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Divorcing? Watch out for these Drips, Drains and Downers.

I hate to say this, but sometimes you have to protect yourself from the people around you. Even those you call friends. And the way to do that is to limit the time you spend with them.

Mean? Maybe.

Self preservation? Most definitely.

Do these people seem familiar?

The Drains: These people are obvious. They are combative and confrontational. They comment on your life. They judge every decision you’ve made. You feel like you’ve been in a battle after spending time with them. When you see them coming, don’t walk. Run!

The Drips: They steal your upbeat outlook but in a more subtle way. They are stealthy. They don’t confront, they undermine. And they are needy. They gradually sap your energy like water dripping from a leaky kitchen faucet. It may take a while to figure out what an affect they have, but don’t underestimate over time how much they wear you down.

The Downers: Their life is horrible and they need to share. Traffic, a parking ticket, a hangnail? All proof that their life sucks. And it sucks way more than yours does. We all know that small annoyances are just a part of life. But to them, it’s God’s way of proving that they have it worse than anyone else. And they love it. (Or as my grandmother used to say “Some people just enjoy poor health.) Ten minutes with them and you want to walk out into traffic. Anything to stop that negativity.

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Maybe the whole idea seems heartless, but my energy is a finite resource these days. 

I have to guard it so that I have the ability to take care of myself. I can’t afford to get down. I’ve gotta keep on marching. So be cautious, wall yourself off from these energy wasters. Maybe when you are back to 100% you can include them in your life again, but once they are gone you’ll probably see how much better off you are without them around.

Who dragged you down during your divorce? 

This piece first appeared on RoundandRoundRosie.com

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