Popcorn and friends
I was sucked into an online story about a personal trainer who’d lost weight by “breaking all her own rules”. I was hoping to read that she’d taken up noodles and Netflix. But the truth was less exciting.
“I discovered that I was intolerant to my beloved airpopped popcorn, which I had been eating regularly for two years...” she explained. “I eliminated negative people from my life, and I also incorporated some Ayurvedic techniques to help ease my stress... I lost 11cm off my butt and 12cm off my waist.”
Back up the truck. Negative people? Difficult friends are now being classed as a thing to avoid in the quest for a small butt, alongside microwaved popcorn?
Social media is full of pop psychology like this. About the people you need to cut, chop, turn your back on, edit, avoid. Instead, you want to surround yourself with greatness which, by sheer osmosis, will raise your own net worth as a human.
The toxic ones are often classed as “narcissists” or “energy vampires” and information abounds on how to diagnose them, deal with them, and ultimately – yes – eliminate them.
But there are few articles, if any, on how to diagnose your own narcissism. Because the narcissist is never you, it’s always the other people, the toxic ones.
So let’s say you go around cutting people dead if they don’t increase your energy levels; make no mistake you are not a narcissist and nor are you a jerk. You are a self-respecting person making necessary eliminations for your own wellbeing.
People will often say of a depressed friend that they didn’t know they were unwell, they wished the friend had told them. But maybe it’s a fear of being that energy vampire that stops people from confiding. When they don’t have any good news to share or an ego boost to offer. They’re at the end of their rope and they just need to talk, not about you, but about them. And not about happy things, about sad things.
Our story on page 12 is not a rare one. It’s a simple, honest account by a woman who has struggled with depression all her life. A high-functioning depressive who keeps her illness under wraps.
Many will relate to this story – either because of their own struggles, or because they have friends who can sometimes seem difficult, stuck in a rut, unable to just buck up and put on a happy face.
It’s a beautifully written and welcome reminder that our friends aren’t just there to boost our energy and make us greater. Sometimes they’re just there for us to hear.