With this being friendship week here at Her Campus Saint Vincent, I wanted to remind you all that friendships are supposed to be easy and fun!! If you’re finding that maintaining a friendship with someone has become overwhelming or that they are taking advantage of you, it might be time to re-evaluate the effort you put in.
Maintaining healthy friendships are so important. For the happiest and most fulfilling life, you gotta cut out any sources of negativity. Sadly, this can include people who you thought were your closest friends. It’s never easy to cut ties with somebody, especially someone you once called a friend. But sometimes you need to put yourself first, and this is one of those times. If someone is putting you down or neglecting to be a friend in return – are they really a friend in the first place? That’s something you should ask yourself when evaluating relationships in your life.
Expecting kindness and support from a friend isn’t selfish. It’s a reasonable expectation of friendship! Calling someone your BFF should automatically be associated with a friendship that is healthy. This means that there is equal effort and positive encouragement. The basis of a friendship should be rooted in a mutual respect and balance. Friends allow and promote each other to grow and change as an individual which involves offering positive advice and steering each other in the right direction. Friends realize that life is not a competition, so they love to see you succeed and support your interests, hobbies, and dreams.
Your BFFs should be your #1 fans and go-to gals. They should be willing to fulfill all of the above and even more. But, we all know that this isn’t always the case. People change, and friendships can fall apart as a result. A friendship starts to dwindle the second balance has been disrupted and one person is putting in more effort. This can lead to behavior that doesn’t match up with how friendship was defined earlier. Things that friends don’t do is exclude each other, encourage destructive behavior, or try to out-compete each other. Friends don’t keep secrets, spare feelings, or gossip about you when you leave the room. Unhealthy friendships cause you to feel like you have to change who you are in order to be accepted. A toxic friend will manipulate your thoughts and feelings to be more like their own. They will also only call when they need you, they do most of the talking, and you always have to make the plans. This makes it hard to call this a friendship at all. A true friend would never belittle you, nor allow you to carry the friendship along on your own.
If you’re seeing that any of the above are happening within a friendship of yours, it might be turning one-sided. Seeing a friendship become one-sided is a sad realization. It hurts, but this is a representation of their true colors shining through the surface. One of the easiest things to do when a friendship goes south, is to blame yourself. If you’ve analyzed the situation and are confident that nothing on your side has changed, it’s not your fault. Maybe there is an underlying cause to the friendship’s decline because something is going on within their life, so reach out to them before jumping to any conclusions. However, if it continues to be a negative aspect of your life and no common ground is in sight – it’s no fair to you to keep putting effort into something that yields no benefit. That’s not saying to be mean or have discontent toward this person because that is never the answer! But, it’s definitely not healthy to make someone a priority when they only see you as an option.
So, yeah – one-sided friendships really aren’t my thing and they shouldn’t be yours either! No one should have to put in 100% and barely receive half of the effort in return. It’s not fair to you because you deserve people in your life who want to see you succeed and give you the positive foundation to make your dreams come true. I hope that all of your friendships are balanced and healthy, but if things start to shift – never lose sight of your worth. Keep your head high and don’t let your friends walk all over you! Be thankful for your true friends and kindly dismiss the negative forces in your life. It’s friendship week, so be sure to give your real BFF’s some extra love!