Coping When a Dysfunctional Friendship Ends

 dys·func·tion·al

The friendship started innocently enough.  We had lots of things in common so small talk led to drinks after work, outings, and even group adventures.  I was so happy that I had found a friend who really listened to me and supported me.  As time went on, I started feeling heard less and less.  I tried to make adjustments in the conversation, but it always circled back to whatever new and terrible thing had happened to her.  Some nights, I would be on the computer for hours consoling her and helping her through something.  I would go to bed mentally and physically drained.  The “friendship” was not reciprocal.

My husband had enough and told me to just ignore the messages that always started out the same way.  It seemed she wanted to catch up and “talk”, but we never did anything anymore.  She didn’t call me on the phone, didn’t answer my text messages, and didn’t want to see me.  She just wanted to use messenger as her personal dumping ground all night long.

I felt alone and isolated in the friendship.  I was not important enough to make time for.  There were other examples as well.  An event we were going to go to together that she said we would plan…weeks later, photos of her with someone else at the event.  Exercise class no show…and excuses on nights I asked her to do something with me, or just come over and chat.  However, throughout this process, when she needed me or wanted to come over to see a mutual friend, I made the time.  I was always making time because trust is something I value.

That’s when it finally hit me.  I didn’t trust her anymore due to the lies and excuses.  I was nurturing a friendship that was crumbling because I believed she would wake up and see what she was doing to me.  It wasn’t going to happen because I was not the only one she lied to.  She lied to her husband, to her work, to mutual friends, and most of all, to herself.  I could not fix this.  She had to get back to seeing a weekly counselor and nothing I did or said would ever be enough until she was ready to work on herself.

How to cope when a friendship ends?

  • Make a plan. What would you do if you were to run into this person again?  What would happen if this person wanted back in your life?  I know the answers seem hard to think about, but it’s best to run through that now while you are fresh to whatever happened in the relationship.  The main question is does the relationship empower me or deflate me?  Is there capacity for an authentic, honest relationship or not?  Honestly, you already know the answers to these questions.
  • Write your feelings down. I know that this is not like a funeral…but in a way, it is.  You are dealing with the stages of grief, and it is a serious thing.  You have loved that friend, cared for that friend, and despite your best efforts, the friendship ended.  I haven’t forgotten the moments of happiness the friendship brought me, and despite the fact that for the better part of a year I saw the friendship going down a steep hill into a black abyss that sucked all the joy out of it, I still regret the way it ended.  But I also know it takes two working together to save a relationship.  Not one.  The primary emotion that comes to me is anger because of the way it ended.  Anger that I was made to be in the middle of something that was never about me anyway. 
  • Think about the qualities you really want in a friend.  I was in a bad place when we met, but as I started to get better, it seemed to make my friendship worse.  That doesn’t even sound okay to me now.  How could a friend not be happy for me?  I wanted someone who could talk to me in person and not make excuses because they were mad that I was doing better.  I am not sure why I didn’t notice it before.
  • That brings me to “Don’t take it personally.” Everyone is dealing with their own demons.  If the friendship ends, there is a good chance that it is freeing you up for something new.  It will hurt for a long time, but eventually you will realize that you have broken the cycle and moved on.  New friends await you, and this time, as soon as you see something that doesn’t sit well with you, be brave and have that conversation on what is important to you in a friendship.  If this person is meant to be in your life, they will understand, value you, and most importantly, make time for you.

As your self-esteem and self-worth improves, these old friends WILL fall away if they are not meant to be in your life.  You are making room for so much more my friend.  In my closed group, the Head|Heart|Health Club, we are working on exactly what we want to attract in our lives and that includes new boundaries for ourselves and realizing that it truly is okay to feel worthy.

6 Things No One Else Controls…Except You!!

Contrary to popular opinion the world does not owe anyone anything.  Yup.  It’s up to us to make our own way in the world.  Hypothetically, if you were to ask me for advice and blame everything that has happened to you on someone else in your family, I might give you advice you don’t want to hear.  I don’t lie, and I don’t really sugar-coat.  I tell you what your words are telling me.

