The company you keep will have a POSITIVE or NEGATIVE impact on your SELF IMAGE. Anonymous via @Terri_Cole {CLICK TO TWEET}

There are certain people that I love spending my time with. My husband, Vic, is one of them. He inspires me to see life through a different lens, makes me laugh and challenges me to be a better person. He is always interested in being a part of the solution, not the problem. He intentionally makes my life better. Then there is my friend, Karen who’s known me for decades, never judges and is a clinical genius. (I am always calling to pick her therapist brain!) These are just two examples of the many relationships in my life that are natural, easy, mutual and harmonious. Of course, just like you, I also have some relationships that are less than ideal.

Think of the relationships in your life. You have the good ones and then the more challenging ones. Do you have friends or siblings where there always seems to be a conflict? To me these are ‘noisy’ relationships that can zap your energy. Some of these more difficult relationships have the potential to, kick up your crazy. So why do we have people in our lives who have the power to make us feel like we might lose control and/or our minds?

Are you Over Reacting? OR are you having a Normal Reaction to an ABNORMAL Situation?! @Terri_Cole {CLICK TO TWEET}

There are many legitimate answers to that question. I believe all relationships are assigned to us. If you have a boss, coworker or in-law who drives you nuts, know that they are in your life for a reason. Every relationship is either a blessing or a lesson. Your job is to understand why this person is in your life. What are you meant to learn or resolve from interacting with them? Who do they remind you of? How is your dynamic familiar? Through the process of self discovery, you can move from feeling compelled to stay in these relationships to choosing if you want to stay or not. When you are repeating an unresolved pattern from childhood, like dating unavailable men who represent your emotionally distant father for example, the only way to stop the compulsion towards this pattern is to understand what is driving your actions. If you go back to the original injury and process the pain of having an unavailable Dad, you can stop unconsciously seeking a different outcome through unfulfilling or crazy making romantic experiences.

Understanding the underlying reasons that drive your behavior is the key to becoming truly free in your life and your relationships. Spending time with people who create chaos or make you feel bad about yourself is a waste of your precious life, if you never figure out the real reasons you are being drawn to them. Whether you realize it or not, you can choose who is in your life and how you interact with them. This is not to encourage you to cut off all difficult relationships, it is to inspire you to understand what is really propelling you so you can make conscious choices.

If you don’t TALK it out, You will ACT it out @Terri_Cole {CLICK TO TWEET}

In the comments please share with me how you plan to move forward with those people who kick up your crazy. Will you seek to understand the underlying dynamics of the relationship or set better boundaries? Either way I want to know. Also if you have any questions please feel free to ask. I always look forward to hearing from you.

This week go forward knowing that you have the power to choose who gets the privilege of being in your life.

And as always, take care of you.

Love Love Love



*image courtesy of Andrew Kimmel

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  1. Oh, Terri, thank you so much! I am taking all of your words to heart and appreciate the time you took to reply to a complete stranger! It means so much to me. I am off to check out your links and work on myself…yea! 🙂 I have been reading so many books, blogs, etc self improvement and while I always “got it” it never clicked immediately like it did when I stumbled on your site and watched your first fear video and answered the questions…love it! Have plenty of work ahead of me but I know with tools like your site and videos I can finally do it. Thanks, again! Sara

  2. Hi Terri, love your blog! So glad I found you…this post is awesome! I have a friend who lives many states away (Maine) and I live in Michigan so we really only catch up over marathon phone conversations every few months and texts every few days. Her texts are group texts filled with pics of her life and kids, etc and “#omgsoblessed” etc verbiage ad nauseum! Then my phone starts blowing up with all of her friends commenting back (who I don’t even know) with “so amazing” “you are so lucky” etc etc etc. You get the picture, I’m sure. But, if I send her a text or pic she barely even responds because she is #OMGSOBUSY! After our 3 or 4 hour phone marathons where I have listened the entire time and barely gotten a word in I hang up exhausted and hurt and mad at myself for putting up with what I feel is a one-sided friendship at this point. I am an analyzer and semi-introvert so when I read your post about narcissism alarm bells starting going off in my head with her name attached as I thought this all through…it actually made me a little sad. If she and I are going to catch up on the phone we actually have to schedule it on her calendar! YIKES. I am more go with the flow friend so it hasn’t bothered me until now but I honestly feel like I am doing all of the work at this point (even though she would NOT see it this way). I could also be a bit overly-sensitive and taking it too personally? Just not sure! Any advice on when to say when? Or how to reconcile this with myself and set it free? I have a hard time coming to terms that our friendship is no longer a priority to her but as I read back through my comments it seems obvious and it stings. The sad part is if I pull back without confronting (hate that word) her she’ll never know why or how I felt about our friendship at the end and why it fell apart after 20 years(or does that even really matter?). Been reading all of your posts tonite…LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOOVE it all! Thank you for your thought provoking info…it’s amazing!

