Today I Give Myself Permission To Heed The Red Flags #atozchallenge

Letter HFriendship. There’s nothing like it.

Even in marriage, friendship is the foundation upon which love is based. No friendship and marriage can be a real lonely state.

Hand in hand with friendship comes loyalty. Hand in hand with friendship comes give and take.

Can there come a time when enough is enough? And how come we usually never know we have reached “enough ” until long after that point has passed?

And why are we wracked with guilt even when walking away was the only real option left to us?

Who can argue with Kenny Rogers’ great line from The Gambler?

You gotta know when to fold’em, know when to hold’em, know when to walk away, know when to run

But how do we really know when the time comes?

Loyalty is a huge one on my list. I was always taught to stand by my friends.  In midlife my friendships mean even more because I have a healthier appreciation of the odds against really connecting with someone. But loyalty can’t be blind.


It is said that in midlife people commonly go through their phone books and scratch off names. The realization usually comes that it is better to focus on quality rather than quantity. I haven’t deliberately done that exercise, but I have become a bit more discerning about with whom I spend my time. That’s not to say I’m not wracked with guilt about those I choose to distance.

So, I have to remind myself to heed the red flags.

The following saying has become my recent favorite:

true colours

I want to believe the best of people, I think most people do. But it has come at a personal cost. Perhaps I have befriended too easily in the past. The challenge, I think, is to remain open and receptive enough to avoid the cynicism that comes with being too protectionist. There’s totally safe and then there’s social.

Liars, drama queens, attention seekers, manipulators and passive aggressors need not apply.

Today I give myself permission to heed the red flags.

Is this a tough one for you, too?

About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

30 thoughts on “Today I Give Myself Permission To Heed The Red Flags #atozchallenge

  1. You’re bang on regarding mid-life (or later as in my situation), you tend to go through your phone / address book to do some housecleaning. It takes a lot less energy giving of yourself to those who are in your court than trying to court those who are not.

    Fabulous topic for your challenge.

    • “It takes a lot less energy giving of yourself to those who are in your court than trying to court those who are not”. Well said. Midlife and later gives you the courage to be discerning.

  2. I have a far-reaching circle of friends, but a much smaller core group with whom I have a deep relationship. It used to be that I spread myself too thin among the whole. Now, I find my time, energy, and emotional investment is better suited to the “inner circle.” I think it was harder on me making that adjustment than it was for those who didn’t make the cut, so to speak.

  3. Have to go with your heart. I haven’t made any such major decisions, but if the warning signs are there, and I felt miserable being in someone’s presence, it’s time to go.

  4. Great post Judy. Sometimes you need to back away. Any relationship that impacts on your own self esteem or leaves you feeling drained instead of enlivened then it’s time to let go.

      • Loyalty is an admirable quality to have but there are some instances where it isn’t enough. Friendship is a two-way street and has gotta bring out the best in both sides otherwise you’re just beating your head against a brick wall. It only feels good once you stop! 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh! You have some of my favorite quotes in here – both from song and from prolific writers. You are right, though, sometimes you do have to walk away. Determine your needs. I believe God brings us into each others lives for reasons, and sometimes we inhibit the progress because we won’t let go.

    • I believe the same that life brings you the people you need at the appopriate time. The notion of inhibiting progress is an interesting one, I have never thought of it that way before.

  6. thanks for your comment. Yeah – and as we “mature” we become more fussy over who we want to spend time with. I too could write a whole blog on this, but let’s just say, know when to fold them is right on 😀

  7. I too have purged (ugh, that sounds worse than I mean it) friendships that no longer offer me (or I them in return) a quality relationship. Time is precious and so are the people with whom I do want to spend quality time.

  8. This was a great post!! So many times in my life I feel like I’ve been in friendships where I’m the only one making a big effort to keep in touch. No matter how important those friendships may have seemed to me, I think the feeling has to be mutual. I love your quote at the bottom. It’s definitely hard to believe what someone is showing you, you always want to believe something better. I feel like I’m in that situation right now. I know walking away is what needs to be done. But it’s always easier said than done.

    Have fun with a-z.

  9. here! here!! totally agree with this. Heartfelt friends have such an impact on our heart. They encourage, support, laugh and just be with us through any harrowing adventures. I truly agree with you and your words today. Couldn’t think of many h words tonight… still packing and now I am seeing packing material and tape in my sleep! great post!

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