(originally published on LifesETC.com 5/24/18)

These words…Hit me again. I feel like I nonverbally speak them all the time.

What is it about my personality that keeps me coming back for more? I’d never stay with a man who hits me (I think, I’ve never been with one who did to know for sure). But I attract female friends who love to smack the shit out of me – all with a smile on their face – and I stay by their side, encouraging them…”Hit me again…please.”

It happened again just yesterday.

“Friend A” called to offer support and at the same time point out all my own shortcomings, and give examples of people who agreed and would say so behind my back. Of course, the person “Friend A” referenced had already told me all about how “Friend A” also had lots to say behind my back.

What is the truth? Who do I believe? And why does everyone think they’re being helpful to come “tattle” on people in order to prove their friendship? It’s like a battle of who sucks the least.

It’s happened to me before.

Not so long ago, I found myself in a similar group dynamic. I ran. I hid. I de-friended everyone involved and hunkered down at home, determined to rid myself of these types of people.

But here I am again…with a new set of “friends” and a similar situation.

Obviously, I’m the common denominator here.

I tend to see the best in people. And I’m a not-so-secret people pleaser. These strong personalities flock to me like bees to honey. I’m the perfect person for them to friend.

I don’t want to hurt their feelings, so I don’t call them out on their bullshit.

I don’t want to be a part of drama, so I don’t engage when they’re clearly out of line.

And I don’t want to be perceived as a bitch, so I try to take even the most hurtful comments as “constructive criticism” instead of telling them to just FUCK OFF.

I’m struggling today. I want to hide.

I want to text “Friend A” and “Friend B” and tell them I’m sick of hearing about how each other has such nasty things to say, and let’s cut the bullshit and just admit we’ve probably all been in the wrong at some point and we can smile and be nice…but quit pretending to have my back, quit offering me “support” in the form of “You suck, I can do this better than you.” JUST QUIT. 

But…I’ve already learned that does NOT work.

They feel bad. I feel bad. And last time, I ended up reaching out and apologizing for how I handled the situation – to which the strong personalities responded by graciously accepting my apology and forgiving me for my wrong doings. Of course…they were the victim and not responsible for anything.

So instead of swinging back at these so-called “friends” (who never read my blog, BTW), I’m writing this word vomit of a post.

I’ve read like a gazillion self-help books. I know all about setting healthy boundaries and have stupid mantras that are supposed to help me navigate these situations. But I keep inviting these types of people into my life…accepting them as “friends”…and standing by them for far too long saying, “Hit me again…please.”

Much Love – H