I have talked about this before, but each of us on this earth are responsible for our own happiness…and in turn, we feel more successful when we are happy.  Happiness isn’t ready-made, and we can’t be happy all of the time, but we can turn some things around that lead to unhappiness.  Letting other people control things usually leads to unhappy thoughts, which in turn can lead to depression, anger, sadness, anxiety and many more feelings of unease in our own skin.

Each day we are responsible for our actions whether or not they are good or bad.  I am still beating myself up over hesitating paying for a stranger to get a hair cut the other day, but that moment has passed.  I hesitated because I didn’t want to offend the woman, but she said she was just checking on prices and didn’t have it on her at the moment, but would come back.  We can do good things when we are prompted by our gut…but I let judgement jump in because I thought she would be offended.  I made that choice for her.

Then I let my disappointment bring me down.  Anytime we make poor decisions, or don’t listen to what our intuition tells us, we sometimes do the “repeat” thing in our heads.  I am here to tell you that never solves a thing.  Sing the Cher song backwards, because guess what?  You can’t turn back time.  The time is now.  So let’s start now making those tiny continuous improvements that I have talked about before.   <<< check that out after the article.

6 Things Only You Control:

  1. The Word “NO.”  No is actually a complete sentence.  If people are dragging you into needless arguments and are already committed to being right, why bother being part of it?  No thank you.  Not my circus.  Not my monkeys. I love that line by the way and say it in my head lots… I add colorful modifiers sometimes in my head as well, but truth.  If grown folks are trying to get you to be part of their nonsense, just say no.
  2. No one can steal your breath.  I read an e-mail today that was condescending and blaming.  The person didn’t know how to do their job so they are blaming other things.  I needed to breathe.  Breathing gets my head clear.  Gets me to realize how young this person is.  Gets me to take the higher road than I was going to take in my response.  Allows me to show them why I ask other people for their opinion before I assume.  It’s time to breathe and feel the air come up through your belly, expanding your lungs and then exhaling through your nose.  For a count of 3 before responding.  Own your breath.  Don’t let them own it.
  3. Your reaction.  “Well you made me do that!”  Nope.  Not buying that.  No matter how hurtful someone is, or how petty, you still control your reaction and the words you use to respond.  Find your breath.  Remember the word no is still available, and last, walk away if you need to.  It is always your choice to have higher self-control than the next person.  You can be humble in this situation and show kindness as well.
  4. The voice in your head.  It’s all you up there.  Do you have it on rewind all the time?  What routines are in place to clear it?  Do you know where the delete button is or has it vanished?  When you feel your inner voice repeating a scenario, stop it.  Breathe deeply again 3 times.  Replace it with an affirmation of positive self-talk.  I am worthy.  I am able to move past this.  << By the way, you are.  Forgive yourself and move forward.  Journal if you need to and then close the page.  It is gone.  Out of your head and onto the paper.  End it with “Tomorrow is a new day.”
  5. Your friend choice.  A long time ago, there were some “popular” kids my friend thought were awesome.  I didn’t.  In fact, I went out of my way to avoid them and make my own friends because this particular crew was nothing but mean girls.  I tried out for soccer instead of what back then was the norm.  Not saying that cheering is bad, but it was the norm in the 80’s and 90’s.  Girls playing soccer was not.  I liked to be different.  Go figure.  But along the way I learned that I couldn’t make the mean girls nice, I couldn’t make them like me or hate me less, because you guessed it, if a guy from around their crowd took notice of me, I was called names.  I just did my thang.  You do yours my friends.  Seriously.  Your gut is right.
  6. Your present and your future.  The truth is, these people don’t control how you spend the rest of your life.  If you are letting them, you have to ask yourself why?  Are you stuck in the past?  Are you holding grudges?  Are you motivated by hate or anger?  What are you doing right now that is helping you move forward from this?  It is time to practice forgiveness.  Send that card.  Say thank you.  Let go.  You really can move forward.  It is up to you and it is your choice whether to let go or be dragged.

