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Your friendships carry more weight than you realize
I know it seems like I’ve been talking about friendships a lot lately, but I cannot stress enough how much influence they have on your life.
We turn to our friends to share our joys, and we also turn to our friends to share our pain.
Lessons I have learned about pain from friendships
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Its ok to be there without “coming to the rescue” Every time.
It happens. Your friend comes to you about their problems, and you take on the role of support. However, you shouldn’t be coming to the rescue of ALL of your friends problems. And quite honestly, you won’t have all of the solutions to them either. There are other ways to offer support for your friends when they are in a crisis.
- Being a listening ear sometimes, is all the support they need.
- Send a message letting them know that you care.
- Instead of being a resource, offer them information on other resources.
Having different views is ok… you really don’t have to end your friendship over it
Childish? I know, but I have seen it happen. As long as the views don’t involve any kind of hate talk (racism, sexism, homophobia etc.) or sexual violence, I wouldn’t let it ruin my friendship. It’s perfectly fine to respectfully agree to disagree. There are a lot of things I don’t see eye to eye with some of my friends. Therefore we agree to keep that topic out of our friendship.
Sometimes you have to distance yourself from old friendships, and that’s Life.
Distancing yourself from people you considered friends is the hardest thing to do. I mean it feels like you are breaking up with them. After all a friendship is a relationship that you have with someone. I struggled with doing this, and it hurts a lot. I just knew that I had to do it for myself. I made a decision to stay away from toxic people and negativity, and I had to start with my friendships. No, I did not cut off all of my friends, but there are a lot of people I no longer communicate with.
In order to have great friendships, you must also be a great friend.
In the past, I can say I was a pretty crappy friend. I mean, I’m an awesome friend when I’m there, and then I disappear. Sadly, that was the introvert side of me. I cannot constantly “hang out” or FaceTime all day. Not because of my kids, or my jobs but because I genuinely get tired of people. I had a bad habit of hanging out with people one day, and not contacting them for days after the fact. I say all this to say that in order to have great friends you must also be a great friend.
- If you want people to keep in touch with you then do the same.
- Take time out to let your friends know that you are thinking about them.
- Don’t just talk, make sure to listen too.
- SHOW your support through action not words (without turning into a hero).
You should not feel validated as a person because of who you are friends with
There really are some people who use their friendships with people to validate who they are as a person. I have also seen this happen firsthand and it’s really sad. People respect you more for being yourself, not for who you are associated with. Pick your associations wisely, because not every friendship will be a good look for you.
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Friendships have a tremendous impact on your life. Your friends help influence you with making certain decisions, they encourage you, and you rely on them to tell it like it is. Pay attention to what types of people you consider to be your friends. Lastly, be a great friend to your friends. If you don’t have any great friends then reference my post How To Find Friends on the Same Mission as You for ideas on where to find some.
Tell us about a painful lesson you learned from friendships you have had in the comments below!