I’ve had my belly full of unsolicited advice, ill spirited innuendo and “friendly” recommendations. I am not amused.
I very recently had an in depth conversation with a newly made friend who wanted to level with me. Allow me to level it right back. Let’s do this.
I am well aware that if I used Botox I would look years younger. I don’t give a rat’s butt. At this point I think I look just fine as I am. I’m sure I could look better, but my natural best is good enough for me, at least for now. I’ve tried Botox and it gave me a horrendous headache. For days. Besides, I happen to be fond of facial expressions.
I know I would look better in my natural hair color (as a brunette). The fact is, my hair is going crazy gray and I’m not the least bit interested in spending hour upon hour at the salon while spending hundreds of dollars for the privilege. Besides, I have a sneaky feeling that all that hair dye throughout the years has something to do with me never remembering where my car keys are. So, I’ve lightened my hair to accommodate the increasing gray. I’m not thrilled about it, but I am at peace with it.
I am well aware that I am fluffier than I should be. Thank you so much for pointing that out. Do you not think I own a mirror? Or perhaps you thought me delusional? I’ve had a lot on my plate the last few months and I’ve partaken in some comfort foods to get me by. That, combined with 4 months of leg cast inactivity was admittedly, the perfect storm. Not that it’s your business, but I’m working diligently on the problem. Of course I want to be healthier. I also want to fit into my fabulous wardrobe.
I know I could increase my business tenfold and I know you don’t understand why I don’t go for it. But at the moment I’ve got plenty of clients who pay good money for my time. I ONLY work with people I like and I absolutely love what I do. I work the hours I want with time left over for a real life. I once owned a company with 21 employees. I quickly learned the misery that came with it. It took years for me to learn balance. I’m just where I want to be, thank you.
Of course I would change some things if I had them to do over. I’m not a moron. I learn from my mistakes and I still carry regret for some of them. I admit some of the knowledge has come too late. But is has never fallen on deaf ears. I never said I was perfect.
Yes, I am lucky that I found a good man, or rather, that he found me. This wonderful man is with me because I’m pretty fabulous myself and am worth every effort he has put forth to be with me. Our relationship is as a result of hard work, patience, compromise, respect and lots and lots of affection and love. Lady Luck didn’t grace me with her happiness wand. I earned it and I deserve every minute of it.
Friendship is about loving and supporting each other. It’s about protecting the other’s feelings, being there no matter what, crying with them and plotting vengeance when it’s called for. A good friend is tolerant, understanding, patient, uncritical and forever respectful. I feel I need to say this out loud as clearly the definition has somehow eluded you.
Here’s the deal, when you have a friend that has a competitive and malicious streak, more often than not, you need to cut them loose. You can’t and won’t change them. Only they can do that.
I find that at this point in my life I simply don’t have time to suffer such nonsense. Nor am I inclined, as I have been in past years, to let stuff like this slide.
Let your truth set you free from people who try to pull you down to their level. Trust me when I tell you; it doesn’t matter how old you are, you simply don’t have the time to waste on them.
I’m not sure what you think about negative haters that disguise themselves as friends, but let us all resolve to not allow negativity, jealousy, ignorance, malicious behavior, and unsupported friendships into our lives. Life is too short for meaningless drama.
Do I hear an Amen?!
I feel SO much better now.
Lisa Luckenbach - Amen!
Laura Lee Carter - AMEN! I just cut my sister free for EXACTLY those reasons!
Sharon Hodor Greenthal - Those are NOT friends.
Susan - I agree 100%. With a major birthday next week, I feel I have deserved to be the gal who now chooses where and with whom to spend my time. Age can bring
Powerful knowledge with experience behind those many every day decisions.
Peace reigns !!
Laura Lee Carter - AMEN! Life is far too short to maintain relationships with nasty people!
T.O. Weller - Amen!!
I’ve been much less tolerant of such things in the last year or so, like menopause lifted the veil and I suddenly saw the light.
Rather than wasting my time with people that show no desire to support, accept, understand or protect my feelings (while feeling quite happy to get it from me), I simply walk away.
At first, I wondered if it was my problem. That maybe I’d become too intolerant. But, after a great deal of self-reflection, I’ve come to see that I was too tolerant before, and I’m finally acting from a place of self-worth and self-respect.
Again … Amen!!
Thank you Tammy.
