Quality over Quantity

I have only a small circle of friends and associates and I like it that way. I’d much rather only five true friends than to have a million fake ones. And the truth is that you can have millions of frenemies and fair-weather friends who don’t value you as much as you deserve to be valued and still be lonely. You are no better off than you’d be if you had no friends at all.

But you can have only one friend, two friends, three or five, true friends who genuinely love you, enjoy being around you, and have your back and never feel abandoned.

Quantity is always zero without quality.

You can own a hundred houses, but it does not mean you’re rich. If your hundred houses are all infested with termites, rats, and cockroaches; and about to fall apart, do you really have anything of value?

A hundred cars don’t make a dealership if they’re all old beaters that don’t run. No. What you have is a junkyard.

The same goes with the friends you keep around. You can have thousands of friends but if they all treat you like crap, never have your back, and bail out at the first sign of trouble, they aren’t worth a damn, and you should ditch and switch.

Pick friends who know your worth and who earn the privilege of being in your life.

You must add value to yourself and that means that your time and your friendship must come at a cost. And that cost is reciprocation.

If a so-called friend constantly deals you shabby treatment, you must immediately withdraw your friendship and tell that person to take a walk and to not even look back. That’s how you add value to yourself.

You must teach others how they should treat you.

I realize that it won’t be easy to walk away, especially if you’re a target of bullying and your toxic, fake friends seem to be the only options you have. Nobody wants to be lonely and friendless. However, wouldn’t you rather be by yourself than to have sorry pieces of crap who only let you down as your friends. I know I would!

You must know your worth. Know that you deserve more than the crumbs you’re getting. And know that you can have true friends if you ditch these creeps. Think of it like this: You’re getting rid of them to make room for the better friends you’re about to meet. I’m not saying that you won’t be friendless for a while because you just might be.

And if you must wait, here are a few things you can do to lift your spirits while you wait:

1.Dive into your hobbies.

2. Spend time with family and friends.

3. Do the things you enjoy doing.

4. Exercise.

5. Treat yourself to a pampering session- get a spa treatment, go on a trip to the beach, etc.

There are so many things you can do that will put a smile on your face. Only you know what they are. Self-care is so important during times like these.

But I promise you. You will meet better people and you will make better friends. And once you do, they will be worth the wait! Don’t you think you’re worth it? I do.

And always remember. Quality over quantity!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Some People Aren’t Worth Your Time

Some people don’t come into your life to help you, they come to hinder you.

Some don’t come into your life to love you, they come to use you.

To some people, you’re not a person. You’re an opportunity.

They don’t love you for you, they love you for what you can do for them, and what they can take from you.

Some people aren’t loyal to you. They’re loyal to the benefits that come with you.

That’s why they disappear, no matter how many times you’ve appeared for them.

They never offer assistance, no matter how many times you’ve assisted them.

Stop standing behind people who don’t stand behind you.

Stop breaking your back for people who don’t have yours.

Stop busting your butt for people who don’t watch yours.

Some people aren’t blessings, they’re lessons.

Realize that these people aren’t worth a nanosecond of your time, and you must drop them like a bad habit. Only then will you feel better about yourself and attract more genuine and authentic people- people who uplift you and who love you for simply being beautiful, wonderful, awesome you!

A Closer Look at Frenemies (Part 2)

In Part 1, we discussed frenemies and the gradual but growing hot/cold, waxing and waning in their behavior, which snowballs into a terrible lashing of venom that leaves a target both shocked and hurt.

Again, if you’ve ever found yourself on the receiving end of a frenemy’s poison, rest assured that none of it was your fault and you were not the person with the issue. Understand that in using this hot/cold, nice/nasty cycle, the frenemy only used “The Push/Pull Method” on you.

This push and pull technique is exactly how it sounds: the frenemy pulls the target in, pushes him/her away, then pulls them in again. This back and forth cycle is specifically designed to hook you into the friendship and throw you off your game! Realize that the person was more than likely never your friend!

You may ask yourself these questions:

“If this person was never my friend and never liked me to begin with, why then did they exert such much effort to get close to me?”

“Why did this person latch on to me in the first place?”

Jealousy was most likely the culprit. Your frenemy (or frenemies) was intensely jealous of something you possessed and wanted a way to punish you for having something- anything they only wished they had. They wanted to bring you down a few notches…to put you in your place…to cut you down to size!

Rather than a direct, frontal assault, they preferred to out-flank you by carefully cozying up to you, tricking you into dropping your defenses, and winning your complete trust to get close to you!

