Sometimes the person you count on the most to help is the one trying to keep you down. Tips to help.
Whether it’s beginning a new diet, a new job or going back to school, the people you may count on the most may show you a less than supportive side. No matter what these fake friends say, they are not your friends. They are people who came into your life to compete with you and drag you back, so they can move forward feeling good when they compare themselves to you.
These fake friends are not afraid of your success. They are afraid that your success will make them look like a failure. They are self-centered so they cannot think very far past themselves. You may have experienced this with diets, financial plans, and even moving. Those most afraid of failing will be the worst with your potential success.
Let’s say, for example, that you decide to get your budget under control. The behaviors you enlist to accomplish this goal may terrify your deeply in debt fake friend. Since they cannot admit this, your fake friend may talk about how cheap you are because you no longer want to go out to dinner, or they may say in front of you and others that you have changed and have become more self-centered. You being sensitive may misread this, and begin to reflect on it. This is where the fake friend does the most damage. They want to influence you in a manner where you believe them and doubt yourself. It may be difficult not to, because you are thinking, “Well, they are my friend.” Stop the thought process there…they are NOT your friend. They are your saboteur.
This type of incident is played out all of the time in the weight loss community. I see it with my Bariatric patients who have weight loss surgery, only to be sabotaged by their fake friends. My obese patients may have felt worthless for so long that they began believing their friends were the people who accepted them. Many of the people who accepted them were fake friends. They were the ones actually sabotaging every effort my patients made toward successful weight loss. The loss of fake friends is so common after weight loss surgery that part of my evaluation for potential surgical weight loss patients is reminding them of what the saboteurs look like in their life. It is difficult when you find out that you sleep with your saboteur. Husbands and wives are not immune to feeling like a failure when their spouse achieves their goal, whether it is weight loss or achieving success in another area of life.
When you identify your saboteur or fake friend, it is important that you know how to deal with them, without sacrificing your goals. Below are suggestions, but my first and most highly recommended suggestion is to be upfront and direct about what you are seeing. A fake friend is just that, whether you sleep with them or only see them once a week for coffee. They need to know you do not appreciate their behavior and you see it clearly.
1. If the friend is only an occasional friend or person you deal with, cutting off communication during your working toward your goal may be wise. If your saboteur is a family member, this may be impossible, but otherwise, since they aren’t a real friend anyway, I would let them go.
2. State your goals clearly to your supportive friends, and have them with you whenever you are engaged with these family members or fake friends you cannot cut out of your life. That way, your supportive friends can help support your mission in the midst of naysayers.
3. Minimize the amount of focus you give your goals when in the presence of fake friends. Since fake friends focus on their own goals and needs, they won’t miss what you don’t bring up.
4. Become more comfortable being alone. Having fake friends drains a lot of energy. Save that energy you give away to fake friends to accomplish more of what you want to in life.
In order to become the best version of ourselves, we need to set goals. Real friends support our goals and want the best for us. If you set a goal and notice others trying to dissuade you or make you feel less fun, less worthwhile, or shamed in any way, that is a red flag the person you thought was a friend is terrified of their failure if you succeed. Gently back away and leave the room. –Mary Jo Rapini
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