Michele Linse Jeffers - Preach it, sista! I didn’t like high school much when I was a teenager and I sure don’t like it any better now! Away with the haters!
Frankie Foster - AMEN Sista Tammy!!! I think as we get older we get more greys for a reason, gaining more faith in our instincts.
Anne Aria Tichauer - AMEN! Loved your article, Tammy!
Melanie Kissell - With friends like this, who needs enemies?
Melanie Kissell - Yeah, Tammy, I just love it when a ‘friend’ tells me there’s a current special on Botox or she can take me (drag me) to a free day at the local gym as her guest. Those kinds of hints are not appreciated and they don’t resemble friendship in any way. A person who points out your flaws and/or shortcomings is someone you should show the exit.
Sherry Macdonald - You go Girl! I agree be yourself, love yourself. Sometimes we just have to let them go. I love you image! Thank you!
Carmen - Amen, Amen, Amen,
Who needs “so called good friends”!
I refer to these people as non-entities!
Barbara Hammond - I couldn’t agree more! I used to tolerate toxic people, but no more. It helps knowing and believing it is all THEIR problem, never yours. Good job calling them out!
Tammy - Susan, age DOES bring power. Or maybe we are just wising up and the power was there all along. Personally I am super aware that more than half my life has already been lived. So, I have no patience spending whatever time I have left with people who are downright mean. Hell no! You are so right….peace does reign! xo
Tammy - Thanks, Carmen! Non entities is a GREAT title for these horrible human beings. So happy you enjoyed the read!
Tana Bevan - Amen, Tammy. Amen.
For the record, the above applies to family members as well. Toxic is toxic. All organisms want to live and be as healthy as possible. Better to trim the toxicity than allow it to consume you. I’m all for clutter clearing the negative people out of your life, leaves room for those who love you … particularly those who do so unconditionally. *hugs*
Doreen Mcgettigan - AMEN! These are definitely not friends and I hate to admit I spent more then half of my life trying to please them. Moving on…
Cheryl Nicholl - Yes you do —- AMEN. Now, what to do with a sister that’s the same toxin? Ya know what? Let ‘er go, that’s what. AMEN.
Cheryl Nicholl - I have no time for this BULLSHIT either. No time. You’re either with me or you can go. I’m feeling you sista!
Joan Cooper - You said wiser things, but …comfort food …. yum yum !
I too am going through a most difficult time and have been doing comfort food. Glad to know I am not alone with this.
Carol Cassara - Amen from here, too. I am so glad I don’t have anyone like that in my world and like you? I wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior. UGH.
Tammy - This was a no brainer for me, Barbara. Call her out I did! Toxic is the BEST word (where were you when I was writing this piece). So glad you enjoyed the read and gladder still to have you here!
Tammy - Thanks, Lisa! No surprise to me that we are on the same page! Love knowing you are on the other side of my blog. Love it!
Tammy - No kidding, Sharon! Didn’t take long to figure that out. Can you imagine….someone saying all that to you to “help” you. Oh, hell no! Bye-Bye, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!
Tammy - Isn’t it funny, Laura Lee (not in a ha-ha way) that family thinks they are immune from kindness and manners? Yeah, no! Toxic is toxic. Period. So happy for you that you were able to cut the negative string!
Tammy - I’m thinking, T.O., that age factors in to our decision making process regarding “friends”. We know better, we have less time and we are less willing to suffer idiots and mean people! Coming from a place of self-worth and self-respect takes work…don’t we know it!! Thank you for being here. Really!
Tammy - Ugh, high school was the WORST, Michele! Some people never grow out of it, I guess. Too bad. It must be so awful to walk this earth thinking you know everything and wondering why no one likes you. You’re right …. no time for haters!! Appreciate the read and the comment!
Tammy - Hi Frankie, I’ve heard it said many times over “I’ve earned these gray hairs!”. Our instincts rarely fail us. But isn’t it funny how much louder they speak to us as we get older? Thrilled to have you here. Thanks for that!
Tammy - Hi Anne, thanks so much for the support! Love you for that…and so much more! So happy to know you are on the other side of my blog!
Tammy - Precisely, Melanie! There was time I would try to understand and tolerate comments like that. Not any more. Get a clue or hit the road. We are here on this earth to support one another the best we can, and offer the kindness of our heart. If you can’t do that, what is the point of anything?
