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Getting Rid of a Toxic Friend

According to a new survey, 84 percent of women and 75 percent of men say they’ve had a bad friend at some time in their lives.  On top of that, 83 percent of both men and women say they have held onto a friendship longer than it was healthy.

Why is it so hard to dump a bad friend?

People keep toxic friends for the same reason they stay in all kinds of relationships:  There is something in the friendship they don’t want to lose. They find something about it compelling, familiar, and/or comfortable.

Essentially, they are afraid of the consequences.  They are afraid of what will happen, or they think the friend might turn on them and things will get even uglier, or not having very high standards, they just don’t really want to let go because they think it will be OK.

My standards for a friend are very, very, very high.  He or she has to be a really decent person.  I have friends of all different religions, sexual orientations, ethnicities, personalities, and genders.  The commonality amongst them is that they are decent people.  That is where I put the bar.  If I know someone is not a decent person, then I’m not interested.

You know when friends aren’t friends.  They take, you give.  There’s no balance.  They do not accept who you are.  They betray you, they’re negative, they have no respect, and they’re ultra-critical with digs, put-downs, and sarcasm.  They diminish you so they feel better.  It’s pathetic how vicious some people can be.

But do you know what?  People who are really crappy human beings somehow still have friends!  It’s either because birds of a feather flock together, or it’s because some people are OK being friends with a crappy person as long as the crap isn’t turned on them.

So many times on my program, this has been heard:

Caller: “I’m just stunned they did this to me.”

Me: “Were they doing it to other people?”

Caller: “Well, yeah, but I’m really stunned they did it to me. I thought we were friends.”

Me: “Have they done that before?”

Caller: “Well, yes, but I thought this time….”

It doesn’t pay to play blind.  If you are friends with someone who is indecent, it is eventually going to splatter.

Some friends just bring out the worst in you.  When you’re trying to take care of your health and not eat or drink as much, they’re the ones who drag you down.  They say, “This is not necessary, let’s go have coffee and cake,” or “Let’s go have a drink.”  It makes you so aggravated you either become withdrawn or ferocious.

Other friends always disappoint you.  They don’t do what they said they were going to in the way they said they were going to do it.  And each time you just say, “Well, stuff happens.  I’ll get over it.”  But they do this because they don’t like or respect you, your spouse, your kids, and/or your family.  There may be some legitimate issues with them, but usually they are just insecure, jealous, or mean.

So, how should you break it off with a toxic friend?

My suggestion is you have an honest conversation with him or her.  Just say that these things typically happen.  Say you’ve gotten tired of him or her, you’ve lost interest in the relationship because it hasn’t changed, or that he or she has hurt you.  Suggest the two of you take a break and after some period of time, see how you both feel about it.  That leaves the door open for the person to do a little bit of soul searching.  He or she probably won’t, but at least you’re not coming down with a hammer.

If you really don’t want to interact, it’s probably best to click delete on their messages whenever possible and do not respond to protestations or attacks on you out of defensiveness.

Life is very short.  If people aren’t decent, kind, accountable, responsible, or responsive, man up and get rid of them.  Put your time, energy, and sweat into becoming a better person and having better people in your life.  If you don’t do this, your life will not be as good as it could have been.  Besides, the friendship is probably going to end someday anyway.

Here’s a list of “12 Types of Friends You Should Break Up With”

Middle School Boy Deemed “Intolerant”

I am very big on the concept of tolerance.  I tell folks every day on my radio program to “tolerate” the eccentricities of others as they tolerate yours.  However, I fear that in the private and public sectors, tolerance is being spelled “C-O-W-A-R-D-I-C-E.”

There isn’t a day that goes by you don’t hear from someone that making a generalization about world terrorism and Islam is a display of intolerance, in spite of the fact that Islamic world terrorism is a fact.  You are brow-beaten down from facing reality because, when you do, an organization like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) comes after you with a vengeance.  People in the media have lost their jobs over stating reality, because it was deemed “intolerant.”

When you don’t want a monument to Islam to be built in the sight of the fall of the World Trade Center, well, you are intolerant and racist.

Our own President avoids connecting the words Islam and terrorism.

We have a woman journalist in America who is in permanent hiding because of an international fatwah (hit list) against her for suggesting that people participate in a “draw Mohammed day.”  I don’t see the world’s moderate Muslims tracking down the perpetrators of this fatwah or offering her protection.

Recently, we had a middle school boy in Sacramento, California ride to school with an American flag on his bike in order to recognize Veteran’s Day.  The school district forbade him to do that lest it show “intolerance.”  Truth was some Hispanic students threatened to harm this little boy. 

What?

It turns out the principal was afraid of the violent Hispanic children and, instead of protecting this little boy, cowardly backed down and forbade the showing of the flag of the United States of America.  The principal commented the Hispanic students would want to fly the Mexican flag and this would turn into violence. The school district reversed the decision when this became a national story.

Moreover, politicians have become disgustingly un-American with their commentaries on the heartlessness and bigotry of those who support legal immigration.  Some politicians and pundits act like having national boundaries and sovereignty is a crime against humanity.  Some politicians and pundits have the gall to call people who support legal immigration “bigots,” “hate-filled,” or “racists.”  This is utterly horrendous, and is an example of one party attempting to get power in America by catering to those who disdain our laws and sovereignty simply to gain power, power, power.

America used to stand for something, and was such a symbol France gave us the Statue of Liberty as a gift!

We are having our tolerance used against us by forces that would destroy us.

Sex Offenders As Child Care Workers

Over a decade ago, as a guest on the Donahue television show, while I was attempting to explain the concepts of “Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives” (my current book at the time) to a pre-arranged hostile audience, I was inundated with bitter challenges on the issue of day care, which, interestingly, wasn’t even an issue in the book.

Fed up with the nonsense, I took control from Donahue (no simple task) and challenged the audience members to stand up if, after dying and coming back a second time, they would actually choose to be raised by a nanny, baby-sitter, or day care center.  Funny thing….nobody got up.

As I have pointed out numerous times here, in my book “Stupid Things Parents Do To Mess Up Their Kids,”  and on my radio program, adults have become so self-serving that the well-being and appropriate needs of children have been ferociously ignored or dismissed.  I’ve recently read national reports demonstrating that parents – even before they have children – are fighting for spots in day care centers!  I figure, if they can plan that far ahead, they certainly can plan to have a parent at home, or to wait to have children until they are able and willing to do the right thing for their family.

I have been thoroughly amazed at how the injuries, abuse, and deaths of children in day care centers has left many attending families angry – but angry with the authorities for closing them down!  Can you imagine that?

State auditors reviewing the California Department of Social Services compared the addresses of the state’s licensed facilities (including foster family homes and day care centers) with the state’s database of registered sex offenders, and found that the addresses of 49 sex offenders matched those of 46 child care facilities.  It should go without saying that convicted sex offenders shouldn’t be employed in a facility for children.

Nonetheless, of the 46 address matches, 25 were in Los Angeles, 8 in the Central California Valley, 7 in the San Francisco Bay area, 4 in San Diego, and 1 each in San Bernardino and Sacramento.  The verification process is under way – children are being interviewed, and some licenses are being suspended.  This “match up” procedure will surely miss the folks who got jobs under assumed names just to be nearer to children.

It would seem that some people go to great lengths to be close to our kids…maybe we should be holding our kids even closer.