Friends meet a lot of our deep emotional and personal needs, but no single friendship can give you everything you need. Different friendships offer different benefits, so it’s important to accept each friend for what they bring to your life.
There are certain positives, though, that all true friends bring:
- Friends treat you with respect. They might tease you about your shortcomings sometimes – that’s to be expected, but there should always be an underlying sense that they recognize and admire your good qualities.
- Friends care about you. They have empathy for your struggles and feel excited for you in your triumphs.
- Friends help you to feel better about yourself. When you are in their company, you will notice feeling better in one or more ways: happier, more secure, or cared about.
- Friends bring a benefit to your life. Though you will turn to different friends for different things, they will each bring goodness into your life in their own way. Some friends are simply fun to be with. Others may be good listeners or wise mentors. And others may connect with you on a deep, soul mate level.
You may find that you sometimes enjoy being with someone on some level, but they fail to meet the above qualities of a friend. In this case, ask yourself, is your life better for having them in it? Or, do they drain you of positive feelings about life and yourself? If it’s the latter, you may want to let go and move on.
On the other hand, the more you feel like your best self in the company of a friend, the more precious that friendship is. Do all you can to nurture it. But even if you have a life-long, deep soul connection with someone, it’s important that you also connect with others. Expecting too much from any one friendship can suffocate it. So be sure to reach out and create a network of friends that can celebrate with you and support you through the ups, downs, and daily grind of life.
Entries for the Relationships blog are for general educational purposes only. They may or may not be relevant for your particular situation; and they should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.