Do close Friendships need as much nurturing as a romantic relationship? My answer...YUP!
Updated: May 26, 2020
You can be empowered, and unapologetic about how you choose to live your life. However, there is a true difference between being unapologetically you & being empowered....Than there is by living carelessly, creating your own storm and destroying others in your path.
Live your life and be empowered, but be unselfish enough to know when you’re doing it all at the cost of someone else.
The world needs more people who are fiercely themselves, and embrace who they are. But ALSO able to own up to their flaws, and recognize how their own actions can truly impact others. And then alter those behaviors for ultimately a better version of themself. However, a lot of people aren’t wired that way. Or they just flat out don’t care that their toxic behaviors can harm others. Some people just aren’t willing to put in the work to make a positive change in themselves...because...the road to self help is freaking hard. And opens up a lot of wounds, and deep cuts, memories we’ve repressed... and so they give up on the journey rather than pushing through the hard part. This behavior can also lead to relationships ending...and I don't mean just romantic relationships. I mean...Friendships.
I feel like in the world of social media, relationships other than romantic ones aren’t really discussed. We only see the highlight reel of friendships, a group of girls all laughing...enjoying each others company...We don’t see the behind the scenes, of how Lisa, and Ashley got into an argument last week because Ashley ditched Lisa when a better opportunity rolled around. We don’t see what it takes to nourish, grow, and work on friendships. We don't see Ashley's long conversation with Lisa about how X, Y, and Z hurts her...
We put all this hard work into a romantic relationship, so why wouldn’t you put that work in with your “best friends”?
Making friends as we get older seems to only get harder, the older we get. But nourishing existing relationships can sometimes be even harder than building new ones. When we’re young we don’t think so much about the ways friendships can deeply impact our lives. We think our high school bestie is just going to be there forever, but a lot of times that doesn’t happen. And as we grow up, we create new friendships that we’re sure will last forever, that also somehow go in different directions, or sadly come to an end.
I know every person who is in my life currently, or has been in the past, has made an everlasting impact. Good or bad. They have taught me some of the biggest life lessons. And I’ve come to the point where I harbor no ill will, I’ve let go of all that hurt. And I’ve chosen to continuously move forward with an open heart, yet I now know what boundaries are needed in my life, that makes up for a “healthy“ relationship.
I’ve learned in the past 15 years, that communication skills aren’t just for your significant other. If you aren’t getting what you need from your friends, maybe it’s time to take a step back and see why.
First and foremost, I think it’s important for you to know that your needs are valid. If you feel like there is something lacking in your friendship, if something isn't right, communicate and tell that person.
I’ve learned over the years that I will sabotage my own feelings to help another. I’ll push my needs down, I’ll throw my own opinions away, and I will give and give...until there is nothing left. I have a people pleasing personality, and often times I’m too quick to forgive or turn a blind eye to toxic behaviors. And that’s not healthy and has caused resentment to build within.
In the past I have given whatever it is that the other person needs, and completely pushed away my own values and needs because it’s not what that person wanted to hear.
There needs to be compromise in friendships... just as mush as there is in a romantic relationship.
Relationships, romantic or not, always have some give and take. And if you have friendships that are constantly just taking and taking and taking...maybe you need to push pause for a moment. And see why this behavior is happening, and evaluate what you need to do on your end.
We all grow and change. They say that you and your friends don’t have to be the same people. You can have different hobbies. You can have other friends! And you can have other values...to an extent. Personally, I've learned that when you don't share the same core values, you can find you’re not morally on the same page as your friend...if you continuously see toxic behaviors from them... If you voice your concerns to them, and they only respond negatively, or with a comment like, “you don’t have to like what I do!”...maybe that’s a sign of re-evaluating that specific relationship. Unfortunately our values have a bigger impact on our relationships than you'd think.
Ultimately...if you’re not getting what you need from a friendship...it might be time for you to take some space. Once you’ve had that space...maybe you’ll realize you were wrong, or overreacting. OR maybe you’ll truly realize that you and your friend have very different core values, and maybe it's time to take a step back from that friendship. And as hard as it might be...that is okay...
Life puts people in your path for a reason. Maybe they’re there for the whole book. Maybe they’re just a couple pages, or maybe even a few chapters.
The end of a friendship can be hard, and can even feel like a breakup. I don't feel like that's discussed enough. That a best friend can actually break your heart. But ultimately if that relationship isn’t serving you... If you have become anxiety riddled, or roll your eyes, when you see that persons name pop up on your phone...take that as a sign that something isn’t right. Try to figure out what it is. Then try to work on it. And if that “friend” isn’t willing...then maybe they aren’t meant for this chapter of your life.
I’m a true believer that life gives you the same lesson until you learn what it’s trying to teach you. And I truly feel like I’ve been given certain lessons for a reason. I've come to a point in my life where I truly believe that I’ve been given some of these lessons in order to share my views, share what I’ve learned, share my experience, and help anyone else who may be feeling the same way.
Some of use have huge unselfish hearts. And often times if you’re one of those people, you turn a blind eye to the fact that you are a giver, and you don’t see that you’re running out of what you can give...until it’s too late and you have nothing left to give.
I truly hope that even by me not sharing nitty gritty details, that my personal life lessons can help you.
I’m on a mission to build a safe space for like minded women.
I want like minded women to feel they’ve found their tribe when they are on my pages, whether that’s Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook, Pinterest, or this blog.
I want you guys to feel connected. To know that there are other women out there with huge hearts, that just want to feel like their needs are just as important as others! And to not feel bad...for being you, or feel bad for having the feelings you have. Or the needs you need! To not be insecure about the fact that maybe you’re sensitive! To all my empathetic ladies, who just want to have genuine friendships and connections, and help build each other up.
So if this is your first time hopping on my page, or reading what I’ve written...Hey Girl! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you've come to the right place, and want to stick around. But if nothing really resonates, it's all good thanks for popping in!
And to everyone else who has been here from the start, thank you for your support. Thank you for being here, and thank you for being part of this tribe!