Tammy - EEEEYIKES, Melanie, you have those friends too?! Not okay. I did show her the door. And I’m hoping you did too! We are FABULOUS just the way we are. And if we want to improve ourselves (and I do), we will then be even more fabulous! So wonderful having you in my camp. So wonderful!!!!
Tammy - Thanks, Sherry, for the support. You’re awesome! Letting go gets easier as you get older. Sometimes you just don’t have the time or the heart to wait to tolerate such negative people. I haven’t mentioned here before but the person who levied all this stuff on me is faaaar from perfect herself. I did not point out her many shortcomings. In the end, I was a better friend to her than she was to me. Thank you for being here…so appreciate your comment!
Tammy - I so agree with you, Tana. I find it ever so puzzling that family members often think they are immune to kindness or caring. Perhaps they think that because they are related that you have to accept and love them. No. No we don’t. You are SO right, toxic IS toxic. Cut it off and move on. Sad that it becomes necessary but we are not the instigators. There is pity little we can control in this life. Who we share it with is one of things that we can. Best we do!!!
Tammy - No, Dorren, they are NOT friends. You are not alone. Many of us tolerated this bull for years. We wanted to be nice about it. Nice has nothing to do with it. We get to choose who we share our life with. Something I learned after years of anguishing over it. Move on it right, girl! Thank you!
Tammy - I hear about toxic sisters more than anything else, Cheryl. I often wonder why. But you are right, of course. Let it go and move on. Living a life without negative toxic people makes for a much nicer canvas.
Tammy - Comfort foods are a blessing and a curse, Joan. It’s not the best way to deal with problems. I’m working on it. I’m hoping your difficult times get better….fast. Always great to hear from you!
Rosalind Warren - Amen, sister. I love a good rant. And this is a damn good rant. 🙂
Elaine Plummer - Who wants to hear that – I guess I do, but only if I ask and only if for sure you are a trusted friend. Don’t want a new “friend” evaluating my being – harsh!
Ande Lyons - AMEN Sister Goddess Friend Tammy!
When someone shows you who they really are… believe them… and run for the hills!
Bullying comes in many forms… as the daughter of a woman who thrived on diminishing and reducing someone all in the name of “I know best” and “you’re too sensitive” … I am well aware of friends who do not have your best interests at heart.
My favorite quote:
“If you don’t feel it, free from it. Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated.” ~ Paul Davis
Thank you for always sharing the Ugly Truths … the deserve a voice, too.
With deep appreciation and love for YOU,
Kathleen O'Donnell - I guess that’s why the saying “with friends like that who needs enemies” exists! Dump ’em, I say. We are all already plagued with insecurities. Yes, I know I’ve gained 17 lbs in the past year. I’m not blind. My friends tell me I’m beautiful and perfect. Must be why they’re my friends! Loved this post.
mel glenn - Dear Tammy,
Here’s your AMEN!
With friends like that you don’t need enemies.
Constructive criticism may be helpful, but who needs it swimming in malice? You know who you are and you don’t need people suggesting a wholesale rearrangement of body parts. Yes, we could all stand some improvement, but as Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.”
Cathy Chester - Get rid of toxic energy – I started doing that at 50. Your true friends are the ones who love you unconditionally. We only live once, so we may as well surround us with people who we trust and are honest with us (my two requirements for TRUE friends.) Great post, Tammy
Tammy - I had never heard that quote before, Ande. I just love it. “Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated”. Brilliant! I look back on this new friendship and know that not one word out of her mouth was meant to help me. It was to make me aware that she was better in every way. Which, by the way, is far from the truth. It’s sad, really, that people feel the need to be that cruel and destructive. I’m sure she has said the same to many who may have actually believed her. What a shame. I will not partake in such blatant disrespect for my person. Not for one single minute. Having cyber friends like you, Ande, always cheer me on, up and forward. Thank you for that, my friend.
Tammy - Hi Kathleen, you are SO right. No enemies needed if she is my friend. Which she is not. Insecurities are part of the world … at least mine. I’m often told how confident I am. Perhaps so, but it’s confidence tempered with insecurity. I think I love your friends and congratulate you for choosing wisely. So very happy you liked the post and happier still to read your comment! Thanks for that.
Tammy - I love it, thank you, Mel! I do not believe that kindness and caring was the motive for those kinds of comments. You are correct, they were filled with malice. Who the hell needs that?! Life is tough enough. We should take care to eliminate those factors which make it harder still. What a pleasure you are. Truly. Thanks for popping by. Always enjoy our exchange.
