Freedom Connection

Georgia Shaffer on Avoiding Relationship Mistakes, Part 1

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Jun 15

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GEORGIAS-TEAL-SUIT-CROPPED-TWO1It is with great pleasure that I bring you today’s post for Mission: Intimacy. Life coach and counselor, Georgia Shaffer (read her full bio here), has given us permission to share with you from segments of her book titled “Avoiding the 12 Relationship Mistakes Women Make”. The segments you will read here are all from chapter four of this highly recommended book. It is written to an audience of women, however if you are a man, I believe you still can gain insights from this post as well as the book. You may relate to some of the content or you may get to peek into the relationships of women for just a moment or two.

Again, the quotes below are all from “Avoiding the 12 Relationship Mistakes Women Make” Chapter 4, by Georgia Shaffer. Chapter 4 is titled “I Discount the Cost of Negative Relationships”. This is just a taste of the great content in this book. I encourage you to get a copy here and read it in its entirety.

In writing about how an extremely negative friend affected her during a time when she had cancer, Georgia said “This was difficult for me because I had been taught to be kind to everyone. I had never recognized the need to set clear boundaries with some people. I had never realized that just like the weeds in a garden rob the flowers of vital moisture, nutrients and sunlight, so too certain people in my life were robbing me of the vital energy I needed to fight cancer and heal. I could not afford to allow interactions with negative people to steal the few resources I had left.”

“It’s not wise to allow negative or toxic people into our innermost circle of friends.”

“Be willing to reassess your current friendships. Take a step back and ask yourself which of your relationships are life-giving and which ones are draining the life out of you.”

“In her book on destructive relationships, Leslie Vernick writes that what constitutes a destructive relationship is not always identified by a single episode of sinful behavior but rather a “pervasive and repetitive patterns of actions and attitudes that result in tearing someone down or inhibiting a person’s growth.  A destructive relationship is not the same thing as a difficult one. Learning calculus is difficult, but it leads to growth and to greater intellectual or mathematical maturity. On the other hand, ingesting cyanide is destructive. It harms and often leads to death.”

Georgia goes on in this chapter to give four questions to ask yourself in determining whether someone is belongs in your innermost circle of friends. They are:

  1. Does this person have a pattern of being negative, critical and caustic?
  2. Does this person tend to disappear when you are facing challenging situations?
  3. Does this person violate the person God created you to be?
  4. Does this person subtly erode your self-confidence?

“You don’t need to end every negative relationship…” Georgia gives some options in this chapter to deal with these negative relationships. She also gives suggestions for those relationships which are life-giving. Look for part 2 of Georgia’s thoughts next week at Mission: Intimacy!

Also, check out Georgia’s website for some great resources!

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