person who has lived most of my adult life as a co-dependent, I must say that it’s one of the most difficult things a person can go through. For myself, being co-dependent can be frustrating because, there’s a constant need for having someone around even if you don’t need their help.
Most co-dependent people are often seen as unable to do anything for their selves. However, this was not the case with me. In my life, I was co-dependent in a way that I felt the need to have bad friends and bad relationships. This is not because I enjoy negativity but, it’s more to do with wanting anyone in my life and around me so that I wasn’t alone but, I needed nothing from them.
The second type of co-dependency is a person who truly cannot function without depending on someone else. This is not just financial but also mentally, physically, sexually and spiritually. There comes a point where the person cannot be alone, cannot preform tasks without someone there to tell them they are doing it right, they constantly feel the need to talk to someone about everything and their lives are diminished.
Recently, I did something I have never done and that is to remove bad people from my life. The reason this was done is because I’m no longer needing to depend on someone else to make me happy. I’m in a good marriage and I have only 2 good friends and I’m okay with that. Letting go when you are co-dependent is extremely hard to do. For me, it took many years and I had to just do it. I know that sounds crazy to a co-dependent person but, sometimes “cold turkey” is the best way to go.
If you’re in a co-dependent relationship, keep in mind that some partners play off of that and enjoy knowing that they can do anything and everything they want and you won’t leave because, you don’t want to be alone. This is very common in semi-abusive and full-abusive relationships. If you have a loving partner, you will find it harder to do much of anything when your partner is not around and thus will develop “Separation Anxiety Disorder” and yes I know what you’re thinking “Only kids and animals go through that”, that’s a myth, there are many adults who can also suffer from S.A.D.
You may also find that in a co-dependent friendship that you’re giving more than you’re getting. It’s often the case that people often “over do it” when it comes to pleasing the other person and no I’m not talking about sexual. In this case, I’m referring to the acts like being a “Yes man” and saying yes to everything they want you to do because, you fear losing the friendship if you don’t. Keep in mind: A real friend will not abandon the friendship if you abandon the codependency.
RECOVERING FROM CODEPENDENCY
Abstinence. Abstinence or sobriety is necessary to recover from codependency. The goal is to bring your attention back to yourself, to have an internal, rather than external, “locus of control.” This means that your actions are primarily motivated by your values, needs, and feelings, not someone else’s. You learn to meet those needs in healthy ways.Perfect abstinence or sobriety isn’t necessary for progress, and it’s impossible with respect to codependency with people. You need and depend upon others and therefore give and compromise in relationships. Instead of abstinence, you learn to detach and not control, people-please, or obsess about others. You become more self-directed and autonomous.
If you’re involved with an abuser or addict or grew up as the child of one, you may be afraid to displease your partner, and it can require great courage to break that pattern of conceding our power to someone else.
Awareness. It’s said that denial is the hallmark of addiction. This is true whether you’re an alcoholic or in love with one. Not only do codependents deny their own addiction – whether to a drug, activity, or person – they deny their feelings, and especially their needs, particularly emotional needs for nurturing and real intimacy.You may have grown up in a family where you weren’t nurtured, your opinions and feelings weren’t respected, and your emotional needs weren’t adequately met. Over time, rather than risk rejection or criticism, you learned to ignore your needs and feelings and believed that you were wrong. Some decided to become self-sufficient or find comfort in sex, food, drugs, or work.All this leads to low self-esteem. To reverse these destructive habits, you first must become aware of them. The most damaging obstacle to self-esteem is negative self-talk. Most people aren’t aware of their internal voices that push and criticize them — their “Pusher,” “Perfectionist,” and “Critic.”1
Acceptance.Healing essentially involves self-acceptance. This is not only a step, but a life-long journey. People come to therapy to change themselves, not realizing that the work is about accepting themselves. Ironically, before you can change, you have to accept the situation. As they say, “What you resist, persists.”In recovery, more about yourself is revealed that requires acceptance, and life itself presents limitations and losses to accept. This is maturity. Accepting reality opens the doors of possibility. Change then happens. New ideas and energy emerge that previously stagnated from self-blame and fighting reality. For example, when you feel sad, lonely, or guilty, instead of making yourself feel worse, you have self-compassion, soothe yourself, and take steps to feel better.Self-acceptance means that you don’t have to please everyone for fear that they won’t like you. You honor your needs and unpleasant feelings and are forgiving of yourself and others. This goodwill toward yourself allows you to be self-reflective without being self-critical. Your self-esteem and confidence grow, and consequently, you don’t allow others to abuse you or tell you what to do. Instead of manipulating, you become more authentic and assertive, and are capable of greater intimacy.
Action.Insight without action only gets you so far. In order to grow, self-awareness and self-acceptance must be accompanied by new behavior. This involves taking risks and venturing outside your comfort one. It may involve speaking up, trying something new, going somewhere alone, or setting a boundary. It also means setting internal boundaries by keeping commitments to yourself, or saying “no” to your Critic or other old habits you want to change. Instead of expecting others to meet all your needs and make you happy, you learn to take actions to meet them, and do things that give you fulfillment and satisfaction in your life.Each time you try out new behavior or take a risk, you learn something new about yourself and your feelings and needs. You’re creating a stronger sense of yourself, as well as self-confidence and self-esteem. This builds upon itself in a positive feedback loop vs. the downward spiral of codependency, which creates more fear, depression, and low self-esteem.Words are actions. They have power and reflect your self-esteem. Becoming assertive is a learning process and is perhaps the most powerful tool in recovery. Assertiveness requires that you know yourself and risk making that public. It entails setting limits. This is respecting and honoring yourself. You get to be the author of your life – what you’ll do and not do and how people will treat you.2