By Laura Lifshitz
In your twenties, you get to know people outside of your home and community. You get a feel for the world and what society is like. You have usually a diverse group of friends or at least acquaintances, and you’ve got more time to mingle. When you hit your thirties, you’ve solidified much of your core social group or if not, you’re about to do just that. You’re letting your social circle get smaller and at the same time if you get married and or have children, your circle also changes. This change is major. Your social circle is tight and if it’s not that’s a big issue.
To be frank, as a woman, if you don’t have at least one great girlfriend you can count on in your thirties, I implore you to get out there and make one—now!
You are missing out. Sure, guy friends are nice, but truly… a woman needs a few amazing girlfriends, always.
Okay, now that I’ve emphasized the importance of having great girlfriends, what happens to your social circle when you hit your forties?
You should have a tight circle, a good support network and as always, you will have new people who come in and out of your life, whether due to your children’s school/activities network or your workplace relationships. But truly, with all that said … there shouldn’t be any room for nonsense in your social circle come your forties. There should be a total lockdown on letting any fools in your life at that juncture. However, life isn’t perfect and we all struggle to cut ties at times, so here are a few people you need to say “buy-bye” to once you hit your forties in order to truly have a great and happy life.
I can’t stand flakiness. It irritates me. I think that sometimes people assume I might be flaky because I’m so bubbly, but they learn quickly that I am not.
If you have a friend or person in your life that is an utter flake, cut them out. You are in your forties. You don’t have time for that.
You know the Flake … always says you’ll get together but it doesn’t happen. Never calls you back. Forgets to invite you to places. Makes you really feel like a third, fourth or fifth place option in his or her life.
If it’s really painful for you to drop this person, then you must stop caring about the Flake’s behaviors and have zero expectations for this individual. Personally? I still think you should kick this person to the curb. I don’t think you need to bother with someone who can’t be relied on at this stage of your life.
The Conditional Friend
You know, the friend who only wants to see you if you have money to do things, or will drive to her.
You know, the friend who only talks to you when she’s single and not “onto another boyfriend.”
The friend who is only available on certain conditions.
You don’t need that. That was “cool” when you were in your twenties, but who needs that as a busy working person in her forties?
Heck, even if you don’t work, you don’t have time for this fair-weather friend!
The Nasty Family Member
That one family member who harps on your childrearing? Who comments on your weight? Who forgets your birthday or excludes you from other family activities?
Na, na, na, na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye …
The only time you can’t really take an axe to this person is if it’s an in-law, but you can limit contact. Even if it’s a parent, you can limit or bar all contact.
There is no rulebook that says you must tolerate a toxic person’s behavior in print, anywhere! You really don’t have to tolerate this. No one is the boss of you, besides you.
Don’t put up with it!
This person notes when you gain weight and when you lose it. This person will tear apart your life choices, especially when you are done. This person will always call you when he or she suspects you’re struggling.
This person likes to have a front seat to other people’s suffering because he or she is a critical, nosy bastard or b*tch.
You don’t need to put up with this person unless it’s your boss and in that case, look for a new job.
We’ve all known someone like this and this person serves no good. All this person does is make you doubt your own value. You don’t need this person.
This person knows everyone’s crap in town. They talk about it to everyone … and use vague words to try to cover up the dirt, but those words are never “vague” enough. In the gossip’s eyes, there’s nothing juicier than a story about someone else to share. This person loves to hear every little bit of anything on anyone; even if it’s a close friend, this person will spill that close friend’s stories out to anyone within earshot.
You probably can’t avoid this person totally because it may be a community member, but you can certainly keep the chatter to “Hello” and “Goodbye.”
In your forties, you don’t need to know the word on the street. You need to keep your privacy and your life protected and sane.
Tell Chatty Cathy or that Talkative Tom to move it along!
There is no rulebook that says you must tolerate a toxic person’s behavior in print, anywhere!
Life is too short and by the time you reach forty, you realize that damn, you better make your life the best ever, because time is racing by and before you know it … your forties will be gone in a flash. You don’t have the time or energy for mediocre people or negativity. You don’t have the time for anyone who sucks the life from you.
Make sure you tell anyone that doesn’t serve you to go for a long walk off a short pier … away from you. In a nice way, of course. After all, we’re women in our forties and not our cruel twenties. Wink.
About the Author
Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated writer, comedienne, single mother and chocolate fanatic. A former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate, you can find her work in many places, like the New York Times, DivorceForce, Mom.Me, Women’s Health, Worthy, Working Mother and numerous other sites. Follow her on Facebook and her own website, frommtvtomommy.com.