This is one topic everyone can relate to. Everyone has had at least one friend growing up. I have had so many. It comes with the Extrovert Package I have. I love meeting new people and often more than not, I connect well with others, and friendships will start to grow. Sometimes these friendships grow and last what feels like it will be a lifetime, others become toxic and I end up learning a valuable lesson. Either way friendships, as a whole, definitely have a large part of who I am today and who I will become in the future.
You are out and about, maybe at a party or work, and you start talking to a new person you have never met before. The connection happens and eventually your casual talks turn into “let’s get lunch” or “drinks later” and that stumbles you into the venting about all that is wrong in your life, seeking advice from this person. That slowly turns into this thing called Friendship. I have met some of my closest friends in random places. I met my best friend Marlen on a party bus, going to a male burlesque show! I met my other girlfriend Amy at a casino. My girlfriend Julie I met while working at a Jamba Juice and she at a Starbucks. The majority of my other friends are through my various work places.
New friendships are great. You are on your best behavior, similar to a relationship! You agree on a lot and try to be alike one another in one way or another. You are patient, understanding, and excited. I like to ask a lot of questions in the beginning stages of a friendship…. Something like, “What do you do for fun” or “favorite places to eat” or “do you like to travel”. It’s almost a screening, because I am looking for someone who likes to do similar things as me. Who doesn’t do that? I am also looking for someone with similar values. Not in religion or money, but someone who values friendship the same way I do, someone who thinks honesty is crucial, (you’d be surprised who doesn’t think that!).
What I need in a Friendship…
We all are looking for something within our friendships. Companionship, mentor, therapist, realist, motivator, comedian, and drinking buddy are just a few things I need and want in a friendship. I want my friends to be there for me, the way I am for them. I put my all into my friendships, even if at times it doesn’t show. I am loyal and expect it back. I am honest and at times, it can be brutal, but that is what I except in return as well. I don’t want a friend who will constantly agree with me on everything. I like a different perspective.
I have friends with all different types of backgrounds. I have pastors, moms, teachers, veterans, flight attendants, card dealers, students, business owners and ex convicts. My tribe is quite eclectic and each one is very special to me. My friends have all been there for me in one way or another. They have helped me up when the world kicked me down. Some helped me through the darkest of times, while others shined their light on me, in hopes that I would create my own. Others help me be a better parent, a better girlfriend, and a better daughter. Some of my friends are my therapists and I will sit there and share everything with them. Each one of my friends play a different role in my life, no one more important that the other. They all have a special place in my heart, and I try hard to remind them of that.
No One is Perfect
Truest statement ever, am I right? Sometimes we have these images and ideas of what a great friend we are to someone. We think we are an amazing friend to someone, but get annoyed that they are not reciprocating that same level back to us. Could be a problem with them, but it is something we can try to fix on our end!
I go through phases with my friends. They all know this. I will go for an extended period being present, talking to them a lot, checking in, meeting up for lunch and dinner dates, etc. Then something will happen in life and I will get distracted. We still follow along with each other on Facebook or Instagram, but the personal level of texting or calling slowly fades away. It happens to us all. I have noticed the pattern with myself quite often. I have just recently noticed that this past year I have been a little distant with everyone. I wont even blame that on Covid because that would be a lie. I moved, an hour away from the majority of my friends. I started a new life since my divorce and I have been focused on that instead of my friends. Now, I have not completely ignored everyone. I just slowed way down on the socializing, the partying, they luncheons, the beach trips. It’s been an adjustment, and the friends of mine that truly understand that, have remained close to me.
I understand that life happens and sometimes friends fade away and some will come back again. Being patient and understanding as an adult friend is crucial to the survival of a friendship. Being honest and putting an effort in help a ton as well. I recently reconnected with a few distant friends because I realized I drifted away. I have a tendency of not texting my friends, and thinking to myself “If they wanted to talk to me, they would text me first…” all the while, most of them are thinking the same way! I have been saying that for a long time now, and at times, yea, its true. However, I, too, could take initiative. So that is what I have been focusing a lot on recently. It has definitely added a lot more happiness into my life.
Discovering a Toxic Friend
Yep, we all have had them. I have found a few in my tribe. They key is to finding this out and being okay with letting them go. Sometimes you want a friend so badly, and for whatever reason you have, you know they are toxic but you wont let them go. Girl, I am here to tell you that the negativity they pour into your life is not worth it. I swear!
You have this friend you try over and over again to talk to but unfortunately they are always busy and cant answer. There is always something going on. Let that friend go. You have tried and tried and you are frustrated that you aren’t getting though. Let them go. It is hard, I know. Reality is, if they were your friend, they would hopefully have the common courtesy to talk to you at least once! You cant be the only one putting in effort to talk to someone. Friendship is a two way road. Its not complicated. Its rather simple. Life can be complicated and has a tendency of making things messy, but friendships do not have to be that way.
If you have a friend that is always so negative about everything they say, try to help them and if you cant get through, you might need to let them go! In today’s world especially, we need to focus so much on positivity. I’m sure if my boyfriend was reading this, he’d roll his eyes at me over that last statement. He thinks I am negative. In reality, I swear I’m not. I’m realistic. I have been disappointed so many times in my life, that I tend to automatically go down that road. Sorry, that’s off topic!!!!! Before giving up on your negative Nancy, try talking to them. Give them some perspective, let them know they are a downer and they need to look at the good. This is SOOOOO IMPORTANT. This can change your friendship for the good. It lets them know you are there for them, you notice their attitude, and most times than not, that will strengthen your friendship.
With that being said, it could also end your friendship. If it does, that is okay too! A lot of negative people tend to feed off negativity. You do not need that in your life. Negativity is like cancer, I’m sure you have heard that saying before. I have had friends that are always the victim, in every situation. They live the “poor me” mentality. It put a damper on my own happiness and I started to think that way too. Until, that is, another friend called me on it. Remember me talking about that a few paragraphs ago? Yep, they called me out and I was able to realize I was the one becoming toxic. I slowly stopped talking to that person and since then, I feel so much better.
Other toxic friends include those who are too good for everyone else. Now, I only speak for myself when I say this, but I surely do not want to be friends with those who think they are better than everyone else. You know, the kind who HAVE to have all the latest and greatest of everything; The ones who put on a show, act like that have everything. They are different, of course, than the hard working successful women I try to surround myself with. No, these women are the ones that put everyone else down because we don’t have the fancy bag or expensive diamonds. Those women/men are toxic. You want the world to be a better place, not filled with people who put others down. I personally, want to be surrounded by others who are going to fix my crown, without telling the world it was crooked or broken.
The Greatest Gift
Still with me on this Friendship vent? Good, thank you! Let’s talk about some good stuff again!
My friendships mean the world to me. My friends have no idea how much I appreciate them and what I would do for them. They keep me sane, they make me laugh, they let me vent, and they are all around such amazing people. I have friends who will drop everything and go on a 25 hour trip to Hawaii with me, just because I want to go to a Luau for dinner. I have friends who will come over and watch TV with me for hours, and not say anything, they’re just there. I have friends I can call when I am a complete mess and cannot figure out which is up and which is down. They talk me off the ledge, they push me to my potential, and they encourage and motivate me when I am sluggish. My friends are truly the greatest gift ever. It took me a while to come up with the tribe I now have. It doesn’t happen over night. It takes a lot of work, from both sides. It takes a long time to get here. Be patient, be kind, be yourself, and most importantly, stay honest.
Love always, Lyndsey