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    Dear Tee,

    Thank you so, so much for your advice and kind words. I am sorry to not been able to respond these past couple of days, as life got in the way and I wasn’t able to respond until now. But I’ve read your post and I am absorbing its wisdom.

    It seems you ended up in this group of “friends” who were quite toxic. In the beginning you bonded over the common sentiment about the changes in the online community you belonged to. You shared that sentiment and joined the “rebel” group, so to speak. But as you say, this rebel group was all about gossiping and criticizing the people in the main group.

    It honestly amazes me that they did not stopped at criticizing the other people from the destroyed online community, but pretty much everybody else in their lives, too. Now that I’ve actually stop and thought about it over these past couple of days, I realize that they were the type to complain about their own family members, neighbors, people they work or go to school with, and so on. To them, if you’re not also this moody badmouther who hates anything peaceful or joyful, then you’re someone worth criticizing, and… honestly, you’re right. It was toxic. It is toxic.

    As you say, this group behaved like helpless victims and focused all their energy on criticism and blame. Eventually, you became their target too…

    You’re definitely right on the nose with this and to be honest, they did not liked it when I became happier and happier in general. Again, I don’t want to put out too many details, but as time went on and I slowly found my self-esteem rising as a result of personal healing… It was like a switch went off and I found myself being attacked by them at least multiple times before we stopped talking. I know that it’s always better to walk away the first or the second time someone disrespects you, but at that time, I thought it my fault somehow and that I just needed to try and see where they were coming from. Was it something I did?

    But again, I’m happy we did not worked out ultimately because I don’t want to be as unhappy as they are. One in particular definitely had it out for me because I suppose there were certain things in my life that I was blessed with, and they felt they had nothing to have gratitude over. So of course naturally, I became the bad person.

    Maybe your lack of self-love stems from your childhood, so you’d need to heal those wounds. Healing the inner child who feels unlovable or unworthy might be necessary. If you want more pointers on this, or you’d like to share a little bit about your childhood, I’ll be happy to talk about it.

    The topic of healing the inner child was something I’ve explored with a therapist once before not too long ago. But I am happy to hear new ideas. The thing that helped me most was visualizing myself being able to talk to my younger versions and being like a mother figure to them, since I essentially grew up without one around me (emotionally speaking). It really does help tremendously, but I’m still lost on new ways to heal the inner child. If you don’t mind helping me, I’m all ears.

    Our true self is loving and kind. And naturally, we want to be loving and kind to people. But not at the expense of our true, authentic self. We don’t need to be kind and loving to toxic people, to people who abuse us and put us down. Instead, we need to set boundaries with them. Likewise, we don’t need to be kind to selfish, self-centered people, who only care about themselves. You can be kind and loving, but wisely, with boundaries. Because there are people out there who will appreciate your kindness, and so, you can open up to them. But at the same time, you need to protect yourself from those who want to take advantage of you.

    I suppose this is going to be harder for me to understand while I’m at this stage in my life. I wish I could have figured everything out by now, but sadly life is never that simple or always goes according to my personal timetable. I was once the fool one too many times with people who pretended to be wounded just so I could help them, and all so they could take advantage of me in other ways. I’m still not sure on how to look out for predators like that, though I feel more protective of myself naturally now than back then, thankfully.

    I am super grateful for your help. If we don’t speak again, please, have a wonderful rest of your week.


    – J


    Dear Tee,

    Jamie, it seems to me you very much wanted to be liked by others, and perhaps in that desire, you became somewhat a people pleaser? I am saying this because you say you dated selfish people, who only cared what you can do for them and didn’t care about you.

    You caught me. My previous therapist also pointed this out about me when she heard about my woes regarding other people. She, like yourself, realized that I behaved the way I did out of wanting to please rather than from an authentic place inside of me to deeply connect with others instead. She even told me that it is possible that other people might have found me a bit clingy back then, which is true.

    So, I thank you for reminding this. To like myself is to then be able to learn how to be intimate with others in a way that is healthy, rather than trying to force something out of nothing, if that makes sense.

    All the above tells me that you might have fallen into the trap of people pleasing. You wanted to be liked by this social group, who might actually be quite superficial people.

