Friendships are one of the single most important areas of our lives. Friends are the people we let off steam to, turn to for support and they are also our source of laughter in good and bad times. The ‘Growing Friends Organically’ post talked about making friendships but what about the ones you already have? Are they healthy? Do they make you happy? Or do you sometimes feel like you are carrying around a load of dead wood?
Once people have cemented themselves in our lives we generally just accept their presence. Even when they have done something wrong the majority of us will just forgive and forget because life is too short to be mad at each other. Or is it? There are times when you must reflect on your friendships and decide if these really are the people you want around you. The most common signs that a person should not be in your life is if they do one or more of the following-
They criticise you- It is okay for your friend to have an opinion but do not let them go too far and hurt your feelings. If they always have something negative to say about your life or the way you look then they will eventually strip you of your self-esteem.
Lies- They make an excuse as to why they cannot hang out with you, then you see them with someone else. Or they tell your business to others and then try cover it up. If they cannot be honest they need to make like a banana… and split!
Convenience- Every time you see them they are saying someone just cancelled on them or that they need your help to do something. When they go have actual fun you are not invited. Snip the cord!
Selfish- When your friend only talks about themselves and their problems. (They might give you 5 minutes at the end!) Support is number one in a friendship but their life issues should not get in the way of you actually having a friendship. Send them to Dear Deidre!
Resentment- If your friend is unhappy with aspects of their life and they see you having fun, they may start to resent you for it. Do not play down your life though, you have the right to do what you want with who you like. You did not make their life choices for them. If they cannot get over it, they need to get out of the friendship.
Bitching- As adults we branch off and create our own bubbles that are unique to ourselves. You may end up with lots of old and new friends in your new bubble and that is how it should be! Careful when they mingle though…as I said in the last friend post…just because two people like you it does not mean they will like each other!
Feeling uncomfortable- Being pushed outside your comfort zone is a good thing, as long as it is not to be humiliated. If your friend says embarrassing things about you in front of other people or pushes you to do something that does not feel right, then they need the boot.
Friends should be beacons of hope that lift us up, help us achieve our life goals and be people we make precious memories with. In times of darkness they should bring you their light. The right friends will listen and speak in all the right places so that you feel loved and understood. If they do have an issue with you, they will bring it to you correctly, with politeness and honesty. Remember though, we are all only human and we may make mistakes in our friendships. If one upsets the other, then cool down before you talk it out.
Friendships only last if both sides want it to so you may have to occasionally put your pride to one side to resolve things. If you find yourself losing friends, then take a moment to reflect on your behaviour and say sorry where you need to. Everyone appreciates a humble heart and it will make your friendship stronger if you can communicate openly and honestly. Sometimes we may just need a few months’ break from certain people and that is healthy too. Once you catch up you will feel like you have made a new friend all over again!
So another life rule… ‘Surround yourself with those who lift you up’…because you deserve nothing less.