7 Ways To Know If You Need New Friends
I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH SOME AMAZING FRIENDS.
I am actually in DC visiting some of my most valued friends from high school and college right now. These friends got me through college gracefully and successfully. they are who I call and vent to when I'm in need of some serious perspective or advice. I laugh with them, I cry with them, I eat great food and waste time with them.
But they also keep me in check.
They call me on my BS. They force me to do things when they know I'm getting in my own way. They don't always tell me what I want to hear, but this makes me love and value them so much more.
DO YOU HAVE FRIENDS LIKE THIS?
I immediately booked a flight to D.C. to be with these friends during an extremely transitional period of my life. This week has me in the middle of some pretty life-changing decisions and advancements. I chose to be around them during this time because I've always been able to lean on them for good advice, support, and honestly, just clarity of thought. I just breathe easier with them, but we'll get to that in a minute.
GOOD FRIENDS ARE SO IMPORTANT. DO YOU HAVE GOOD FRIENDS?
You can form friendships out of your romantic partner (arguably your best friend), with your family, with your co-workers, with former professors and advisors, etc. These relationships are so vital, but even more vital is ensuring these friendships are actually good ones. Some of our so-called friendships may actually be hindering our growth, and if they are, you are definitely in need of some new ones, boo.
HERE ARE 7 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU'RE IN NEED OF NEW FRIENDS:
1- THEY SUPPORT EVERYTHING YOU DO
You may be rubbing your eyes right now or thinking I missed a word. I didn't - you read correctly. Friends should not support all of your decisions. I don't care how great of a person you are, you are imperfect, and you are certainly in need of some level of accountability. friends can and should be people that encourage you to be your best self. they are your equals, but should still feel comfortable talking some sense into you if you are being less than your best self. if your friendships are ones that support every single decision of yours (even the ones you know are wrong), you're probably in need of some new friends.
2- YOUR FRIENDSHIP IS BASED ON MUTUAL BROKENNESS
If your friendship was and is based on your mutual brokenness, chances are you are using one another as aiders and abetters of self-destructive behavior. If your friendship was founded off your mutual heartbreak, your mutual trust issues, mutual interest in gossip or self-deprecating talk, or anything else that is inherently negative, how will this friendship sustain itself after you've healed from these issues? It probably won't. Additionally, friendships that are based off a mutual level of dependency are most certainly hindering your growth. Many of these friendships work to perpetuate the pain and bad habits that formed the relationship to begin with.
3- THEY ARE NOT HAPPY FOR YOU
Friends who are too unhappy to be happy for you when you're achieving success are inherently toxic. I don't say this out of judgment; i say this out of complete empathy. I completely understand that life can get difficult, but a friend should be able to be happy for another friend's successes and accomplishments regardless what s/he is going through. If a friend cannot be happy for your successes, you are most likely dimming your light in order to sustain that relationship. And by dimming your light, you are absolutely not behaving as your best self. By not being your best self, you are not able to impact others or encourage them to be their best selves. This kind of relationship comes at the cost of your relationship with yourself and with the people around you.
4- YOU ARE COMPETITIVE WITH/JEALOUS OF ONE ANOTHER
If either of the two apply to your friendship(s), you need to get out. yesterday. there is no reason to feel a competitive spirit or sense of jealousy with friends. I'm not talking about the cute competitiveness you feel when you're playing cards with your friends, I'm talking about the real, constant competition that often exists between close friends. Just because it's common doesn't mean it's normal. It's not okay. Friendship should be about mutual joy and support, not constant comparisons and contests. Competitive and jealous relationships are inherently unhealthy, and whoever in the relationship feels this way needs to spend considerable time alone to ensure s/he can become whole.
5- YOU DON'T BREATHE EASIER AROUND THEM
generally, you should just be able to breathe easier around your friends. if you don't know what this means, you don't have good friends. for the vast majority of the time, interactions with your friends should seem effortless. You should feel most understood and most seen around these people. you should feel less inclined to have to explain or defend yourself. you should feel accepted and affirmed, and not judged. even when your friends are expressing concern or dissent with a decision of yours, you should never feel judgment. like i said, they should help you breathe easier.
6- YOUR FRIENDS FEEL ENTITLED TO YOUR TIME
Friendship should never be about entitlement. Like i said with #5 - you should breathe easier. these are the people who most understand when you need a day off, when you don't want to be on your phone, when you don't want to go out, when you don't feel like talking about it. friends can and should hold you accountable to your word, but they should never feel entitled to your space and time. they can want it and ask for it and hope they get it (most friends want to be around each other), but they should also understand when you don't want to give it to them. friendships based on entitlement do not help you breathe easier or channel your best self.
7- THE RELATIONSHIP/BOND LACKS A GREATER PURPOSE
i stole this one from Pastor Touré's # 5 of "5 Keys To Identifying Your Soulmate" because I loved it so much. He is obviously talking about finding a soulmate but i think to a less extreme degree, friendships need to provide purpose as well. If the relationship adds no purpose to your life or to the world around you, it is literally subtracting. it's taking time, space, energy, etc. It’s just there. these relationships are what i call "it's complicated" relationships. in order for a relationship to achieve a greater purpose, it needs to be contributing to your growth and it needs to thereby facilitate the betterment of the spaces and people around you. relationships that lack a greater purpose are certainly holding you back from being the best version of yourself that you can be.
letting go of less than positive relationships may not be the easy thing to do, but it's certainly the right thing to do. it's right for you and it's right for the other person/people involved. if you find that most of your friendships meet any of the above-mentioned points, you may need to spend some considerable time alone, focusing on yourself and becoming the person you need to be in order to attract the right kinds of people in your life.
AFTER ALL, YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF DICTATES YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH EVERYONE/EVERYTHING AROUND YOU.
WHY WOULDN'T YOU MAKE SURE IT'S A POSITIVE ONE?