The gift of goodbye: Letting go of high-maintenance relationships

The season finale of The Real Housewives of Atlanta was, predictably, drama as usual: backbiting, backstabbing, friends with no backbone, and a white woman with a bad weave. (I can’t even speak on it.)

Clearly these women don’t know when to fold ‘em and just walk away. Everybody’s trying so hard to keep the peace with NeNe, but at some point, somebody’s gonna have to take the high road and say enough is enough, this is my stop, let me off this rollercoaster ride.

Why do we fight so hard to hold on to high-maintenance, toxic friendships?

I knew the first time I saw the show that NeNe couldn’t be my friend, because it would be too much work maintaining the relationship. Here’s a woman who functions by being dysfunctional. And people like that get heavy. They drain you of all things holy.

Friend is not some flippant term that I use to describe casual relationships. I reserve that term of endearment for those people who breathe life into me, and I them. Earlier this year I felt disrespected by a so-called friend. When we talked about the incident that caused those feelings, he said, “I don’t owe you anything. And I don’t owe her anything.” His response made me think about the nature of our relationship. The problem was that we never defined it. He called me a friend, but his cavalier approach to friendship was a turnoff to me. His words reverberated with me the following day, and after my neck and eyes stopped rolling (you know, the Black woman thing), I knew it was time to bid him farewell and wish him all the best, because I don’t have friends who don’t feel like they owe me respect. In that same manner, I don’t know how to befriend someone who I don’t respect. As Ceddy would ask, “What is we gone do”?

True friendships are invaluable, and I’m all for trying to straighten things out. But, if the horse is dead, get off! Know when it’s time to give yourself the gift of goodbye.

Lisa Maria Carroll
Single Mom...and so much more!

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Tags: Atlanta, Friends, Housewives, Kim, Leakes, NeNe, Zolciak, weave

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Comment by Erika Berry on December 1, 2008 at 7:23am
Your article is so true. I have ended bad friendships, they end in a wimper not a bang. You have to decide that it is better to be alone than drag that dead horse around. It was hard for me to distinguish between forgiving and forgetting when I should have seen it was a little beyond that. I wonder what the tipping point is for people? When do people go over the line and a friendship is over?

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