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The Importance of Boundaries in Friendships

Throughout adulthood, you will have to set boundaries and many of them will pertain to friendships. This is a topic that isn’t discussed enough. There’s a common misconception that friends should or will automatically know your boundaries but that isn’t necessarily true. I’m sure we can all think back to a friend that did something unforgivable or placed you in an uncomfortable position, and those things most likely added up and resulted in the relationship ending. I would like to preface this all by saying every person and every situation is different. This is just my personal belief and close friend’s experiences. 

It’s okay to have “the talk”. Communication is key. It’s best to have an open and non-judgemental space that both parties can come to and openly address any issues. Setting boundaries and talking out problems can help or improve your friendships! Talking about what makes you uncomfortable or upset is a great way to begin the dialogue. For example, speaking about jokes that were offensive or comments towards your personal image should be discussed in a serious manner. It’s not okay to excuse such behavior because your 'friend’ said it. 

When entering adulthood, I had a few toxic friends in my life that I kept because I always excused their behavior. I would allow the length of our friendship, how well we knew each other, and other factors to determine how I would handle the situation. In reality, true friends wouldn’t continue toxic or harmful behavior after you’ve confronted them. It’s important to remember that not everyone is meant to be a lifelong friend, some are just a part of the journey.

 

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What are some examples of friendship boundaries? Again, it truly depends on the person but some common ones are; not being okay with a friend sharing private information, not allowing someone to constantly waste your time, flaking out, or not allowing hurtful jokes to be made about you.

Friendships should always be centered around respect, and I hope that everyone reading this has the chance to reflect and make the necessary changes needed to be happier. Your happiness is worth more than gold!

Professional and Creative Writing Major. IG: zaireeltayeb
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