A few more articles to help you >>>  The Process of Letting Go

>>>   20 Minutes of Anger (or tips for not Hulking out)

Do you need help making progress?  Try 4 Weeks to Wellness.  There is currently a flash sale on the bonus!

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7 Ways to Notice Someone is Lying

I started this new thing where I ask my readers questions and today’s question really got people going.  Today was about “Lies of Omission”.  Basically someone omits an important detail from a statement; therefore, they are not telling the whole truth.  Sometimes people seem to think these are okay, because they are emitting something…sadly, that is not the case.

The thing is, the truth will come out in the end, and it really does take less effort.  I read an article recently that said telling lies takes longer than telling the truth.  How can we spot the lies?

7 Ways to Notice if Someone is Lying:

  1. The face always tells everything I need to know.  There are some people who try to mask this, but I seem to pick up on certain cues.  For just a second, I can see the person pause, frown, look happy, look sad, or seem to consider their move.  Sometimes its minimal.  Eyebrows, frown lines, etc and then its gone.  Poof.  Like half-a-second.  So I keep watching.
  2. Inconsistencies in their story.  Ahem.  Cough.  Someone is making headlines about that right now.  If you listen to the story and you think, even for a second, something doesn’t sound right here.  You are probably right.  Say, you know, being robbed as an Olympic swimmer.  There are lots of things that don’t always add up, and the truth is hidden under there.  Somewhere.  Listen closely.
  3. Prolonging eye contact during part of the story.  We have always heard the opposite is true, but a new study says that people who really want you to believe something don’t break eye contact.  Interesting.  They are trying hard to convince you that they are honest.  Apparently honest people do break eye contact.  Instead of staring you down.  Like they are using a Jedi mind control trick to hold you there.  Hmm.  Very interesting.
  4. Ask them the unexpected question.  I had a friend who perpetually lied to me about everything in the universe.  Yes.  I knew.  <<< see the blog post about creating distance from these types or this one here about boundaries.  Anyway, whenever I asked unexpected questions, there was silence.  Long pauses and lots of umm, ahh you know.  It was the same thing every time.  No real answer at all.
  5. Check for bad habits to come out.  Excessive lip licking.  Looking down.  Biting nails.  Fidgeting.  Habitual liars still don’t realize they have signs like these that come out.  When a person lies, it actually causes stress on the body and beings out these signs…even running to the bathroom as their stomach hurts.
  6. Saying they are honest as their voice changes tone.  I’m telling you what, the fish was 6 feet, no 7 feet long.  I SWEAR!  I am telling the TRUTH on this one.  Insert other lies here, and listen for the change of tone or the affirmation of honesty.
  7. It’s beginning to sound too familiar or too many details that seem odd are being told.  I would get told over and over well I didn’t know anything about it.  I wasn’t even there.  Yet the person’s friend would tell me she was there, and did know and helped with the details, etc.  Whatever.  If you get to the point where it is the same old thing over and over and you got better things to do than listen to this tall tale, jump over here and have a read at this post. Maybe it is time to nourish a new relationship.  Or build a strong friendship with these 3 tips.

Whatever is going on, chances are, if you are reading this, you might suspect someone is lying to you…more than once.  Remember, your self-esteem isn’t hurting, it’s theirs for lying to you.  We should all be able to look one another in the eye and be honest without fear.  Depending on the person’s motives, it could be they feel you won’t like them or perhaps they are using the lies in a far more hurtful way.  Whatever the case, encourage them to talk to a counselor because sometimes it’s better to have a professional navigate through that than for you to constantly feel caught in this deception.  It will only bring you down. 

Right or easy?

5 Tips for Developing Healthy Relationships Today!

I took a quick poll last week about the topics that my readers wanted to hear more about and this was one of the top three!  So to clarify for everyone out there, relationships don’t have to be romantic; however, I have been married for 18 years and this year marks year 20 with my college sweetheart.  My best-friend from elementary school and I have been friends for almost as old as I am…which is to say a long time.  Additionally, I have the greatest group of girlfriends who meet on a regular basis and are not afraid to let vulnerability be discussed.  Has it always been this way?  Heck no!!  All of the above relationships have been through some twists and turns, but I did pick up a few tips along the way.

