Friendship to me is extremely important. It is a kind of relationship that most of us put our heart and trust into along with investing a lot of our energy in. I am not talking about the general acquaintances you would have with a neighbor or coworker, but that close bond you create with another person where you actually consider them to be a part of your family. I believe there is something powerful and incredibly rewarding when you are able to connect with another person on a higher level and create a long-lasting friendship. At times the relationship you have between you and your friends can feel closer than a connection with certain family members. That is one of the reasons why I celebrate the thought that best friends should be considered family too.
Like many relationships though, life happens and there are times when friendships fall apart. It can feel like the worst thing in the world, just like a breakup. It certainly felt that way years ago for me, but it was also a huge learning curve. Choosing to end a friendship was so difficult for me, but was also one of the most freeing experiences.
You see, growing up I always had girls as my best friends. I found we had more in common (for obvious reasons), and as a young kid I felt like there was a sense of less judgment when I was around them. As I grew into an adult, the ladies in my life have become a part of me. We knew each other so well that we could finish each others’ sentences, laugh on cue and always have a strong sense of understanding. I am still friends with them today, and they have completely enriched my life. To say I am thankful is an understatement.
Unfortunately, like many of you I have had to deal with betrayal from people I allowed into my life. This happened a couple years after I moved to Los Angeles and was a huge wake up call to me. It not only taught me a lot about the true meaning of friendship but the way the people act when they are involved in the Hollywood industry. I was mad at myself for allowing someone to hurt me so badly, for not putting up stronger boundaries and for trusting that my friend had my best interest at heart. Saying goodbye and never looking back was a choice I needed to make. What gave me strength was standing up for myself and connecting with my happiness again.
If you are in a similar situation, I hope these thought provoking questions are helpful and make you think about the way you are being treated in a friendship:
- Does he/she often come off as passive aggressive? You should never feel a sense of manipulation or feel like you are being cut down. Friendship should be based on truth, kindness and understanding.
- Does this person support your goals? A true friend will always have your back when it comes to your dreams. They should reflect positivity and encouragement rather than highlighting obstacles. Nobody needs a pessimist in their life.
- Does your friend try to control you?
- Do you find yourself feeling drained after hanging out?
- Does your friend talk poorly about other people in your life?
- Do you catch your friend in lies?
- How often do they ask, “How are you doing?” –and mean it?!
I am a firm believer that a big part of our life’s happiness obviously has to do with how we feel on the inside, but the people we surround ourselves with play a part in that as well. If you go to work and hate your job because your coworkers put you down, you are not going to thrive in your career. That is the same with friendship.
If you only have friends or one best friend you lean on that is constantly negative, you are going to feel it. You must not forget that misery loves company, and that negative people have the tendency to push their energy onto you. Whether they do that consciously or subconsciously, it is not healthy for you. Your mission to yourself should be to live the very best life possible. In order to do that, you need to have confidence about your self-happiness, feel that you have purpose, live with goodness and be in an environment where you have a sense of support.
One of my light bulb moments after I chose to walk away from that hurtful friendship was realizing that I needed to work on myself. I needed to create stronger personal boundaries and be better at saying “no.” That is really the takeaway I want you all to think about. If you regularly feel taken advantage of in some regard when you are around a so-called friend, then something is not right. They clearly should not be treating you that way, but it is your duty to protect your soul and put your foot down. Your voice, your feelings, your opinion all matter. Nobody should make you feel any different especially somebody you call a friend.
My wish for all of you is that you reflect on what is working in your life and break free from anybody holding you back. You should wake up everyday with clarity and the comfort that you have good people in your corner. Friendship is a beautiful part of life, which everyone should have. When it is with the right people, it can be incredibly fulfilling. Choose wisely whom you allow close to your heart and be grateful for the ones that have always been there for you.
You should never have to question a true friend.
Peace & Love,