Friendships can be incredibly difficult to navigate at times. They are particularly hard if you have found yourself in the company of a toxic friend, or friendship circle. How do you know if your friendships are good for you? This blog post will explore how to have a healthy friendship.
Do you have boundaries with your friends?
Boundaries are important when it comes to friendships. Without boundaries, you could end up with a very strained friendship. If you find that you are giving 100% effort to a friend, and getting a lot less back, then it is time to readdress your boundaries.
To start with, it’s important to respect each other’s time. If your friend said she would meet you on a weekend at a certain time, but she fails to turn up and texts to cancel hours later, then this is disrespectful. The way to overcome this is to ensure you are informing your friend on what you need, rather than what you want. If you need them to be punctual, or to cancel before a certain point, then don’t be afraid to make that clear. You are worth being respected and treated right.
When it comes to boundaries, you also need to reflect on whether you feel used or not. If the friendship is one-sided, you may end up feeling neglected, unwanted, unimportant. This will eventually affect your self-esteem and may make you feel like you’re not good enough. The important thing to ensure here is that you don’t chase the friendship. If a friend is only texting or meeting up with you when she wants something or has no one else to go to then you need to revaluate your friendship. If you are always putting the effort in, and getting little back, then it’s taking up too much of your energy.
There are other boundaries you can put into place too. Be clear and be confident when setting them.
Don’t ever chase a friendship
Your time and energy are precious, so it is important to protect them. It’s important to prioritise who is active in your life and who you want to make time for. Of course, friendships will naturally drift away, so don’t spend time forcing them to stay. If a friendship feels forced, it will likely fail.
If you find yourself constantly chasing a friend, or worrying over the friendship, or getting upset, think about how much time you are wasting each day! It’s important to spend energy on those who are worth it.
Don’t think that by not chasing you are a bad friend or a bad person. You deserve better, and you deserve to feel wanted and valued. Think of friendships like a tennis game, if you have hit the ball into their court by sending a message, or asking to meet up, then wait for them to hit the ball back. A healthy friendship will play tennis well with you. An unhealthy one has left the court already, leaving you standing alone. Don’t keep hitting balls into their court, it’s a waste of your time and energy.
Quality healthy friendships Vs Toxic friendships
If you have a quality friendship, then the rules may be bent here. When it comes to your inner circle, of course, you can double text. But these are the ones that show their loyalty, support, and love in abundance to you. Quality friendships far outweigh quantity. It’s time to value yourself. By surrounding yourself with toxic friendships, it can become a vicious cycle. It then results in a drop in self-esteem and self-worth.
Toxic friendships can be incredibly detrimental to your mental health. When you begin to question yourself, feeling not good enough, then it’s time to reflect and question the friendship rather than yourself. In fact, if someone isn’t trying and it has become one-sided without reason, that says more about who they are as a person than you. All you can be is yourself, and if they don’t appreciate that then it’s their loss.
Most of the time, the explanation for why they are being toxic lies with them. It’s important not to try and guess why they are being a certain way, as we aren’t mind readers. Just accept the situation for what it is and turn your attention to quality, healthy friendships. We can’t be everyone’s cup of tea or stay friends with everyone that comes into our life. It’s important to accept the flow of friendships, and when they come and go.
By letting go of the small percentage that you find yourself chasing, you will be left with genuine friends. These are the ones who don’t drain your energy, the ones that leave you feeling boosted and loved. Healthy friendships can go ages not talking, or seeing each other, but the love and support is always there. Believe in yourself and the right people will be in your life without having to chase them.
Don’t compare your social life
Never compare your social life to others. We are all different and are all on different paths in life. Popularity becomes meaningless the older you get. It’s far better to have quality friendships over quantity. To show kindness, compassion, and love.
Social media should never be taken seriously. Head over to my blog on social media here. (LINK) It is everyone’s highlight reel, and just a snippet of their life, not an accurate representation. Social media is not a realistic portrayal of how popular someone truly is. You could have thousands of people following you, but only two friends in real life.
What does someone get for being popular online? Nothing. It is not a competition. Focus on having healthy genuine friendships rather than play the numbers game online. It is far better to be a good friend to those who try in your life than to chase likes.
How you can make new friends
Do you want to make new healthy friendships? Head out into your life and seek opportunities. Join local Facebook groups, start a hobby. If you need to rid your life of toxic friendships and seek healthier ones, then go live your life for yourself. The right friendships will then naturally gravitate to you.
Of course, friendships hurt, and losing a friend or stepping away from a toxic one will be upsetting for a while. But time is a great healer. Before long you will realise how toxic your friend was for you, and you will be surrounded by quality friends who make you laugh, smile, and feel loved. While you wait for the hurt to pass, keep busy.
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems, then please do reach out to me. I can give you the tools and methods to help you to feel better again. To let go of the toxic people and into a better, brighter future for you.