Happy Monday guys! In today's post I wanted to talk about what makes a true friend and how to free yourself from toxic relationships and environments. I wanted to talk about this as I have had my fair share of toxic friends and family members and I have learnt a thing or two along the way that I wanted to share with you. So today's post is one that will be a bit more personal and I will probably ramble on so grab yourself a tea/coffee/Juice before settling into this post.
Growing up I was always a shy girl, a girl who found it difficult to make girlfriends and always seemed to connect with boys more. From a young age I also had very strong principles about bullying and when your a child (I mean 6 years old) and the girls and boys are picking on each at school in a competition to see who the coolest kid is...I was just never interested in that...therefore, I was never the cool kid. In school I stayed clear of cliquey girls, which kind of left me with not a lot of friends. My upbringing wasn't the easiest either and so this left me without a lot of true friends throughout my teenage years. In fact, I didn't really have any friends in secondary school until I reached year 9, and even then I broke away from a lot of that crowd after university. By the time I reached university I had pretty much accepted the fact that I wasn't Mrs Popular and I enjoyed the time I had with the friends I surrounded myself with.
By the time university finished I had a group of girls that I did call my friends. This was a mix of old school friends and other girls that I started talking to after school. For a while I was happy. However, after a few years I realised that the friendship group was draining and pulling me into a state of depression. I would give and I would give without receiving anything in return. If someone was in need, then I would be there, even if it was 3am in the morning and they needed someone to drive them around town looking for a drunken brother/friend/boyfriend. However, if the tables where turned I felt completely alone and isolated. There was a turning point in my life and I realised that enough was enough. I had to do something about my situation, I could either carry on as it was and live in a state of hidden depression. Or, cut myself from the group, as harsh as that sounds. I chose the latter and although it was so hard to do in the beginning, I do not regret a thing. I now surround myself with friends and family that are positive and help towards making me feel like a better person inside and out. I think that is the key with friendships. I believe a true friend is someone you can share your interests with and have no judgement, someone who helps you to grow and develop. A friend will return the same amount of time and energy that you put out. Most importantly, they will always be there for you, whether it is a phone call in the middle of the night, through a bereavement or for your wedding day and other big events. They will never complain as it is never effort, it comes naturally for the both of you.
Now, This post isn't to say that all of my previous friends are bad people. Far from it. I was just in a situation where I had to be around like minded people and build up strong relationships with a few people rather than share my energy with 20 others. So what are my tips for you if you ARE in a toxic relationship?
1. Narrow down your few good friends and spend more time with them.
Sometimes just spending more time with people that make you feel good about yourself and have a good time with helps to clear your mind and discover who your toxic friends are. More often than not, you wont realise you are in a toxic relationship until you have crossed the bridge and looked back.
2. Don't hurt their feelings.
Sometimes friendships end through a bad argument or sometimes they just fizzle out. However, never try and hurt someone in the heat of the moment. Always try to keep your cool. Unfortunately, they may throw some nasty things your way, especially if you have been friends with them for a while and they know some personal things. Just keep your calm and don't retaliate, let them have their moment and decide to move on from there. This not only spares there feelings, but also makes you the bigger and better person for rising above it.
3. Find new friends.
If you really have no good friends, then try attending some groups or even exercise classes. I find this a great way to meet new people.
4. Don't dwell on past memories.
If the relationship is really no good for you in the present and the future then don't hang on to it because of a few happy memories. Thank yourself for all the good memories you have shared together and then let yourself move on.
I hope this post helped some of you out there reading my blog. Maybe it has opened your eyes to the good friends you do have. Or maybe it has given you the confidence you need to shut down some toxic relationships. Whatever your situation, take time to really assess the situation before making any brash decisions. Sometimes a relationship may have gone sour and all it needs is for the both of you to spice it up and fix things. I would suggest always trying to save a relationship before cutting it out, but if after that it really is no good and just drives you into a state of depression, then its time to cut your losses, for both of your sake's.
I am very grateful for the few good friends I do have now. They know who they are and they are always there for me and make me feel good about myself. They can cheer me up on a bad day and bring me to a smile in my weakest moments. I can suggest a nightclub and they will never turn their nose up, they will bring the bubbly to my house and get ready whilst listening to magic mike RnB tunes! I would say I have 4 really good friends and I cherish each and every one of them. Its not about quantity, its about quality, and I have been so lucky to have the best quality of friends out there <3
Want to talk some more? Maybe you have had some bad experiences and want some advice? I'd love to hear your views in the comment box below.
This post dedicated for my good friend, you know who you are x