Transitions Kuel Category Expert: Nancy Tepper
Let’s face it. Besides family, relationships with friends are one of the most important factors in having a happy life.
Good friends support and sustain you, bring joy, and want the best for you. Real friendships bring laughter and fun but also support in times of sorrow or difficulty. When you are younger, friendships are less discerning. You can attract to someone on the basis of interests, not necessarily on values and morals. As one matures, most friends will likely come into your life based on your community, workplace, children, and routines.
Toxic Relationships Sneak Into Our Lives:
“No one expects to have a toxic friendship”
Surprisingly, despite our best intentions to find and nurture good friendships, many of us engage in relationships that cause stress and misery as well. No one expects to have a toxic friendship, but sometimes they emerge as boundaries and expectations are not managed appropriately. It often becomes very hard to disengage especially when lives begin to overlap, and mutual friends and family members are involved.
What can you do if a friend isn’t making you happy or feel good and how can you manage this relationship?
As a coach, the best suggestion I can offer is to find your voice and reset your personal boundaries before the friendship becomes irreparable. It may be uncomfortable and could become confrontational, but it is worth taking a stand to avoid future issues.
How To Take Care Of Yourself:
“people treat you by the boundaries you set for them”
I often tell clients, that I work with, that people treat you by the boundaries you set for them. If you allow someone to treat you poorly or talk to you in a way that makes you feel badly, this will become the norm. If someone expects more than you can give or are willing to give, you will feel stressed and the friendship becomes intolerable. You may feel that you are always being attacked. Or, feel defensive or judged. It may be time to transition out of a toxic relationship.
If your friend fails to respond to your boundaries, it may be time to walk away and end the friendship. Losing a friend is an adjustment. But, eventually you will realize that removing the toxicity gives you freedom. No matter your age, never forget that you should spend time with people who make you feel better about yourself, bring out the best in you, and who truly love you for the unique soul that you are.
Good relationships are based on mutual respect, not an imbalance of power.
About the Author:
Nancy Tepper is a 54 year- old mother of three living in New York City and having fun in this next chapter. She loves tennis, yoga, and is an avid reader. Nancy loves spending time with family and friends and loves to help people. She is currently a member of the Board and Executive Director of Stand Up! Girls which is a non-profit offering stand-up comedy classes to under-served girls in the five boroughs of New York City. Nancy is also a co-founder of MT Nesters podcast which offers valuable advice and inspiration to women who are empty nested and trying to pivot. Lastly, Nancy is a certified Life Coach and works with people who want to transition, or individuals who want to make positive changes in their lives