    1. Hi Sara! I am so glad you found my site as well! I hope you sign up for my newsletter so we can stay connected. Your comment explains so clearly the situation you are dealing with; know that you are not alone. This type of situation is really common. It’s why I write the blogs that I do. Clearly this friend kicks up your crazy and yes, she may be a narcissist or have tendencies. However, the person most important, the one that we need to focus on, is you. That fact that you feel annoyed by texts, drained by calls and dismissed by her is something not to be ignored. While I can’t tell you what to do about the friendship (only you can decide that), I will encourage you to take better care of you.
      Allowing someone into your life who really doesn’t make you feel good is doing a disservice to you both. You deserve loving and equal effort relationships. You deserve to feel lighter and happy after chatting with a friend, not the opposite. It doesn’t sound like your friend is an EV (even though she does zap your energy) but I still want to share, and ask you to consider using, some of the tips in this post to set boundaries with her (because a one-sided 4 hour phone marathon would drive anyone crazy)
      Secondly I want you to check out my post about speaking up and speaking your truth, which you can do in a loving way. A 20-year friendship is not something to be taken lightly. That being said just because it’s lasted so long, may not mean it needs to last 20 more. Making the decision to end a friendship may take time. So make that time for yourself to get still and listen to what’s in your heart. Keep me posted on what you decide to do and please reach out whenever you have any questions or need guidance. xo – Terri

  3. Hey Terri –

    So there are some people who kick up my crazy (who I also love), like…. say…. my mom… who because of the nature of our relationship (i.e. her being my mother) I can’t remove from my life. What are your best tips for dealing with a mom who kicks up your crazy? I try setting boundaries and maintaining more distance, but that seems to make it even worse.

  4. Hello Terri,
    I am glad you are back to posting your Monday blogs.
    At this time I would like to share with you that ‘seeing you, and hearing YOU’ on Monday mornings have helped me manage my life challenges more than you can imagine.
    I will incorporate the phrase of KICKING UP THE CRAZY. mentally first then in my vocabulary and communication with others.
    You are a blessing to me.
    I will be in a position to incorporate more of your wisdom in September as I am currently positioning myself to take care of me.
    Please keep sharing and caring,

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Roxie. I am so happy to hear you are taking care of you. I am so glad we connected.

  5. Teri, thanks for being you. I have been in a relationship that was troubled from the start. Not that he is all things bad, it’s just that I didn’t understand his motivation and probably not my own as well. We were together for several years, worked together, traveled together slept together, played together. Connected several times a day via the phone. He’s gone now, left for another woman. Richer and prettier. I’m getting better, but not fast enough. I miss him and feel we could have made things better knowing what we know now. I try every day to go on with my life and make things good for me. Setbacks come, emotions run. It’s every day work. Think that I needed him instead of really needing him and letting him know that. He did push my crazy a lot and I thought we could just work through it all and all would come out in the wash. Ha!

    1. Hi Christine, Thank YOU for being you and for sharing your story. One thing I will say is that heartbreak takes time (sometimes a lot of it) to heal. Give yourself the love and patience you deserve; giving yourself more of what you need may speed up the process, but there are no guarantees. What a little TLC definitely can do is make you feel better.
      In every relationship, we learn something and it sounds like you learned a lot in this one. Of course you still miss him, you two did a lot together and were very much in each others lives, whether it’s a good or bad thing, a loss is still a loss. Keep taking care of you and whenever he comes to mind send him some love and bring your focus back to yourself. While no one can ever predict the future I will say the more love you bring to yourself, the greater your chances are of finding someone wonderful who doesn’t “kick up your crazy”.
      Keep taking care of you. Lot of love – Terri

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