5 ways to strengthen friendship circles
All through my life I’ve always thought my friendship circles were very strong. You know? Strong bonds that last forever. Yet, somehow when I was old enough to realise, and with a healthy dose of life smacked in my face for measure. It screamed to me that about 80% of my friendships were paper thin. It came as a shock to me, really. I was quite naive, and perhaps a bit immature too. There was a point in my life when shit REALLY hit the fan. I mean smacked that fan and blew all over the sitting room, on the sofas and all over my guests. And one thing that I quickly realised that when it comes to making the effort, people really don’t want to. Or a lot of people don’t. Not all, just a lot of them.
This isn’t going to be a “poor me post”. Because I’m well aware that I was just as much of the problem as they were, and relying on flaky people that are only around when they need you isn’t exactly the best of life choices. I was young, Immature and I hadn’t quite learned how to assess my mistakes back then. I was a frequent repeater of mistakes. Always getting into the same problems and then instead of addressing the issue I would sit there and cry.
But that aside I’m going to write a healthy amount of what I’ve learned throughout life and the friendships that I’ve lost and won and fought for, in a nice handy list type post.
Stop complaining about your two-faced friends
I see two-faced friends like this. You have something to say about another person. Your friend tells you they won’t tell a soul but then after talking to you tells everyone, including the person you didn’t want to know. This used to happen to me all the time. And I’d get so frustrated because I’m such a good keeper of secrets too. There are secrets some of my friends have told me that I will take to my grave, and that’s just the way I am. I value discreetness. But, throughout the last few years of my life, I’ve learned a valuable lesson. If you don’t want someone to know what you’re thinking then don’t say it. Just don’t. Think it, but don’t say. Only use your mouth to say things if you are very happy for everyone to know.I’m super-confident today. I’ll tell you the same as what I told everyone else
I’m super-confident today. I’ll tell you the same as what I told everyone else. And I’ll say it to your face. But that’s just the way I am. And I recognise that other people aren’t as confident and probably will never be. So, if you don’t want it spread around don’t tell anyone. Keep it to yourself. And if you absolutely must get it off your chest, like it’s causing you serious internal trauma then go speak to a counsellor. They get paid to keep secrets; albeit if it doesn’t break any laws.
Thank your friends
Nothing straight up tells my friends how much I appreciate them by just turning up one day with a gift. Out of the blue. Here you go. You’re my friend, I like you. Thanks for being there. Some of my friends have been there through the worst times in my life. And yet they’ve stayed solid for me. I really appreciate that they’ve done this. Even nicer when they look so confused when I bring them a gift “just for being there”. I don’t want anything in return either. Being there through the toughest and trying times in my life was enough.
Distinguish between your paper thin and strong friendships
This one is important. Because you might end up making such a mistake. I used to have my priorities all messed up. I was like a bank. I would have all my nice safe friends in a “keep net” and all my other friends I would try and work on and bring them closer. Yet I think too many close friends can get slightly confusing at times. And I was trying to achieve this in the soul crippling insecurity that I once felt. Truth is, I already had good friends. I worked on those foundations and built them up to being awesome friends. And the ones that are flaky? Well, they’ll always be flaky, calling me up for a night out but nowhere to be seen when I needed help. They’ll always be the same.
Recognise Toxic Friendships
Ah, this is me. I was the king of toxic friendships. Always making the best friends with someone slightly off balance. Like the time I made good friends with a lad called Pete. Ah, Pete was a nice chap. He did have a good side to him, he was kind, giving and sharing. But only when he thought that I needed it. He was probably the most horrifically controlling person I’ve ever met. He was what the world likes to call a Narcissist. Pete thought Pete was perfect.
I repel them now, but only because I’ve recognised that I needed to build strong barriers around myself. There’s a line that you cannot cross or you will be in the land of byebyeville. And Narcissists don’t like that. Narcissists like to push and push past those lovely little boundaries that keep me sane. I’ve learned to stop that from happening now.
But it’s not only Narcissists that can be toxic. A toxic friendship can be one that ends up getting you in a whole heap of trouble. I don’t have any of them anymore but I did have a few people that liked to argue, and get offended and just make my life feel far more complex than it should have been, so I ended them.
Learn to sacrifice that ego
Ah, the ego. Sometimes I just have to let people say things to me that I don’t like for the greater good. I ‘ve learned that friends opinions are just what they are. Opinions. And if I don’t agree with them then so be it. It makes me no lesser of a person or them. People have so many depths to them and so many aspects of their life that I feel it’s wrong to get hung up on one or two objectionable opinions. I’m definitely not one to judge with my questionable youth and young adulthood. I’m an inspirer and empowerer. When we cast judgement then that limits the abilities of the other person. There is a line, though. If your friend is outwardly racist and gets into fights because of their opinions, then that’s something you may need to think deeper about! For your own safety.