Another reason could be that the frenemy somehow gets an ego-boost from being “friends” with you and the thought of being seen with you!

Understand that this closeness is a way to hook you into the friendship, then gather intimate, personal details about your life and personality to suss out any weaknesses or less-than-desirable qualities you have. Fake-friends are like police detectives who attempt to build a case against you.

Once they gather the intel they need, they exploit this information, using it as a weapon to harm you, ruin your reputation, and sabotage your personal relationships and associations.

When you finally get fed up, put your foot down and end the friendship, the frenemy then paints you as the mean, mentally-unbalanced, or selfish person and trumpets any dirt collected on you to anyone who will listen to them. I want you to understand that this is how frenemies operate. People such as these are very sneaky, meticulous, and worst of all, patient!

It is much better to have full-blown enemies than frenemies because, with an enemy, you always know where you stand and can more easily avoid contact. However, (especially those who are charming and persuasive) have ways of reeling you in and keeping you dependent on their approval and acceptance.

 

Red flag waving on blue sky background.

And if you are a victim of bullying, the relationship is much harder to get out of because you’re afraid of going back to being friendless. But wouldn’t you rather be to yourself than to keep company with people who only wish to bring you down? I know I would!

Remember that a smiling face does not a friend make. Not everyone who pats you on the back has your best interests at heart. There are red flags you can look for, and speed in friendship progression is a major red flag! Anytime someone is so quick to call you a friend, be alert! Alternating hot and cold (flip-flopping) and micro-flashes of contempt and hostility in their body language are also warnings you should be aware of!

In these scenarios, the best you can do is to step back and maintain plenty of distance between you and the person in question. Only then is it possible to observe them and figure out their true motivations and intentions!

A Closer Look at Frenemies

Every single one of us has had that one “friend” or that handful of “friends,” if that’s what you prefer to call them. They seem to really like us and want to be around us all the time. They cozy up to us very quickly (too quickly), seemingly mesmerized by us, bombarding us with attention and laying the flattery on super-thick really early in the relationship and wanting so badly to be a part of our lives.

They butter us up with compliments, smile at us, and pat us on the back, making us feel great about ourselves. If you’re being bullied and are feeling insecure like I was years ago, this is such a welcome change!

You’re bullied, lonely, rejected, and this seems to be just the thing you’ve been waiting for, giving you that much-needed shot of dopamine you’ve been craving for so long!

Suddenly you feel great about yourself and think that maybe, the bullying might be coming to an end. Soon, however, you notice subtle signs in the person that doesn’t feel so good, occasionally seeing out of the corner of your eye those split-second flashes of disdain on the faces of your “new friends”…a sneer here, an evil, piercing glance there.

Although your gut begins to sound off, telling you that something is “off” about this person (or these people), you only mentally make excuses for them.

“Maybe he/she is having a rough day.”
“Maybe someone made him/her angry before they came to visit.”
“Maybe they’re just in a bad mood.”

Wanting to believe the very best of the person(s), you mentally explain away the signs that tell you that something just isn’t right. Then, when it happens again, you begin to ask yourself,

“Was it something I said or something I did accidentally to offend this person?”

Next, your new buddy or buddies seem cold toward you. They begin to alternate hot and cold, and you’re left bewildered as to the causation, all the while your sixth sense is telling you to put some distance yourself and these people and to do it fast! But you don’t because this person is a friend. You love them and don’t want to seem like a heel or that you don’t appreciate their friendship.

Also, the bullies have suddenly disappeared, and you want to keep it this way. Even worse and more pathetic, you dread the possibility of going back to square one…eating your lunch alone, walking alone in the halls, and once again, being the target of bullies.

So, you continue to tolerate unacceptable behavior because, deep down, you don’t think that you can find better people to be pals with. You’ve been bullied and shamed for so long that you have actually forgotten what a true friend is and what it’s like to have one.

When you finally work up the nerve to ask the person about his/her behavior, they either lie about the behavior, downplay it, or worse, tell you that you’re imagining things or being too sensitive. However, as time goes by, those tiny micro-expressions of ire, the split-second glares, and subtle, back-handed compliments and coldness only become more frequent!

Now, your Spidey-senses are screaming! Others you thought were decent toward you are now giving you the silent treatment, and you don’t know why.

Suddenly, BAM! It happens! The person lashes out at you for reasons that are so trivial, or worse, reasons which seem to be made up! You know you should tell them to take a hike, but you only blame yourself or give misplaced apologies instead, looking even more pathetic to bystanders and witnesses! Even worse, now, you look like an even bigger target to bullies!