5 Tips for Developing Healthy Relationships Today:

  1. Open lines of communication are the number one tip that I have for you today, and that includes the “trust factor”.  If you don’t trust your partner, your friends, or your family, how are you going to be open?  You aren’t.  You will always hold part of yourself back and that could even border on holding back the truth which will further work to damage the trust.  I had a friend for a number of years who I genuinely cared about; however, that being said, each and every time we talked she would hide things or craft some sort of story that never seemed to be quite the truth.  Time after time things were missing in our conversations.  I ignored these signs, until one day I simply could not.  The trust factor has to be there or the relationship will not be able to move forward.
  2. You have to be able to accept criticism that is honest and meant to help you grow.  That being said, if this criticism comes from a harsh argument, it will not be effective at all.  Moreover, you should develop active or reflective listening.  In active listening, we are genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking, feeling, wanting, or what the message means, and we are able to process this as a type of feedback.  This is hard.  It is.  But I have seen it done with my group of girlfriends.  One of them recently went through a divorce and has developed this skill through that process.  She brings questions to the table about things and genuinely wants to know what we all think or how we feel.  It has strengthened our friendship whereas before, she did not want to listen to advice before as it was painful to her.  She is really trying hard to separate fact from feeling as she actively listens to our advice about whatever she is asking.  It also helps that we are not giving her unsolicited advice.  We are all there to lift her up.
  3. Develop and hone in on your compassion and empathy.  Remember how I dislike the word judge?  Icky.  It makes us feel like we are on trial; however, there is a thing called discernment and that is different.  We become aware of the emotional response and might know what triggers our friends, partners and family members.  We then try to come at it from a place of compassion.  We are more open and connected to what is going on this way and can tap into our inner intuition about what is really at the root of a problem.  This saves us.  It reminds us to speak from love.
  4. Remember to have boundaries.  It is important to remember how to separate your feelings from that of your friends and partners.  Likewise, it is important to know you can’t heal them emotionally.  That is their job and not yours.  One of my favorite memes recently has the little guy holding the jar of happiness and his friend comes over and says “Where did you get that?”  And little guy says “I made it myself.” BOOM!  Microphone drops.  Have boundaries on your emotions before they get drained.
  5. Make time for the relationship…that isn’t on technology.  The phones.  The phones.  They are everywhere.  When trying to communicate they are a distraction.  Make time by shutting off the technology and creating a sacred space for you to unwind and be real.  This can be weekly, or monthly depending on your schedule, but try to get outside as well and enjoy some much-needed fresh air with your friend or loved one.  It’s not only a lifesaver…but a relationship saver as well.

FriendshipWant to know more about how to journal yourself to a better you?  Read more under 4 Weeks to Wellness.

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5 Signs You Have Outgrown a Friendship

I am feeling inclined to write to you about this which ultimately means that there is someone out there needing to hear this message today.  Yesterday I went to lunch with a girlfriend.  She said “Dude” because I love that word, anyway she said “I saw the most profound quote and I have to share it with you…but let me find it first.”  So I waited for her to find it and then I was like whoa.  Just whoa.  So I am going to place it here for you to read.

forget

We have both struggled in the last two years with outgrowing friends in our lives.  These friends came into our lives at a time when we really needed them, and so for both of us, it has been an interesting period of growth.  We saw what we needed to do a year ago, but we both found it difficult so we pressed on trying to repair the crack with duct tape and Kraggle (crazy glue).

For my situation, it comes down to one thing, and one thing only.  Honesty.  If I can’t trust a friend anymore, then there really is no friendship.  But of course, there were other signs along the way.

