While someone could be in a position where their friendships are generally fulfilling, they could also have people around them who make their life harder than it needs to be. This is then going to be similar to how one can eat food that is good for them or they can eat food that isn’t.
At the same time, there is the chance that this is another area of their life that is having a negative effect on them. But with that aside, one could feel as though it isn’t safe for them to be themselves around these people.
The people who they are close to could do far more damage than the people they are not close to. Thus, they could find that they feel better spending time with strangers than their friends.
A Different Experience
Alternatively, one could find that there are times when their friends treat them well and times when they don’t. As a result of this, they might not know where they stand with them, and this could cause them to experience anxiety and/or anger.
And while they may only have people around them who don’t treat them well, it might not be this black and white. Instead, they could have a few friends who are different, and this is something that is likely to have a positive effect on them.
If this is the case, these people could wonder why they spend time with people who treat them in this way. It could be hard for them to understand what is going on for them, and they could put it down to them having low self-esteem, for instance.
Yet, if one comes across as confident and as though they have it all together, they could believe that it’s not because they don’t value themselves. In this case, one could spend time with people who take advantage of them in other ways.
For example, one could people in their life who are happy to take from them, and have no interest in giving anything back. It is then not a friendship that is based on give and take; it is completely out of balance.
Their needs are typically going to be overlooked, and one could end up wearing themselves out through doing so much of these people. When they think about these people, they are unlikely to experience positive feelings.
On one hand, they could have moments when they get angry and have a go at them. This could be something that does very little to change their behaviour, but that doesn’t mean that one will walk away from them.
On the other hand, there could be moments when one acts in a passive aggressive manner. And although these people could understand why they are acting in this way, they could be completely oblivious.
One could also behave in both of these ways; it could all depend on how they feel and who has annoyed them. So regardless of whether one has people in their life who verbally abuse them and/or walk over them, for instance, it can be what feels comfortable.
As if they were not getting anything from it, they wouldn’t continue to put up with these kinds of people. Now, this is not to say that one is consciously aware of why they put up with people like this.
If one has experienced life in this way for a as long as they can remember, it could be seen as just how life is. It is then not something that they are in control of; it is simply something they have to tolerate.
However, if they were to look back on what took place during their childhood years, they may find their adult relationships are strangely similar. Thus, what is taking place can be seen as a reflection of what took place all those years ago.
The Past is Present
What this comes down to is that how one was treated during their early years would have laid down the foundations for what they would feel comfortable with as an adult. These experiences would be familiar, and what is familiar is what is classed as safe to the mind.
It would have been completely irrelevant that one was being treated badly; the only thing that mattered is that this is what was familiar. This is one reason why it is so important that children are treated well by their caregivers.
The sooner one is able to realise what is happening, the sooner they can do something about it. What one can do when they are not aware of what is going on is to try and change their friends.
This can be a sign that they have unconsciously projected their abusive parent/s onto their friends, and through changing them, it can be a way for them to change the parent/s that lives within them. The defence mechanism known as repetition compulsion is often mentioned when it comes to understanding this phenomenon.
As one’s friends are not their parents, this is not going to get them very far, and so this could cause them to experience even more pain. Once they begin to heal the pain that is within them, they will gradually lose the desire to change other people, and the people who they attract will treat them with respect
This is something that can take place through working with a therapist.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.