Continued in Part 2…

Who Are the People Most Hurtful to a Target? ‘Tisn’t the Bullies (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1…)

When you’re a target of bullying in school or at work, you can’t afford to put all your trust in anyone, not even those who seem to be your friends. I’m not suggesting you be completely paranoid, only nonchalant. Because in a toxic area, you will have a few nosy wolves in sheep’s clothing around you, who will try to get close to you for no other reason than to probe for intimate details about you and your life.

They will also study you like a lab-rat to see how you react to certain things and find out your opinions, especially opinions of your bullies and other people you go to school or work with. Why? So they can take the juicy deets and report back to your bullies with them.

Here are ways that you can pick up on your classmates or coworkers’ hidden attitudes and intentions.

1. Always observe the people around you – without looking like you’re watching, of course. Use your peripheral vision to scan them and your environment, and you’ll quickly pick up on the moods and sense the elephant in the room (if there is one).

2. Look for body language that isn’t congruent with words and context – Actions speak louder than words. If their body language isn’t congruent with words, background, or the situation and shows even a hint of hostility and discomfort when they’re around you, then “Houston, we have a problem.”

back-stabbing colleagues threatening an employee with scissors and knife

3. Watch for micro flashes – If you’re not careful, you’re likely to miss those tiny, split-second micro flashes of contempt people give without realizing it or when they think you aren’t aware of it. There are good actors; don’t get me wrong, but there are certain things the body gives away involuntarily, and if you look for it, you’ll see it.

When you’re around fake friends, sometimes, as you turn your back, you’ll see a tiny micro flash of contempt on their faces out of the corner of your eye. Then, you’ll get that nagging feeling in the pit of your gut. Don’t ignore that because you don’t only imagine things! Eighty-six, these creeps fast!

4. Notice the person’s feet – You can tell a lot by the feet! If the person is talking to you, facing you, but their feet are pointing away from you, that means they aren’t as “with you” as you think. Put some distance between you and that person.

5. Watch for crossed arms while talking to the person – If you’re having a conversation with the person and they cross their arms over their chest, that’s a dead giveaway! They’re exhibiting closed body language, and they’re closing themselves off to anything you have to say. It’s time to make an excuse to end the tete-a-tete and walk away. You don’t want this person around you.

6. Looking at you without blinking – if they do this, it’s a sure sign of contempt, or they’re trying to intimidate you. Either way, this person is not the person you want to be around.

7. Other signs to look for – a furrowed brow, one corner of the lip slightly raised, an icy, piercing stare, smiling at you with their mouth but not the eyes (no crinkles around the eyes). Any of these signs, you might want to distance yourself.

8. If they look at you, then look at each other when you walk away – again, you want nothing to do with these people.

9. Watch what you share– Very important! Don’t tell anyone anything they don’t need to know. Not even to those who seem friendly Don’t reveal information that’s better off private. Don’t badmouth anybody, especially the bullies, to anyone. They may smile in your face, but you can be sure they’ll report back to the bullies with anything you say and try to fan the flames.

10. Watch for eavesdroppers – If you have an innocent conversation with someone in the hall, be on the lookout for eavesdroppers. Don’t talk near corners or open doors. Many times people will listen in on your discussion, then report back to the bullies with it. Pay attention to people who walk by.

And if you see other people standing around while you’re speaking and those people aren’t a part of the conversation, take the discussion to a place more private.

Who Are the People Most Hurtful to a Target? ‘Tisn’t the Bullies.

It wasn’t the attacks from the bullies themselves. The bullies were the people from whom I’d come to expect that kind of behavior. From them, any vitriol, any vile and disgusting words and actions came as no surprise to me!

What hurt more than anything was the betrayal– when those I thought were my friends would so quickly and without question believe the lies and rumors that my bullies had spread. It was akin to being kicked in the stomach. Also, these so-called friends in school never had my back. Some even had the power to stop the bullying and protect me but refused, only throwing me under the bus.

Friends are supposed to be the people who believe the best of you. They are supposed to have your back any time someone attacks you. They’ll speak on your behalf when another person so much as badmouths you behind your back but in front of them, and they’ll stick up for you even when you’re not around to see them do it. Real friends are with you no matter what, especially when the chips are down. They will go to hell and back for you.

But sadly, during school, the people I thought I could trust did the opposite; they’d either go along with or believe the lies- and without bothering to ask me first!

My fake friends often sold me out- delivered me up to my bullies- with my head on a plate.