Susan Smart - There is enough meanness in the world….we don’t need it
in our own lives. I am sorry that you were “attacked”…she must be a very unhappy person…you deserve so much more. I value and trust our friendship….love you x
Tammy - You said it, Susan, there is plenty of meanness and stupid stuff swirling around us as it is. This person was a friend of a friend who wanted to “reach out” and help me after only knowing me for a month. I accepted her because of our mutual friend but quickly discovered that she needed everyone around her to know that SHE was the best there is. Completely delusional and rather sad. I know you won’t be surprised to learn that all that I wrote I told her in person. It hurt my feelings for about one hot minute. Then it just pissed me off. And you know what happens when that happens. I deserve friends that are true blue and forever. Like you. Love you right back. And Cassie too! xo
Estelle Sobel Erasmus - Amen to that. I don’t waste time with people who are envious and try to bring you down.
Sue - Awesomely written… Talked to me for sure… Damn you are good…and I miss and love you. Thanks for sharing with us friend.
Eli@coachdaddy - The older we get, the less tolerant we seem to be about soul-sucking influences in our lives. Can you imagine if we learned the lessons earlier?
Tammy - Thanks, Sue. Great minds think alike. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Miss and love you too! xo
Tammy - I can only imagine, Eli. But I do LOVE your reference to the “soul-sucking influences”! Hahahahahahaa. You are so right on! Thanks for the read and the awesome comment!
Myrna Alpern - TAMMY my friend,
That kind of “advice” from your ” friend” happens only when a person looks at the outside and never looks inside to see the real you. Your inner beauty, that shines through when you smile or laugh. Your humor, that makes us look at life and see the nonsense that people think of as important. Your love and loyalty, to your wonderful husband for all to see and especially, your empathy and sensitivy for others. Tammy, this is what I and others see when we are in your presence or read your writings, so to you I say Amen
Sandra Rea - I haven’t been here in a while, but I chose the right day. I just recently ended a very toxic friendship… if you could call it a friendship. I don’t think a “friend” should always have her hand out for me to fill it because she can’t pay her bills, she’s going to lose her office, she needs to pay “our” (I truly laugh at that one) programmer so she can get me what I supposedly paid her to do in the first place. I don’t think a friend should preach at me about HER beliefs and how anyone else’s are wrong. I don’t believe a friend should always expect me to pay for lunches. I don’t believe friends are supposed to lie and cause drama. But, hey, maybe that’s just me…
Chellie Campbell - Great article! Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger.”—Franklin P. Jones. I’m with you about scaling your work so you can have a rich and wonderful life outside of the office. I had a business with 13 employees and worked 80 hour weeks. Now it’s just me in my home office and I can take off whenever I want! Yeah, I could go for the Tony Robbins model of seminar leader, but I just never thought that looked good to me. Who wants to stand on your feet for 12 hours for 4 days? Yuck. I deliver extraordinary results for my clients in 2 hours a week for 8 weeks on the phone, and I’ve made a six-figure income since 1995. That’s plenty, thanks, and I love my life!!
Tammy - Hi Sandra, so glad you decided to pop in when you did. NO! The person you described is definitely NOT a friend. I’m thinking you chose VERY wisely in cutting the strings that bound you this kind of “friendship”. HUGE kudos to you, Sandra! So happy to have you back!
Carol Cassara - I swear I commented on this before, but I’m here to tell you that you should never tolerate this kind of behavior. Good for you for ending things!
cheryl Shaw - AMEN!!!!!!!!!!Oh Thank you!!!!!!! I love you——and you are sooooooooo right!!I have been wrestling with an issue about my sister (twin) and you have helped me sooooooooooo much. Are you going to be in this area soon—-this blog makes me think of our
“special” friend linda who lives in this area although no one speaks to her anymore——–her loss.
Helene Cohen Bludman - I am shouting AMEN. Do you hear it clear across the country?
Haralee - AMEN!!! I think this also applies to family members and in laws too!
