As we finish out yet another year, I have been reflecting on the things I’m very thankful for, and the things I need to let go of going into 2020. One big area of cleaning house for me is relationships.. It is important to let go of the ones that are dragging you down so you can make room for people who enrich your life and lift you up.
I was reading this book called “I’m Judging You” by Luvvi Ajayi, who is a hilarious, yet wise internet sensation. I follow her on Facebook, and she’s a queen. In her blog and in her book, she tackles racism, plastic surgery, homophobia, anal bleaching, rape culture, social media, fake news.. You name it. She is a ‘take no bullshit’ wise woman, but she says it all in the most witty way. I laughed out loud through her book.
Here’s the Book…
She claims that we are the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with. When I think about that, I agree with her. With that in mind, shouldn’t we be very particular of who we let in that inner circle? I know that since I’ve done some house cleaning, my life has definitely been so much more positive.
Here are some people that Luvvie says we need to lose. I know some of these people. Some of them have been among my 5 from time to time. I’ll highlight the ones I’ve dealt with.
According to Luvvie, “Their superpower is being able to make any good news you have into something about them and you will eventually realize that they do not wish you well.”
They will also badmouth you to someone who admires you or someone who can lift you up in your career to make sure they stay top dog in the relationship. I’m sure this is all based on insecurity, which is sad for them, but I don’t need it, and neither do you. Kick ‘em to the curb and find people who cheer you on.
The SOS PAL
“They’re broke, you get a call. They need a job, your inbox blows up. They’re sad that day, you get a sad emoji in your texts…In good times, you only find out what they’re up to via social media’.. You go from bestie to follower, fast.” Oh yeah. This is the toxic friend I attract the most. They have lived with me rent free, only to ghost me when I”m no longer needed, borrowed money and then bailed from my life except to pop up now and then to be contrary on my Facebook page.The one I most recently freed myself from was actually a constant drama stirrer, with conflict after conflict where she was the victim of terrible abuse by bosses, husbands, former friends…literally anyone she had to interact with for very long. I’d wake up to pages of texts when she fought with her husband in the middle of the night, be interrupted in meetings with messages venting and asking for support and validation. When the crisis was over or when she didn’t need anything, I didn’t hear from her for weeks or months sometimes. The minute I put my foot down and refused to engage in her drama, I was cast as the abuser and the target of an online smear campaign.
I’m selfishly hoping someone else pisses her off soon so she will forget me, but at least I can block most of it, which is a huge relief. Sorry if it’s you, but I promise to defend you if it is. Listening to problems.. that’s what friends are for, but there should be blessings as well as burdens in a friendship. If a friendship is one-sided, ditch it. I promise, it only hurts for a minute, and then your life is so much nicer. Just make sure to block them on all your stuff so you don’t have to see the retaliation. I”m convinced most of these types have serious unchecked personality disorders.
(the friend who will one day get us arrested)
‘Captain of team no-chill’ because they are constantly spontaneous, and any ordinary brunch can turn into a wild story with them,” says Luvvie. To be honest, I had a couple of peripheral friends who were like this, and one of them passed away at a young age because of her reckless behavior, unfortunately. I think I tend to shy away from getting too close after that one. If you have one of these, don’t let them get you arrested. 🙂
THE LANNISTER (the friend you can’t trust)
History keeps you together. Maybe you’ve known each other since kindergarten.. For some reason, even though you can’t trust this person, you’ve kept them in your circle. Luvvie also talks about a type called ‘The Frenemy’. I see these two as kind of the same. They share your secrets, ruin your reputation for entertainment or their own benefit, and never defend you when someone else attacks. I work in the theatre, and I have come across many of these. One of them regularly makes sure to denounce me to people who could lift me up professionally, I guess so she will look superior in their eyes. It always gets back to me. I thought it was insecurity at first, but I’m not really sure it’s not just jealousy and meanness. People can be forgiven a couple of mistakes in this area, in my opinion. Sometimes you let something slip because you’re mad or just having a bad moment. If it happens regularly, get them out of your business.
THE HOLY ROLLER
Luvvie makes this one about religious people, because that is who she has in her life, I think. They are people who are always judging everyone else’s morals.
In my life, this friend is the Holy Roller’s tattooed cousin, ‘The Better Than you Liberal.’ You will never be as up to date on the proper language for literally anything social or political like they are. Even if you’re using the language they schooled you about last week, you’re probably going to be wrong today.
If a well meaning person says something that isn’t up-to-the-moment politically correct, the Best Liberals generally say things like “sigh. Why are people so ignorant?” and then either attack the person as an enemy or have long, public conversations with other ‘best liberals’ about how people like that are just wrong (making sure the person can see it and is properly shamed). They wouldn’t dream of giving the erring person the benefit of the doubt to gently teach them the right language. That wouldn’t show their friends how exasperated with the world they are. Their heart is in the right place, but they are exhausting. I’m not even going to give any real life examples because I don’t want to be forced into a conversation with any of them about it.
Anyway, these are just a few of her examples, and I don’t do it justice. Check out the book, if you’re into such things. She has a lot of wise and hilarious advice. She does not suffer fools or take any shit, and neither should we.
Surround yourself with people who enrich your life. Happy Holidays!
Here’s a place you can buy it. https://www.amazon.com/Im-Judging-You-Do-Better-Manual/dp/1627796061
3 thoughts on “Getting rid of toxic relationships.. sort of a partial book review of “I’m Judging You.” by Luvvy Ajayi.”
I just put it on my book list, thank you!
I watched her TED talk on “getting comfortable for being uncomfortable,” and I like her.
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I follow her on Facebook, too. She’s funny and wise.
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