The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I think that finding genuine friends involves a lot of trial and error. Being a freshman in college, I put a lot of pressure on myself to find the perfect friend group. To me, that’s a group of people who I can joke with, confide in, trust and be authentically myself. It’s important to establish what a happy and healthy friendship looks like to you. This ideal friendship isn’t always going to be discovered on your first try. But don’t settle if you haven’t found it yet. You’re not selfish for wanting to find your people.
It’s Okay to Take a Break
For me, my social battery runs out quickly. Meeting a bunch of new people and maintaining a lot of friendships can be very taxing on my mental health. However, I push myself to socialize because I don’t want to miss an opportunity to find a new friend. I also don’t want people to think that I dislike them just because I need space for my well-being. If someone can’t respect your health or the time you need to recharge, then this is a good sign that they aren’t right for you, anyway. Don’t waste your time on someone that drains you after spending time with them. It’s totally reasonable to stop hanging out with them altogether if they cannot respect your boundaries. You could be a lot like me. You like spending time with someone, but too much time with them can get overwhelming. Before you hang out with them you could let them know you can only stay until a certain time. That way, you can hang out with them without your time with them becoming exhausting. People-pleasing for everyone’s needs will not allow you to find the people right for you. Putting yourself first is not selfish.
Communication Is Key
A friendship doesn’t always have to end in a massive blowup. If something is bothering you, don’t be afraid to tell your friends about it. They can’t change their behavior if they’re not aware of their behavior. You don’t always owe them an explanation for how you feel or what makes you uncomfortable. I would not recommend communicating behind someone’s back or spreading rumors. I understand the need to rant to your friends but tackle the issue head-on with the person you are having issues with.
You Can Leave
I am guilty of people-pleasing all the time. In high school, I didn’t have a support system. Now, I want to be a supportive friend to everyone. In reality, I can’t be that perfect friend all the time. Leaving a friendship is totally acceptable, and you don’t even need to give a reason. I especially recommend leaving if someone makes you feel unsafe, not like yourself, emotionally drained, or annoyed. Stepping back or away from a friendship is difficult and it takes a lot of bravery. Acknowledge your self-worth! You deserve to be surrounded by kind and encouraging people. It’s been hard for me to end friendships, especially when we were close or had a lot of history. At the end of the day, it was time for it to end. The relationship was no longer serving me and it was not what I needed. I am grateful for the memories and the lessons I learned, but I had to move on.
Friendship breakups are arguably worse than relationship breakups. It’s going to feel awkward and sad. It could even get messy. Your feelings and emotions are 100% valid. Changing your life is going to take time to adapt. But, if you know that this decision is right for you, it might just be a necessary change.