    You know, I absolutely agree and hear you. It is not so important to be liked by a group of otherwise superficial people who are also, based on my recollections of them, quite unhappy with themselves and a desire to gossip about other people behind their backs. I learned a very hard lesson with this one; The social group in question was formed because we were all disappointed with a social community that we were all a part of changing for the worst. Again, I don’t want to go into too much details, but essentially, we huddled up only because the one source of us being able to connect with people online, is gone.

    They would gossip meanly about the people who “ruined” the community, and that they wished the old days would return. Ironic, isn’t it? But to them, the community we used to be a part of was perhaps the only way we were able to be ourselves, express our thoughts and opinions, and finding new connections. So, losing the community felt like a huge loss to us at the time.

    Now that I’m writing this all out… I can’t help but think the way they behaved towards me seemed to have come from a place of powerlessness on their end. If losing the community was really that important to them, they would have figured out a way to create a new space for the old community to migrate to. But instead, they chose not to do it, and created a private place that invited me and only several others into it, while excluding everyone else we used to know. It’s something I understand superficially, but deep down, is now something I’m quite perplexed by. They’re not stupid people, they could have figured out a way to return to the good old days…

    They simply chose not to.

    And that, to me, is probably yet another huge reason why we could not worked out as a group. They were more attached to the identity of being helpless victims to circumstances, rather than doing something productive and positive. Maybe I’m being really harsh against them right now, but I honestly can’t think of any other way to decipher this situation except that. So, perhaps it’s a good thing that I no longer communicate with them. I don’t want to be like them.

    I don’t know if I am guessing right here? If so, there is a way out, Jamie. You can learn how to love and respect yourself, so you’re not longing for other people’s approval. You can forge new friendships, from a healthier place: from your true self, not from the people pleasing part of you. What do you say? Does this ring true?

    You guessed right. My issue, then, is split into two new issues now: How do I learn to like myself? And secondly, how do I reconcile with squishing the part of me that wants to people please, in a world that has become increasingly individualist and only caring about people who can be of use to others?

    Namaste and hope to hear from you soon.



    Thank you for your wise words! Yes, I think it’s best that I try to make it a habit to observe my thoughts and let them pass by without getting emotionally sucked into them. I’m journaling these days and it’s been very helpful in keeping myself balanced as well.


    [quote quote=417743]Oh my word! I am you! I mean, this is me to a T! I too would like help with the answer to this dilemma![/quote]

    Hello Jean, I’m really sorry you’re going through this as well. Looks like I’m not alone in this situation after all, which does grant me a bit of comfort if it means anything to you. Thank you for your response.

    [quote quote=417749]Dear Jamie & Jean Claire I am sorry that you both have had a rough time. Friendship is a gift, one which most of us forget to cherish & nurture. The first thing is to become aware that you have fallen into the trap of negative rumination as soon as possible, then smile and congratulate yourself for spotting that you are in that train of thought, name it ie past, this breaks the chain of thought and gives you the chance to resync yourself in the present. There are many quick techniques to bring you back to the present, breathing, yoga, tai chi, name 5 things that you can see are just a few and they only take moments to do and cost nothing but are immensely valuable. To uproot any deep seated long held beliefs about yourselves may need professional help. Buddhism helps us let go of the past and walk courageously & compassionately with wisdom on lifes journey through all its ups & downs.[/quote]

    Hello Roberta.

    Thank you for this nugget of wisdom. I’ve had another rough day today with someone and I broke down crying afterwards. But I’m learning to take deep breaths and talk to myself soothingly to get past such difficult endeavors. It seems to be working very well.

    I really like what you had to say about really labeling this as the past, and to have it create weight to it so that I can leave it behind me physically. I have been doing meditation but not as often as I should; I’ll repeat the exercise tonight when things quiet down in this house.

    Yes, I think professional help would be most appropriate perhaps for this situation. I’ll have to check in with my insurance company to see which therapists are available near me.

    I’ll admit, this is my first time dipping my toes into the world of Buddhism, so forgive me if I seem quite the novice. I really appreciate that Buddhism is a lot about letting go and trying to detach oneself from the material world, and I feel like a lot of my emotions seems deeply tied to things and people that might actually be superficial rather than anything of importance. If that makes sense?

    I am thankful and grateful for your reply.

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