We all have a close-knit group of friends, who make up the radiators in our lives. The people who give off warmth, the ones we like to stay close to and the ones that just make us generally happier people. However, sometimes we’ll come across some drains. The people who might also be considered friends, colleagues or (eurgh) hopefully not, but for some people, family.
Drains tend to be people who like to put a negative spin on things, make (not so) subtle digs or bring you down when you’re up. Drains are people who make you feel bad, even when nothing bad has actually happened, or make you think or feel things, when you hadn’t considered them initially. However, it’s not always easy distinguishing who the drains are, as these people can often be tucked within friendship groups. Sometimes said drain, has been around so long (damn ball and chain), we just think ‘that’s them’ and begrudgingly bite our tongues, roll our eyes or say nothing at all.
Think of how sparse your time is during the week, when you’re juggling a job, the gym (for some) and a social life (for most). Those are the three main components that we like to stay on top of because those are the things that give us purpose, enhance our well-being and keep us sane. Therefore, when time is of the essence, you shouldn’t be making time for anyone who makes you second guess yourself or just leaves you feeling flat. If you’re begrudgingly making time for someone whilst they’re simultaneously making you question yourself, then you should really be questioning your necessity to being with them.
If they’re an old friend and you’ve got twenty years of history, address the fact you’ve grown out of them. Friendships shift and whilst it’s sometimes sad to admit this, it will make you far happier in the long run. If they are part of a wider circle of friends you always see, then start implementing some distance. You’re not at school or university anymore, where you have to spend intense amounts of time with people. You don’t owe anyone anything (unless perhaps they gave you a kidney) and if they preach about being your friend, then they should actually act like they are. See ya!
If they’re colleagues, it’s slightly harder, especially as you do see them every day and they might be more senior than you. If someone is hindering the love you have for your job, it needs to be addressed. As much as older generations may say grin and bear it and we are rather cuttingly regarded as ‘snowflakes’, that isn’t the way it has to be. We all have to work with difficult people throughout our lives and if they’re awkward and hot tempered (shout out to Gareth who used to be on accounts) then as much as it’s a pain in the arse, its manageable. If someone drains you of your confidence that’s a totally different matter. Your career shouldn’t have to suffer, because someone is passive aggressively putting you down or to be frank making you feel shit. Again, this is no longer school- you can definitely tell someone. Explain to HR how said drain is making you feel and hopefully they will start making the appropriate steps to making your working life more durable.
Finally, if they’re family – the most challenging drains of them all- one can only hope they’re not immediate. Putting up with them on family holidays such as Christmas and Easter, whilst isn’t a totally joyous task, can attribute to fantastic car journey chats amongst your immediate family, as you count down the days until your racist great grandma sue pegs it.
Recognise the drains in your life, flood them out and replace them with radiators.
Twenty Mile Club