Rejection and mistreatment from a bully are easier to deal with because, from a bully, you expect nothing more. It’s much harder to take when it comes from someone you think is a friend and think highly of. When I look back now, I realize that I didn’t have friends in school until I was in the twelfth grade.

Before senior year, I only kept these so-called pals around and put up with them because they were the only options I had. It was pathetic.

The betrayals I suffered years ago is why I’m so selective of who I let in my life today. It’s also why I prefer to keep my circle small. I’d rather have only a handful of real friends than a million half-baked, fake ones. But we don’t value ourselves like we should when we’re teenagers and haven’t been in the world very long.

Too many people are overly concerned with having a large number of friends but don’t realize that real friends- people who have your back, who have your best at heart and will go to bat for you under the worst conditions- are a rare commodity and don’t come around every day.

Finding genuine friends is like opening a thousand empty oysters and finding only five or six pearls. These are the friends who are worth more than gold! And if you have them, you’d better appreciate them for all that they are!

When I meet a new person for the first time, I no longer wonder whether they’ll like me; I now wonder if I’m going to like them. I choose who I let in and who I give the boot, and if I stop having anything to do with someone, you can bet they betrayed me somehow, and I consider betrayal a deadly sin that will get someone dismissed very quickly.

I know what I want in a friend, and I won’t settle for anything less because anything less than desired is unacceptable. Loyalty is a virtue I look for, and if the person isn’t loyal, they aren’t worthy!

I want you to understand that if you have friends who are so quick to believe the lies your bullies tell them that they get angry with you and refuse to speak to you, guess what? These people are not your friends. They never were! Why else would they take your bullies’ word over yours and be so quick to turn against you?

Maybe those you thought were your friends only tolerated you because they felt sorry for you. And why would you settle for someone’s pity? Or, maybe your so-called friends didn’t have many options themselves, and you were only a second choice friend, or worse! The last-resort-friend! Ewww! Who wants that!

If you have friends who don’t stand with you and fade into the woodwork when your bullies attack you, they’re not worth your time or energy. Friends like that don’t deserve the privilege of being a part of your life. You’re better off without them.

You need to ditch these losers and find better friends, even if it means you have to be by yourself for a while. Hey, I know it sucks. Nobody wants to be alone. However, you must learn to be your own best friend before anyone else can.

Sometimes you must clean out all the trash to make room for the good stuff- the people who deserve to be in your life.

Continued in Part 2…

Why Frenemies Are Worse Than Enemies

Targets often pick “friends” who only tolerate them or those who wish them ill will because they’re often lonely and desperate. For so long, they have been wrongly alienated from others due to rumors and lies that bullies have spread about them to keep them from making friends.

Because the target is so hungry for a connection…any connection, he/she will befriend anyone…and I mean anyone! They are not selective with who they call “friend” and end up latching on to people who are not even worth knowing…predators, who only take advantage.

Also, young victims often assume that to be “cool,” they have to have a big circle of friends. This is not true.

With that being said, I want you to know that if you are a victim of bullying, you do not need a whole slew of people in your life to be happy nor to feel like or be a whole person. You only need your family and a few true friends. It’s safer this way. Wouldn’t you much rather have just a handful of true friends than to have an abundance of frenemies? I know I would.

In fact, you should prefer to have enemies over ‘frenemies’ because, with an enemy, you know exactly where they stand without having to do any guesswork. However, you will always be the last to know with frenemies after being played for a sucker.

If at any time you wonder about a person…if your intuition is telling you that something is “off,” put some distance between yourself and that individual and do it fast! Instinct is trying to warn you.

If your so-called friends are only tolerating you, stabbing you in the back, or sabotaging you in any way, it’s time to eighty-six of these leaches to your self-esteem. And the sooner you do, the better!

Toxic Friendship

Have you ever had so-called friends who seemed to turn hot and cold toward you? Who manipulated you into doing something you didn’t want to do? Fake friends who never had your back and always threw you under the bus whenever you were in trouble or in danger? Who treated you shabbily and didn’t seem to care how they hurt you? Whom you had to apologize to for things you weren’t guilty of just to keep the peace?

Have you ever had that particular friend who seemed possessive of you and wanted to keep you all to herself? Who would get angry when she saw you talking to another friend of yours, or worse, treat the other friend like a fifth wheel because she feels threatened by your friendship with the other girl?

