Needing to passionately live the life that you want is as old as civilization which took us on a magic carpet ride away from survival mode into wondering about life’s possibilities since the necessities are now taken care of.

It can also lead to great frustration if things are not working out in the way that you would like.

In the technological and structurally advanced world that we live in now, what can be an excuse for failure?

As we observe some people in our circles cruise through life with very little adversity, at least from what we can observe, and attain the things they want, we can’t but wonder why?

Decision making of course is very critical since virtually everything seems to emanate from it yet are there some things out of our control that can affect our lives in a profound way as well?

We think so.

One of the largest variables that can have a massive effect on our lives is the people that we have in it.

As a child, we really didn’t have any choice as to who our parents would be or relatives for that matter. Even friendships formed can be a matter of the neighborhood that you live in.

This can place many in a position that eventually when they become adults, they have to undo the damages heaped upon them in youth. That is an extremely important mission to explore since we have a tendency to replace them with very questionable people in our adult life as well.

Breaking the Girls is a 2012 American crime thriller film directed by Jamie Babbit and starring Agnes Bruckner and Madeline Zima., article, IFC photo credit

It’s a variation on Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers On A Train expect it’s about very good looking girls behaving strangely in a college setting.

Strangers on a Train is a 1951 American psychological thriller film noir produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith.

The film stars Farley Granger, Ruth Roman and Robert Walker, and features Leo G. Carroll, the director’s daughter Pat Hitchcock and Laura Elliott. The film is number 32 on AFI‘s 100 Years… 100 Thrills.

The story concerns two strangers who meet on a train, a young tennis player and a charming psychopath. The psychopath suggests that because they each want to “get rid” of someone, they should “exchange” murders, and that way neither will be caught. The psychopath commits the first murder; and then tries to force the tennis player to complete the bargain.

In Breaking The Girls, Sara, a college student who was slandered by a classmate, finds herself framed for murder by Alex, who initially proposed the perfect, untraceable crime.

In the film, Alex initially starts out as a savior but soon very questionable signs begin to emerge.

Here is another film that capsulizes a toxic friendship., article, miramax films photo credit

Heavenly Creatures is a 1994 New Zealand psychological drama directed by Peter Jackson, from a screenplay he co-wrote with his partner, Fran Walsh, about the notorious 1954 Parker–Hulme murder case in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The film features Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet in their screen debuts.

The main premise deals with the relationship between two teenage girls, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, who murder Parker’s mother. The events of the film cover the period from their meeting in 1952 to the murder in 1954.

The slow moving pace was penetrating and hypnotic.

The focus here is allowing people to come into our lives who initially bring good things to our situation but it could take us a long time to realize what their real motives are to our detriment.

At they summarize a toxic friend well. “Toxic friendships are the worst. They often slip in undetected, only making themselves known when you’re too far into the relationship to just call it quits. And just like a greasy hamburger or a deluxe ice cream sundae, sometimes we can’t help but like what’s bad for us, which is exactly how toxic friendships last way longer than they should.”

The ultimate horror story is marrying a spouse who initially seemed like the love of our life but eventually they ruin our credit, reputation, other friendships and emotionally damage our children.

How in the world do we spot them ahead of time?

A well-written article that addresses this subject was written by in June of 2010 by Ms. Ann Smith at Psychology Today. She opens, “We’ve all heard the studies about the important role friendships play in our emotional and physical well-being. Most of us would agree that having a few good friends to whom we can turn in times of joy and sorrow, or even for simple distraction, is a real plus in life—and, at times, even necessary for our survival.”

How true that is. The problem for many and some in our very circle is that the very people who you thought were your friends were always quietly monsters and predators right from the beginning.

What are some of the signs that you have one in your life?

Here are some thoughts from Ms. Smith’s article.

First, as your friendship evolves, you do more of the giving while they happily take, especially when it involves money. One of our friends was diagnosed with extremely low self-esteem and in her friendships she virtually gave 80 percent while she received about twenty and was happy to do it to hold on to the friendship.

Eventually when she faced up to her affliction, she dumped the so called friends for good and the interesting thing about that was once they stopped getting what they wanted, they could care less about her.

Another sign is can you really be yourself around them or do you have to pretend to be someone that you are not? If they truly are your friends, they will support you no matter what. There are limitations to that especially if you slip into questionable behavior but instead of immediately abandoning you, they will try and help you change.

What happens with your secrets? Do they keep them or later you find out they’ve shared them with others? This is a powerful indicator that beneath the surface they don’t like you.

Do you find that they constantly disappoint you? When you really need them they are not there for you?

We knew of one situation where in order to associate with their friend, they had to jump through a few hoops and once they got together a few more to sustain the association.

Finally do they bring out the worst or the best in you?

We’ve found that we can read all of the research in this area but ultimately it comes down to who?, article,, photo credit


Or me.

Ultimately if we keep having people bring bad things into our lives, there must be something that we are doing that is attracting them.

We know of a friend who, from his snake like mentor, to his economically predatory wife to his tax person and real estate agent who all brought unbelievably bad things into his life that cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

He never really recovered.

He even shared with us how his own therapist who complimented him on how really nice and brilliant he was but began to routinely reschedule his appointments so she could fit in others.

He dumped her.


The first step was to recognize the signs of the beginnings of a bad friendship. They are usually takers. He also found that when people overly compliment you, it tends to be false. When people truly think highly of you they are often very jealous and restrained in their praise.

Ultimately it is about self. One thing that he acutely recognized from his very low self-esteem days was the need to prove himself to others or be witty and clever trying to prove that is worthy.

His personality has changed. He is far quieter, more observant and takes the attitude that if people don’t like him as he is, who cares?

No more stupid jokes.

We all need friends but we don’t need misery and if you find that so many people past and present are bringing questionable things into your life, ultimately whose responsibility is it to do something about it?

Have the courage to stop it. You are not alone.

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