5 Signs You Have Outgrown A Friendship:

  1. You don’t feel like you trust them, so therefore you hold back from what you were really going to say.  This is a huge warning sign.  If they are your friend and you have seriously deep concerns about something they are doing that might be endangering their well-being, why can’t you voice it?  You should be able to voice your opinion, concern, fear, or whatever out of love.  Likewise, if you are really friends and family members of theirs are concerned, it should be okay to have that discussion out of concern for self-care.  It is as simple as that really.
  2. When you announce good news, success and new things coming up, you get the distinct feeling they are not happy for you because they make no comment or direct it back to what is happening in their lives at the moment.  So you shrink a little inside and stop telling them.  This is wrong.  You should be able to celebrate without fear of jealousy, envy, or shame at the fact that you did something worthwhile.
  3. Your only communication is via messenger or text.  Short texts are sent “Let’s get together soon.” or even worse, no mention of getting together happens because the person is having another crisis and can’t fit you into their plans at the moment.  Excuses are constantly made and you know they are lying to you.  They post photos with other friends, manage to find time to get together with them, and continue to hold you at arm’s length.  Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is not that full.
  4. Something feels completely and totally “off” every single time you talk to them.  You either have great intuition or perhaps you ignore it, but if it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t right.  Just to make sure, you try to get some clarity from mutual friends, but be careful here.  They might be the one causing the wedge to begin with.  Never say anything you wouldn’t say to that person.  There are way too many lies out there and you don’t need it in a friendship.  At least that is how I operate.
  5. They have a new love interest or fling…and that’s all they talk about.  At first, you are tolerant of it because you understand new.  But months, or years later, they are still taking this guy everywhere, or inviting you over and he shows up, or he wants to tag along on a “Girl’s Weekend” and not give you the space you asked for prior to the trip.  Warning!!!  Warning!!! Juvenile behavior ahead.  Who knows what she is telling him.  Who knows what she tells you that she tells him <<< see that shit right there.  High School.  All of a sudden you keep getting these very bad feelings about the whole thing and you know for a fact that it’s time to go.

This is the hardest part.  What comes next?  Suffering is Optional.  << Read that for more.

So back to the quote, I close with my conversation from “J”.  Forget with generosity…let’s let them go from our lives.  No hard feelings, no negative energy or regret.  Just let them go from our lives graciously.  Those who cannot love us: The word cannot is the key.  They were, for whatever reason unable to love us in the way that we need.  It could be because of personality, circumstances, different phases of life, whatever.  But they literally “could not” love us.  <<< that’s some good advice right there.

Letting those people go consciously and peacefully and without animosity gives us a certain freedom instead of hanging onto that anger, hurt and frustration.    <<< Look at my friend just Yogi the hell out of this for me.  I was like say what?  This is a blog post.

5 Ways to Beat Envy…

In a time when Fakebook reigns supreme, it can be difficult to see past the rose-colored Fakebook statuses.  Trending on the side is all about famous people.  The Holidays have people talking all about presents and what they are doing and blabbity blah blah.  Sometimes you just might want to slap someone.  I know that it’s difficult when you can read between the lines too.  Anyway, let’s work on ourselves shall we?  Let’s leave all this behind and think about what might be causing our feelings of envy, and when you can’t beat em’ join em’.  What does this mean exactly?  I will tell you.

Get to the root cause of where your envy comes from.  Do you want more friends?  Do you want to have a relationship that’s loving and worth investing time in?  Do you think you are supposed to be married by now and it drives you crazy when others get engaged?  What exactly is it that’s bugging you?  I once had someone tell me they un-followed me because I was too happy.  TOO HAPPY.  WHAT the actual F?  Did they read my about me on here?  hahaha.  But anyway, I guess even I can make some people want what I have.  That’s an interesting thought…and perhaps you don’t realize what you have either.