Or…maybe it’s less obvious. Your so-called friend discourages you when you tell him what your plans for the future are. You tell your frenemy that you’re planning to cut a CD, or write a book and publish it. And he shoots you off your saddle by telling you in the most caring and concerned tone,

“I want to warn you before you get your hopes up because the last thing I want is to see you disappointed. Most singers and writers never get anywhere with their music and books. It’s hard to make it in that industry today.”

Although that may be true- it’s very difficult to make it in both the music and publishing industries, your friend should at least encourage you and be proud of you for having the guts to try. Because, who knows? You may be one of the lucky few who do make it. However, if you don’t even try, you won’t even have a chance of succeeding.

Maybe you have a dream of one day becoming an actor and your friends ridicule you for having that dream and tell you that you’ll only crash and burn.

Maybe you’ve made a great achievement or won an award and your friends only give you backhanded compliments, or trivialize your accomplishment.

Any time friends discourage you like that, you have to wonder if they’re only discouraging you because they’re afraid that you just might be successful. You also must ask yourself whether they believe in you or not, or if they’re secretly resentful of your success.

If you’re having these problems with those who are supposed to be your friends. My loving advice is to find new friends. You owe it to yourself. Realize that real friends make us feel better about ourselves not worse. Real friends enhance your life, they don’t cause pain or humiliation.

Toxic friends only suck the life out of you and leave you feeling worthless. You deserve friends who are ride or die. You deserve friends who are there for you no matter what kind of storms you may be going through. And you deserve friends who value you and don’t want to lose you.

But first, you must value yourself. And how you value yourself is to get rid of anyone who doesn’t treat you as well as you treat them. You may be alone for a spell, but your people will find you eventually and it will be worth it in the end. I guarantee it!

Drawing Your Enemies Out in the Open

We think we know all the people in our lives, especially those closest to us, but many are not who they make us think they are. In life, there will be fakers and imposters, people who will infiltrate your inner circle and pretend to be your friends. These people will seem to latch onto you like a tick to a dog. Then, they can figure out everything about you- your soft spots, intentions, the most intimate details of your life, goals, and dreams. Then these people will work behind the scenes to sabotage and crush you.

But what if I told you that there is a clever way to draw all those rogues out? Even scarier, what if I told you that it won’t be an easy thing to do?

In fact, it just might be the hardest thing to do because it requires unshakeable confidence and self-belief.

What do I mean by this? Here it is:

Sometimes, you must play the loser and appear weak to make the people around you feel safe. Only then can you draw them out and trick them into removing their fake husks. This is what you do anytime you have any shred of doubt about a person or persons.

You must realize that when people feel untouchable, they become brazen, and that is when you see their true nature. And to make them feel untouchable, you must give them the impression that they’ve already won.

I won’t kid you. This will be hard to do because it will feel like a huge blow to your pride. You’ll be ridiculed, people will gloat, and it won’t feel good at all. In fact, it’ll feel terrible, even humiliating at times.

This is something most people wouldn’t dream of doing because, as I just mentioned, it’s downright terrifying. Nobody wants to know of any possibility that a long-trusted friend could turn out to be a snake. I get that.

It feels so much better (and safer) to live in denial and act as if everything is peachy king. Also, no one wants to look weak. It feels better to appear strong even if you’re not.

It’s a blow to the ego when we’re defeated, and– even when we aren’t defeated but appear that way to the rest of the world. But trust me, it is only, ONLY, when you’re at your lowest you find out who’s really in your corner, and, more importantly, was all along.

So, again, if you can give the illusion that you’ve been knocked on your tookus, you’ll be surprised at the snakes who shed their skins and reveal themselves, and some will more than likely be people you’d never expect. Very few people realize who their enemies are until the fit hits the shan.

Any time you appear to be at your weakest and lowest, not only will your secret enemies reveal themselves, they’ll also be more emboldened to act against you. And when they do, they’ll do it openly! And the reason these people will be so open with their dirt is because they’ll mistake you for being powerless to fight back.

But realize that this is the only way for you to clear the dead weight and human clutter from your life. And you do it by unmasking it first. After all, you must know who to get rid of before you can do this successfully, and if done right, you can ensure your safety and peace of mind in the future.

You can remove any obstacles to your progress and more easily achieve your goals. More importantly, you can ensure a better future for yourself.

So, in closing, any time you have doubts about a friend or two, do something to make yourself appear weak or down and out. Then see how they respond and what they do.

It might not feel good at the time, but you’ll thank yourself later. Even better, you’ll thank all the fakers for walking into your well-laid trap and showing you what lowlifes, they really are. And you’ll smile and hold your head high as you walk away and discard them into the trash heap of the many scumbags who underestimated you.