Some of us act as doctors in our lives — when we see people hurting we want to help them in their distress. And guess what? That is awesome! People come to us with their problems and we make them feel better by being there for them. In these situations we act as doctors prescribing them with our time, resources and attention. However, some of us make the mistake of getting too invested with these "patients" and begin to call them friends. We hang out with them, take them home and trust them wholeheartedly. And guess what? That is NOT awesome. When was the last time you saw a medical doctor take a patient from their office and bring them to their house? Never! So why are we doing the same, especially when we ain't getting paid a doctor's salary!

But what about those people that started out as genuine friends? Well, we all know that life is all about change. And people’s characteristics can also change based off what is happening in their life at the time. No one just becomes a full blown patient straight from the friend category though. You have probably seen hints of it here and there before they walked into your office with a full hospital gown on!

But hold up, let’s examine this. How do you know if someone in your life is a patient or a friend? Here's a checklist:

-Do you dread seeing their text, email or phone call?
-During or after you are with them do you feel drained?
-Do they always have some sort of tragedy in their life when you speak to them?
-Do they take over the conversation and always make it about their issue?
-Do they always ask you to pay for their food, entertainment, Ubers?
-Are they always asking to "borrow" money and never returning it?
-Are they always just straight up asking for money, no borrow?
-When they come to your house do they raid the fridge while asking why you don't have a particular kind of food they like?
-Do they always turn a situation around on you and make you feel bad about yourself?
-Do they have no motivation to do anything in life but expect you to always set them up with a relationship/job/money?
-Have they stopped (or did they ever) say thank you when you offered or gave them something?
-Do they only reach out to you when they need something?
-If you say "no" when they ask you for something does it get quiet on their end and you don't hear from them for awhile or they stop answering your calls/texts?

If you said "yes" to at least 1 of these questions while thinking about a person, that is your patient.

Now may be a good time for you to assess the people in your life and determine whether they are a patient or a friend. (And to be honest, some family members can also act as patients too!) If you want to live a more fulfilled life you have three options: 

1) Cut the patients off, since we ain't got a PhD (or maybe some of you do!)

2) Talk to your patient about what you see/how you feel and see what happens. Perhaps they didn't know this about themselves and are willing to change. [Sidebar: After you speak to them about this, really check to see if there is a change on their end and if they are at least trying their best. Progress may be fairly slow, so if they keep showing patient behavior just keep reminding them of what y'all spoke about. However, if they aren't trying or they keep putting the blame on you, LET THEM GO. They aren't worth your time.]

3) Still see the patients and give willingly, yet intelligently. However just realize that if you choose this option, you will keep getting hurt and will keep feeling drained. In this case make sure to keep them at arms length and do not take them home with you. Your home should be your sanctuary and place of peace. It should not be a ground for someone to spill out their negative energetic guts.

Paging Dr. (insert your name here). What option will you choose? Are you ready to retire from this career that you never knew you had or will you keep seeing patients? The option is yours. But chose wisely, for the time will come when your Higher Soul will forcibly make the decision for you. And when that happens, it may be too late.