“It was a mistake," you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.” ― David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary
“He, who had done more than any human being to draw her out of the caves of her secret, folded life, now threw her down into deeper recesses of fear and doubt. The fall was greater than she had ever known, because she had ventured so far into emotion and had abandoned herself to it.”
― Anaïs Nin
― Anaïs Nin
Observing these things operating occasionally in my relationships is normal. However, if I see a few things happening all the time, and especially if I make excuses for the violation of these principles, it is cause for great concern. Be wise my friends...
- My friend will inflict emotional and/or physical pain on me, hitting me violently or insulting me. They may or may not apologize, and excuse their behavior by saying it was only a joke or they were drunk. I know something is wrong and I must pay attention to the physical interactions of my friends. Don't ignore the little things.
- The friend will never have a bad thing to say to my face. I know that I'm not perfect so if my friend's always eager to give praise and never criticism, it offers a cover for subterfuge.
- The friend will use my resources with abandon. Having no concern over the economy of my money and supplies they'll waste and spend mine without a thought.
- Strategic placement of needs. It seems the friend's always short on resources every time I'm around them. They are in “need” all the time and in short order they'll let me know that “need”, subtly mentioning it and moving on.
- When my friend has opportunity to defend me, such as in gossip about me, they won't, especially when it means putting themselves in harm's way.
- I make excuses for my friend's behavior. As soon as I start this I begin a self-deception that allows them unlimited access to ruin me. Don't ignore what they did, it shows who they are.
- My friend “eyeball's” my belongings and/or my girl. Noticing it once is normal, but to keep mentioning it and/or to be caught looking at it often is a danger sign.
- I do nice things for them all the time. There is a limit, if I keep on with my provision it'll breed an attitude of bitterness and envy as they regret that they “asked” me, “needed” me, or had to pretend so.
- Their attitude is flippant with me. They pass my needs on casually and my pain is treated lightly.
- They do things for me that they never do normally. This is setting the bait. Their behavior contradicts their normal course. They usually precede their actions with, “I don't normally do this....” or “I shouldn't do this”. In other words I'm going to OWE them something, whether it's stated plainly or not, farther down the road it'll be used against me.
- I find myself obligated by their courses of action, especially obligated to do what violates my conscience. When I feel obligated and they don't, they can pull me into their deception, while keeping their distance.