What About Your Friends?
Remember “What about your friends,” the hip-hop, girl anthem from the trio TLC? It’s an R&B classic and it was the jam! It also spoke a lot of truth about what a healthy friendship should feel like.
Friends are the family you choose. You wouldn’t purposely choose to be in a relationship that wasn’t uplifting, reciprocal or one that does not add positively to your life, right?
Sometimes we become friends with people that are not the best for us. It just happens. Maybe we were naïve and couldn’t see that our right-hand (wo)man shouldn’t be trusted. Or maybe people change, with each person moving onto different life paths. Whatever the reason, it is important to know when to remove toxic people and maintain healthier friendships.
It’s not easy to see the true colors of a so-called friend at first or when you finally do, how do you detach yourself from that negative energy? How do you know if your BFF is actually your frenemy?
The Competitor. If you find that your good girlfriend is always trying to outdo you or compare her accomplishments to yours by belittling your success or goals, then you might have a hater on your hands. The world is full of folks that are going to make you feel small, so they feel big. So it is very important to surround yourself with people that are nothing but encouraging.
The Selfish One. You ever find yourself chatting with your friend and the entire convo is always centered on them! No matter what, the conversation always comes back to how they feel or what they’ve experienced. That’s a one sided friendship that can be become emotionally stagnant and draining.
The Debbie-Downer. Negative-Nancy. Pessimistic-Patty. Whatever you call her, you don’t need a friend like this on your team. This type of friend is usually looking and pointing out everything wrong rather than offering a solution. Bottom line, get a friend that will lift you higher, instead of dragging you down.
Friendships are investments that help to develop certain traits, like, affection, loyalty, and trust, if it’s a healthy one. Maybe you’re not ready to let go of your friend, especially if you’ve known them for forever, and that’s okay too.
Here are ways to rescue a friendship in need:
Be Honest. It could be possible that your friend doesn’t even realize they are displaying toxic behavior. If so, this would be a good time to keep it real and let your bestie know that their actions are affecting you. Expressing yourself is the first step to solving your issues and saving your dissolving sisterhood.
Set Boundaries. Now that you kept it honest with you girlfriend, set limits. Seems pretty harsh, but establishing rules can develop a positive rapport between friends. This doesn’t mean be phony with them, but setting certain guidelines with how you communicate can create a better understanding.
Be Accepting. Here’s the thing: people don’t often change. Your friend is going to be who they are and you must accept that there will be certain flaws no one can alter. Acknowledge that you both are different. You have to make peace with this. As long as their traits are not impactful in a harmful way, being accepting will allow you to move on from the drama more easily.