Tammy - Hi Cheryl, SO HAPPY this spoke to you! And even happier to know you are still on the other side! Hope to visit Colorado sooner rather than later, but time will tell. You bet I won’t visit without stopping in to see my two besties at Bluffmont! Good luck with the sister thing. It absolutely includes family! They can often be the worst offenders. Shame on them but shame on us if we allow it. Talk soon! xo
Tammy - Thanks, Haralee, you are SO RIGHT! It absolutely applies to family members as well! Actually, they are often the worst offenders. Probably because they believe that there is nothing you can do about it since they are family. They would be wrong! Appreciate the read and the comment. Thanks for that!
Ines Roe - Absolutely – we don’t have time in life to deal with negativity. We need to focus on the positive influences in our life that empower us and support us. We need to decline the offer of negativity!!!
Lois Alter Mark - YES! I have removed all the negative, competitive, mean-spirited people from my life. They were never real friends if they could act that way. By the time we reach this age, we should know that!
Andi - AMEN! Times two! I am all about no-drama and will cut out anybody who doesn’t approach life with a glass half-full mentality – life is too short to be surrounded by negative people!
Ruth Curran - I want to live like this: “Friendship is about loving and supporting each other. It’s about protecting the other’s feelings, being there no matter what, crying with them and plotting vengeance when it’s called for. A good friend is tolerant, understanding, patient, uncritical and forever respectful.” Every. Single. Day. I love that you get it!
Elin Stebbins Waldal - my dad used to say, “With friends like that, who needs enemies!” When I would describe some version of friendship drama as a teen. If someone can’t love you as you are then it says a whole lot more about them than it does about you. Enjoy the liberation from what sounded like a destructive relationship.
Tammy - Thank you, Ruth. I love that I get it too! Don’t we wish that everyone did?! Thank you for the read and the awesome comment!
Tammy - Thanks, Elin, this “relationship” didn’t make it past the one month mark. I’ve gotten smarter as I’ve gotten older! I tolerated it that long because we were introduced by a mutual friend whom I love and adore. I had to advise her that as sorry as I was, I was unable to share her enthusiasm for her dear friend. She understood and just yesterday asked me how she can go about doing the same thing. Go figure! Happy to popped by. Loved hearing form you.
J.L. Cheatham II - awesome! We said!
Tammy - Thanks, J.L., happy to have you here!
Anita Moran Johnson - Amen! Bullying comes at all ages and with all kinds of sugary coatings but it is still bullying. You handled that “lady” graciously, honestly and with real zing. Great job!
Rebecca - This cheered me up a lot. Thanks for validating my feelings of frustration. I recently visited an old friend and was subjected to a barrage of unsolicited advice on a daily basis. Each morning we would have coffee and it would start.
“I think you should do this” “You should do that”
“Why did you go out with that guy. What did you ever see in him? I wondered why you even went out with him.”
Even worse, I had made the mistake of telling her I was unhappy in my career field. She decided she would fix my problem for me. But quite frankly, she doesn’t really have a career field. She reads a lot of magazines online, where she seems to get all her expertise.
Over a week or so, she told me how I should be a novelist, a professional chamber musician, a performance artist. All sorts of things you read in magazines. Now, I read novels and love chamber music. But I have been dealing with a chronic immune system illness and I am single. I need to pay rent and all my other bills. I need health insurance.
She told me where I should live – apparently I belong in an English village or in France like her.
Whenever I mentioned something I was presently involved in she let me know if I should continue to do it or not.
And of course, she told me what type of guy I need in my life.
This is now making me laugh, but I was really irked by it at the time. I was a guest in her home so I could not very well tell her to go stuff it.
Tammy - Rebecca, I’m a tad late in responding but no less interested in your comment. You are not alone, my friend. We all have people like this in our lives. Those who can’t…preach. I always assumed that ‘friends’ like these were just trying to be helpful. I no longer subscribe to that train of thought. They are butting in where they don’t belong, contributing biased and tainted opinions often based on their own failures and desires. Not okay. I no longer tolerate this kind of conversation in my life from anyone unless they have initials after their name. Friends support us, no matter what. Period. So very happy to make your acquaintance. Thanks for sharing.
rebecca - Tammy – Yes, I dropped her as a friend after that visit. I agree that friends should be supportive and be able to share in your joys and accomplishments, as you also do with their own. Some people do not face their own insecurities and so try to continually dump them on other people. Hopefully my ex friend will wake up to her own potential instead of being locked inside criticizing and managing other people! Best to you, and thanks for your reply!
Meltblogs - With age we realize the importance of real friends in life, it is very important to have someone in life who is full of positivity and does not judge others for their decisions.