Happy Friendship Day! You know what that means–it’s time to leave the kids home with dad or get a sitter and go out with the girls! Wooohooo! But….before you go, have you evaluated the type of energy your friends bring around you?
Remember we talked about how important how important your village is? Friendships are essential to your life. As much as I’d like to live secluded in the woods with nothing but my daughter and a fishing spear (yeah, my husband can come too ;)), only coming to town for pizza and family funerals, I love and appreciate my friends and have come to grips with how much we need each other.
Your friends matter to your growth and development and can influence how you feel about yourself or how you handle different situations. But we all have that one (and for some, there are more) friend who is a Negative Nancy. A Debbie Downer. A Lazy Susan. A woman who’s always critical and never happy in her life. One who is drawn to drama and loves gossip because I’m sure it makes her feel better about herself. She always complains about some aspect of her life that she’s not willing to change. She’s miserable and wants someone to be miserable with her.
On the flip side, what kind of friend are you? Are you a chronic complainer, never feeling like you have anything good in your life? Maybe you’re the gossip, always sharing what you heard “in the streets”.
When I was really struggling with depression, I would withdraw from everyone. I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to go anywhere, and I would complain to any and everyone I came across. It was bad. I was definitely Debbie Downer.
It’s time to evaluate your circle, including yourself, and be with people who are for you, pouring love, support, and constructive criticism into your life.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR CORE CIRCLE
Challenge You + Make You Think
Do you have intellectual conversations? Do they make you evaluate the something you may be thinking about in the wrong way? It’s always good for your friends to give you some tough love when they know you’re wrong, and challenge you to be better.
Support You + Hold You Accountable
Have you wanted to lose some weight or start a business? They should be checking in with you, encouraging your efforts, and helping you find ways to get started. If you’re stuck in a rut, your friends are there to give you the kick in the rear (kicking you in love, of course) that you need to keep going.
Don’t Tear You Down or Shoot Down Your Dreams
When you tell your friends you want to do something that sounds impossible, do they say you’re crazy or encourage you to go for it? Unless you’re going to really hurt yourself or struggle with this dream, your friends are there to motivate and support you along the way. Also be leery of people who use verbal abuse to manipulate you.
Promote + Support Your Ventures
Do you currently have a business or blog that you’re really proud of? Your friends are showing support by buying products, sending referrals, and promoting your services to contribute to your goals.
Uplift + Pray for You
The power of prayer! Your friends should be praying for you without you even knowing. They uplift and encourage you when you need it most and talk to God on your behalf when you feel defeated.
Don’t Hold Grudges or Keep Score
Your friends don’t count how many times you’ve messed up. You have a clean slate with them daily. Yeah, they can get upset and be disappointed, but they shouldn’t hold it against you every chance they get.
Not everyone is capable of giving all of these things to all of their friends. That’s just how it is. And not everyone is going to be happy all of the time. It’s okay to vent and complain and be the primary focus when you’re going through something that profoundly affects your life.
You’ll know the signs when it’s time to move on from a friendship. The selfish behavior gets worse, they don’t support you, they trash talk you behind your back, and they aren’t there for you when you most need it.
I have a friend (my super bestie) whose mother recently passed. She took care of her for many, many years and had to put her in a nursing home, where she continued caring for her every moment she could. Her mother was crass and mean to her at times, and no matter what she did for her she always had something to complain about. Though caregiving was sometimes overwhelming, my friend understood that her mom was suffering and not her best self. SO, naturally, when her mom passed, my friend was devastated. She is always the person anyone can go to for realness and prayer. To vent and cry or laugh it up. But she needed her friends more than ever.
She had a friend (yes, I said had) who she’d been friends with for over 10 years. This woman always complained about one aspect of her life that she refused to change. She texted my friend the day after her mother passed complaining, once again, about the same issue she’s refused to change for years (and proceeded to call her weeks after with the same mess). She never once (not even to this day) asked how she was doing. When confronted about her asinine behavior she had the nerve to get defensive. Again, no apology, only justification for her behavior.
THAT IS NOT A FRIEND!!! Don’t be that person, and let those people go if they’re in your life! Okay, so apparently this is still a soft spot for me. Don’t mess with my friend!
Some people have a season in your life that could span 20+ years, but you have to know when to let them go and move forward.
My bestie has taught me the true meaning of friendship. She has saved me in more ways than she’ll ever know, and I thank God for her every single day for her.
In honor of your besties, your village, your girls, I hope you all show each other much love today and have a HAPPY FRIENDSHIP DAY!
What kind of energy is in your group? Do you notice that you may be the problem friend sometimes?