Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Magnet Friends: Good or Bad?

Imagine this scenario with me:

It's Monday morning. You’re entering your favorite coffee shop, sort of hoping for a chance to read or get something done. You’re hoping for some productive time, but it’s sorta a toss-up.  Why? Because…. *dun, dun, dun*… you know, that if a certain someone sees you, they’ll pull up a chair… and let’s be honest-  hope for a chance to talk to you.  And the truth is? Your window of opportunity, your moment of hope… and really, all hope of productivity for that morning, or moment, goes out the window. What’s the natural consequence? You get your coffee to go, and perhaps grumble a bit that you lost your chance for some work-time in a clean, quiet space.

Here’s another scenario. Imagine this:

Picture you’re at a baseball game. With the same people. Every week or so. ;)  You bring your kids, and a hopeful attitude that you might get a swing at talking to a friend of yours. However, you see the same people approach that mutual friend. The same person- actually- each week. She’s the magnet friend. The friend who swoops in and steals your opportunity to talk to that special person. And soon, you start to see her and that premonition turns to guilt, and you say hi, even though she’s not your favorite person- at all.

Of course, we are called to love and respect others. But sometimes, the actions of others can be downright annoying. It doesn't exactly bring out the "spiritual" in all of us. ;) Are these people good? Or bad? Or are they just plain ugly?

I think in the nineties we might have called them “co-dependents.” Or “insecure attachments.” I’m not sure what they’re called today, but it might be something like unhappy losers who leach onto our happiness and suck us dry, taking it home and calling that power their own.  Oh ok, that’s a little harsh. haha.;)

Or maybe it’s not?

The truth is, they really can be annoying, and they really can turn into a problem. Trust me.

One final scenario. You finally get a chance for a date night. Your spouse is running late, and you’re waiting for a seat (or waiting in line), and... you’re bored. Someone tries to call, wanting to talk. Do you take the call out of boredom? Depends. If that person is just calling for the bajillionth time, to talk about nothing special, don’t take the call. It will end in bitterness. If you do take the call, their chattiness could cut into precious date time. You might encounter an unfriendly voice if you have to call it and end the call. And let’s face it: You're Not a Fan. And? You Know Something Needs To Be Done.

So…. what do we do about these seemingly harmless moments, that frankly, add up to no good? Seems somewhat easy to feign respect when you’re on your phone, right? But what about those in-person situations where the lines are a little bit more muddied? What is nice? What’s rude?

If we’re lazy, we do little to nothing. We continue being “nice,” and we keep letting the problem trip us up. Because frankly? We’re not sure *what* to do about it. And bordering on unkindness is just not in our best interest. One would think.

But in my experience, magnet friends need to be confronted.  What they are doing to you- to us- is unkind. And? It is surefire annoying!

These folks need to be told that they are invading personal property. That property might be your time, or your friends, or worse, your marriage. And guess what? It is YOUR time, and those are YOUR friends (your spouse!), too! Setting up boundaries with a little conversation might be in order.  That property line- or boundary- might be your friends. If they are stealing your “friend time,” a little confrontation re: this type of bullying, might go a long, long way.;)

Magnet friends are the new Co-dependents. And they need to hear a little truth, because… let’s face it. A little truth goes a LONG way. ;)

Linking up with Tuesday Talk


Ruthie Gray said...

Hi Tacy. I know the friends you're speaking of and they do drain you. I think there is a time and a place for talking with someone who is continually robbing you of your time. With much prayer and wise counsel, we can go about it the right way and hopefully not end the friendship, but when we're talking about boundaries, sometimes people don't want to take no for an answer and then we must protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Thanks for sharing this thought provoking post with us today on Tuesday Talk. :)

~Ruthie from http://www.rearreleaseregroup.com/

Tacy said...

Yes! Thank you for your insight. Your thoughts are appreciated.