  1. Look beyond the “Shiny Happy People” status.  I am going to be honest…I know people who post all doom and gloom shit and I just have no desire to keep reading this.  It’s the same thing day after day.  Likewise we all know people who post really “Shiny” statuses.  What we have to remember is that maybe, for whatever reason, they added their boss and co-workers on Fakebook and want to look like they love their jobs every day so they don’t get fired.  True story.
  2. What do you feel like you are missing out on?  Do your friends post photos of themselves going out and you don’t get invited?  Ask them to hang out!  If they make excuses, ermmm it’s time for new friends and then that problem is solved.  No “friends” should make other friends jealous, feel left out, or feel put in the middle of things by not being invited when all your other friends are.  Period.  That’s on them.  Not you!!
  3. Don’t keep up with the Jones’s.  Jonsi.  Joneses.  Those people.  Unplug from social media if it’s starting to get to you or un-follow their asses.  Well, them too, but if their asses make you envious, just hide.  Hahaha.  Like you can hide a Kardashian’s ass, but you know what I mean.  I don’t read gossip magazines and I don’t know what’s the latest thing and/or whatnots, but I do know that people like to be praised.  They like attention.  So they post things sometimes for that reason.  Would x,y,z that they are posting make you happy?  Why?  Then think about ways you can do something for yourself.
  4. Don’t give in to the dark side.  So just because you occasionally mumble things like “karma” under your breath doesn’t mean you are a bad person.  You have not become a major Sith Lord for thinking these thoughts.  Guess what?  These thoughts are human and it’s okay.  Just acknowledge them and then deal with them in a logical way.  Go a little bit deeper within and think about what it is you personally want to achieve that is causing these feelings to come out.  If it’s that you think the person doesn’t deserve x,y,z and that’s why you are mumbling karma, well maybe.  But that isn’t for you to decide.  You just keep on focusing on your goals.  (note, there is a different way to embrace that side here. << )
  5. You are dy-no-mite!  Seriously, if you want Good Times ahead, you have to remember that you are worthy.  See what I did there?  No, maybe not.  Anyway, you truly are someone to be proud of and it’s possible that you don’t realize people are un-following you because they are tired of seeing your happiness.  I know, it’s weird.  But you never know.  What 3 things are you really proud of in your life right now or grateful for?  Think about that and go from there.  You can rise above and create the life you want!!

some peopleNeed a little bit more help and want to work only on yourself and what you can change?  Learn more about the Head|Heart|Health Club here.  <<<

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5 Reasons You Need Supportive People.

Plans were broken yet again.  Didn’t come through when you needed them.  You actually feel drained physically and emotionally after being around someone.  You start to make excuses in your head why your friend leaves you hanging…and the excuses start piling up.  Does any of this sound familiar to you?  There is nothing worse than a promise broken.  It leaves you feeling unsupported, unloved, unwanted and unappreciated.  I have been there many times.

When I reach the point that my presence feels like a burden on a person or even a business establishment, I decide that I don’t need them in my life anymore.  I am not a burden to be passed off and treated as if I could be discarded at any time.  No.  In fact, I am a gift to the world and so are you.  So are you my friend. 

Friends

5 Reasons You Need Supportive People in Your Life

  1. They LIFT you upLIFT.  Higher and higher.  They actually help raise your vibrational energy to a higher level which then supports you physically and mentally.  This feeling leaves you feeling full as if they were sharing some positive energy with you.  You know people like this in your life and you need to make time for them to be around you more.
  2. They keep their promises. They understand the value of saying you are going to be there for someone or something and they live up to the integrity of their word.  It’s the old school “My word is my bond.” thing and I love it.  Your word SHOULD be your bond.  Think about it.  If not, who is going to believe you anymore?  It’s like the whole boy who cried wolf scenario.  People got tired of listening to his ass too.  <<< Truth.
  3. They make time for you.  My friends started showing up at my yoga classes.  Secretly, it’s not like I didn’t want them there, it meant the world to me.  But I didn’t want to let them down at first because I was nervous.  I then realized, HEY.  Wait a minute.  They are making time for me!!!  Yes.  This is what it is about.  It’s about support.  If I suck, they will honestly give me some feedback on what I can do to make this class better.  And I will be okay.  <<<< I was okay and we went for beverages after.
  4. They talk to you…FACE to face.  I worry about the “Next Generation” and not in a Star Trek kind of way.  I worry because my daughter’s text are like this “WYD”.  “IDK, WYD.”  For real.  That is garbage and you need to talk on the phone.  Tonight is the night before her first day of high school.  I SPENT HOURS talking to me BFF, who I am still friends with to this day, on the phone.  In person.  At her house, and knew every family member.  You need to know your people.  Your tribe.  Your community.  You need to feel welcome with their people.  If you don’t, it might be time to move on.
  5. You feel loved and supported.  This one is really important.  If you had to count on someone to be there for you, do you have a list of people who would drop anything and everything to be by your side and do whatever it is you need them to do?  I do have a small list.  It’s okay if it’s at least 1 person, but find that one person.  Find them and don’t you know, stalk them or anything, but let them know you feel supported and truly appreciate they have done for you.  Sometimes supporting people means telling them things they might not want to hear, but you have to be able to speak your truth to them.  If you can’t, they aren’t the right people.

