Unhealthy vs. Healthy Friendships

When you enter college, one of the biggest things you fear as an incoming freshman or transfer is making friends. So, with an open mind, you enter college ready to give people opportunities to be your friend. Now, don’t get me wrong, creating friendships is great! This aspect of your life will help you stay young, wild and free. Yet, you do not want to get caught up in an unhealthy friendship. Moreover, what hurts even more than realizing that you are in a toxic friendship is trying to derive a way to get out of the friendship.

Look into the friendships you have now. Are your friends supportive of your actions? Do they provide constructive advice about certain decisions? Are they someone you can run to when you’re having a rough day? These are not the only aspects of a good friend; they may be your outlet to express your struggles with that boy you're talking to, or they might be that friend who you endure wine nights with. Overall, they contribute a positivity to your life, or they help you relax. In the end, a healthy friend is someone who encourages you to grow unconsciously. This may involve pushing you to do things that you personally are not comfortable with at first. Growth is the goal for an individual, and friends are there to help you and vice versa. Realize that you may have bumps during your relationship, but those who compromise and get over it grow into better humans with a stronger friendship.

Now, you may think you have a healthy relationship; and you might. Yet, some people may be oblivious to the fact that they are a part of an unhealthy relationship. Unhealthy relationships can abruptly become a realization and can affect how close you thought you were with that person. Are you in a consistent competition with your “friend?” Do you always feel bad about yourself around them? This may be because they make jokes about you that may deep down hurt your feelings. If you’re not confident enough to express that you want them to stop, you’re in an unhealthy friendship. Friendships are supposed to ease your life. If you have someone who you care about, but they only bring stress to your life; you need to step back from that friendship.

Relieving yourself from a close friend can be very difficult at times. You may all be in the same friend group, and many may just want you to get over it so the friend group can stay solid. Do not put others before yourself, especially when it comes to your mental and social health. When you finally realize that you have been involved in an unhealthy relationship, first confront that person and give them the benefit of the doubt. If your friend apologizes but does not act upon their apology, or they deny the stipulations you bring to them; then it’s time to take the next step. Distance yourself, slowly start removing yourself from one on one time with this friend. Only see them in group hangouts and have minimal conversation with them when you do talk. This is an important step for it will allow calm closure for you and your friend. You may feel like you just broke up with someone, and that’s understandable. Many people put a lot of energy and love into their friendships, so for one to end due to it being unhealthy, it can take a toll on one’s heart. Just realize, that once you get past the hardship of losing someone you thought was a close companion, you will grow into a better self. Understanding that this part of your life was a lesson that you will keep for your future endeavors.

Realize, friendships are like parts of trees. Some are leaves, they come and go. Others are branches, they may seem like they are stable, but they can easily break and leave you in the dust. Some are the root of your tree, those who will stick by you through thick and thin. Search for those friends with those roots and you shall prosper.