True friendships with staying power are typically the ones where both parties get something out of the relationship. The problem is, a lot of people don’t know how to be a good friend. There are boundary violators, mean people and energy vampires all around us. The interesting thing is that so many people choose to deal with them – and the negative emotional consequences that come with them.
Do any of your “friends” fall into any of the above mentioned categories?
Many people struggle with clarity around who is a good friend to them – and who is not. This is especially true with long term friendships where you may feel obligated or more accepting of bad behavior because after all, they’re like “family…”
If your gut is telling you, “Hey! You’re being taken advantage of, you’re being disrespected, you’re in an unhealthy relationship…” you probably are. Your instincts are there to protect you – as long as you heed them.
Here are some signs you might want to re-evaluate a current friendship:
- They take – and rarely give.
- They’re not reliable – and rarely apologetic.
- They tear you down – and rarely prop you up when you need it.
- They behave in a way that’s unpredictable or volatile – so that you “walk on eggshells” around them to avoid setting them off.
- They do not change – even after your attempts to have an open, honest dialogue about how their behavior makes you feel.
Life is too short to surround yourself with people who aren’t interested – or able – to contribute to a friendship. Spend your energy nurturing the relationships with people who are.