So your task, beautiful gift to the world, is to go out and find those who support you and give back to you.  Filling your cup, your bucket, your pool up to brimming.  Make time for these people.  Make time.  For these are the people who will be there for you when you need them and they will stand in their truth beside you and support you as you live your truth.  Go forth and lift up a friend today. 

SupportiveIf you are in need of a supportive online group of friends, all working towards the same goals, please click Head|Heart|Health Club.

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3 ways to build a strong friendship.

3 ways to build a strong friendship

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.   ~C. S. Lewis

Do you ever meet someone and things just instantly click?  How about over time, you come to realize someone you weren’t quite sure about at first, has crept into your heart and you realize that you would miss them if they weren’t in your life?  However your friendship starts, it takes lots and lots of nourishment to keep it going.  Just like any relationship worth having.

One of the hardest things when you get older, is to keep friendships alive that might seem to be dying off.  I know that when I was growing up, we’d call each other on the phone and make plans all the time.  But once you are not in close proximity anymore, it really takes a more proactive approach that some people just don’t seem to have time for.  The truth is, we are all busy so that’s just an excuse…it’s time to call friends, on the phone, and not just message or text them.  I know that seems quick and easy, but there’s something about hearing your friend’s voice even a few times a month that can really make a difference.

3 ways to build strong..er friendships

  1. Talk it out.  Even if you don’t always agree, arguments can be a sign that you still care enough about the other person to be concerned about a certain behavior.  If you didn’t care, you might not bring it up.  If they care about you, they will make time to listen to what you have to say and hear you out.  Not just jumping to the worst conclusion.  If they do that, well, it might be a sign that even when you talk, they only hear what they want to hear.
  2. They make time for you…face time.  I know that we have all had those friends who couldn’t get together unless they needed something.  If you want to get together, they have x, y, and z to do.  But if the latest band is in town and they want to go, they text you.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  Proactive friendships are different.  You enjoy spending time together and there doesn’t have to be an event, reason, or purpose.  As a matter of fact, before you leave that outing/meeting/movie or whatever, you make time in your calendar right then for the next meeting.  You are truly glad to get together…and it doesn’t feel like the other person is hiding anything or just making excuses when you ask what they are doing on a certain night.
  3. Seek balance in the friendship.  Sometimes, it seems you are the only one putting in all the effort.  At other times, you might be the only one making all the plans…asking when you can get together or even being the first one to text…without much response if any.  During those times, it can be easy to assume that perhaps the friendship is not working out.  Maybe the other person is truly not aware they are constantly giving you the brush off, or maybe they are.  But at a certain point, it’s time to realize that you are carrying the friendship alone.  There is no balance.  A proactive friendship is one that really makes you feel good about your friend.  You get together, you call, you actually carry out plans that you make.  You don’t feel let down by constant broken plans, or empty promises.  A balanced friendship makes you feel great.  You have someone who you can count on no matter what.

I saw something on Facebook last week that made me think of writing this post.  A person said she knew her “friends” had read the message she sent them as it said so, and they just didn’t respond.  Not only that, but she was liking and commenting on things her “friends” did, but no one seemed to do the same for her.  I understand how once in a while, messages can get missed.  But if you rely solely on messages as a form of communication with a friend, well, that might be a problem as well.  It’s time to look at your friendships closely.  Are you being proactive and sharing the responsibilities or are you just too “busy” to keep up?   Want more tips that you can use and a real support group?  Read more here >> The Club with Soul <<

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