Like most, I have dealt with my fair share of ‘shady’ and ‘toxic’ people over my 27 years. There were those friendships and relationships that started as all good things do, then at some point it all went a bit, well, a bit Pete tong. I’ve always believed that it is at that point that you really see who someone is – when it goes wrong that is when people show you their ‘true self’.
Life is unpredictable, you don’t need to be a genius to know that, and you want to make sure you have good people around you when the shit hits the fan. Over the years I have got pretty good at differentiating between the weeds and flowers.
I am a lot more guarded with people now than I was when I was fresh out of school but my inner hippy still wants to believe in the potential good in people and, to quote a friend, “that blinds you to who they really are and you end up being disappointed and then shutting everyone else out”. It’s true, too many times in the past I’ve put flowers in an asshole and called it a vase. (I’m not quite sure where all these plant references are coming from but we’ll just go with it)
I really thought that I’d mastered being able to tell the difference between the good and the bad though like, I was almost at 5 years clean! 5 years with no weeds. A record for me, but, alas, it became apparent recently that this was not the case.
I’m still pretty proud of the 5 years clean though, I’d mainly done that by only letting a few newbies in and also doing something that we never seem to do – trust our gut. I always get a ‘vibe’ from people who I am with –how this vibe makes me feel will determine if I put you in the ‘hi ya’ or ‘bye-ya’ basket.
If I’m unsure then I’ll generally go quiet and then observe them. Like David Attenborough watching a gazelle in Africa. I sit patiently and wait, they show their true self in the end.
The following 5 are normally the most obvious (although they may not display them frequently or at the same time) clues that they are sucky people. You don’t need sucky people in your life, there is enough going on.
They only seem to be around or in touch when they need something
This, generally, won’t be a straight away thing. This will creep in later on. Of course there is give and take in any relationship/friendship and we all go through phases of taking more than we give but when you get to the point of wondering what the relationship brings to your life that’s the time to think about getting out.
They enjoy stirring trouble up between other people
The thing that is perhaps scariest of all, is that some of these people don’t appear to see the negative impact they have on other people by doing this. Those of them that do, who are perhaps the grossest kind of human, seem to derive a bizarre satisfaction from the stress and chaos that they have created. Do you really want to be associated with someone like that? Someone that causes trouble for the sake of it isn’t going to be in your corner when your life takes a turn; they’ll be grabbing popcorn and watching it all unfold.
They find ways to slyly make you feel like shit about yourself
It could be a look, a tone in their voice when they mention something you’re wearing/ doing etc . It is always very subtle and normally when you are in a group so they have an audience see them ‘put you in your place’. Sometimes people are just too blunt about how you look; your weight, your hair, your spots.
It’s fine though because they are your friend and they are ‘just joking’. Right?
You catch them in a lie / They are fake af
Think Mean Girls. Regina George and that is the ugliest ‘effin skirt I have ever seen. If you have no clue what I’m talking about then see below ( and then go watch Mean Girls).
The lies are always believable at first but sooner or later they start to unravel. When you call them on it YOU are the bad person, not them. Ok then…
When you’re done hanging out you always feel like shit.
Not necessarily related to number 3. This is more about how you feel physically when you leave them. There are those people who just seem to drain you of your energy and leave you feeling super bleurgh. Headaches, nausea… these can be a sign of a dodgy friend as well as a dodgy lunch.
We are all so so busy, that sometimes weeds will sneak into our lovely gardens. For the most part we have all decent, honest, kind, funny, uplifting people in our lives. It is only natural. It is also natural to always want to defend our ‘friends’ because we think they are just that, a friend. You’ve known them for a long time maybe, or maybe it’s easier to keep them around for whatever reason.
If having them in your life is detrimental to your happiness – it is not ok. It is not easier to have them around. If you really must keep them in your life, please recognize them and keep them at arm’s length.
If you take just one thing from this post please let it be this. When people show you their true self and it is sucky, DROP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING AND RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.
YOU CANNOT CHANGE SOMEONE! THEY WILL NOT CHANGE FOR YOU OR BECAUSE OF YOU. THEY WILL ONLY CHANGE WHEN THEY ARE FULLY READY TO AND REALISE THEIR BEHAVIOUR IS SUCKY, AND THIS MAY BE NEVER. DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES FOR THEM BECAUSE YOU ARE JUST ENABLING THEM AND THEIR BEHAVIOUR.
THEY ARE NOT DIFFERENT WHEN THEY ARE WITH YOU.
Sorry for the all caps, I just feel very strongly about this.
I’m going to take a wild guess now and say that, if you have been thinking about someone in particular as you have been reading then, chances are, you’ve found/ recognise a weed.
Don’t bury your head in the sand, take note and say see ya later, pal! You will feel better for it, I promise (I have done/do).