"Friendship is a sheltering tree." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Back in my Goal Setting blog I briefly mentioned, "2017 showed me over and over that giving and receiving are balanced (notice I did not say equal), will blog about this later." So, later is now.😊
Good friends are necessary if you are trying to maintain some type of peace and stable mental health. The people you surround yourself with have the potential to bring you down or lift you up. Sometimes in a healthy relationship you are the one doing the giving and other times you may be receiving. One thing is for sure if you are always giving or always receiving this is concerning. These factors can significantly impact your emotional and mental health.
Here are a few areas to examine in your current friendships or when building friendships to help your health:
Communication: are you able to express yourself or needs and feel heard? Do you constantly feel judged when you share concerns or share aspects of your true self? Arguments can be healthy, are you able to respectfully disagree or does arguments become fights?
Balance: examine expectations. Sometimes a friend is giving their 100%, but it may be different from what your 100% looks like-- things may not seem equal, as giving and receiving come in different shapes. What is important is to identify if giving and receiving are balanced in your friendships. Are you the one who is always giving? If so, do you need to address this? In any healthy relationship one should receive-- this is just how the Universe naturally works. Are you always checking in and no one is checking on you-- that's a problem!
Encouragement: supporting your friends' achievements and encouraging them when they are faced with challenges is so important. It shows that you are there with them cheering them in happy times and supporting them during low moments.
Acceptance: loving your friends for who they are. If you find yourself constantly trying to tell your friends what they should do with their own lives or being critical of their decisions-- leave them alone and find new friends. Clearly, they are not who you want when you find this constantly happening.
Progression: are your friends stagnant or hardly ever working on themselves? Learning from friends show that you respect them and that you admire them. People are placed in your life to serve as your reflection-- what are you learning about yourself through your friends, what are you allowing them to silently teach you?
The more your self-love increases, the more you identify the type of friendships you want to attract and allow in your space. Identify if you are where you need to be with your own self, so that you can choose carefully who you want to expend energy on.