Taking a look at "Friendships"

Photo on Thelifeofaglasgowgirl overlooking the ocean and some rock from a high point in Lloret de mar. Beautiful blue ocean with white waves crashing upon the rocks.
It took me a long time to realise that sometimes when someone says their your friend, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are. There are only so many times you can reach out, send letters, packages, birthday presents and texts without receiving any sort of communication back before you realise it's time to call it quits.

It's ok to stop being friends with someone, it's ok to distance yourself from people who make you feel anxious or nervous about communicating with them because you've tried so hard in the past. It's ok to realise that you have both outgrown the friendship. It can be a tough pill to swallow realising someone isn't who you thought they were and sometimes you even turn out to be that person without realising it.

We all grow and adapt to our lives around us, we can become people we never thought we would be or encounter others who simply aren't who they make themselves out to be and I think that's a part of life. Its normal to feel like a chunk of your life is missing when someone you were once close with doesn't reciprocate the friendship anymore or they have moved on. It's also important to evaluate yourself and ask yourself the question, was it me? Did I let them down in anyway? We all have some room for growth in our lives and we have the chance to make things right. I think what I'm trying to say is, it's possible to feel let down by those who felt closest to you but we also have to hold ourselves accountable if we are the ones doing that to someone else.

My gran taught me a valuable lesson, if you've tried countless ways to interact with someone, keep up with their lives, been there for them when they needed someone and tried your best then you've done all you can and if they aren't willing to be there for you in your darkest of times then it's most likely one sided and it's time to move on, leaving all negativity behind, wish them well and continue with your life, making room for the ones who have stood by you through it all.

I also know that mental illness can be a huge part of pulling away from people, I've done that and I know it can put people off when you don't seem "reliable" and my biggest fear was always "what if I say the wrong thing?" But I've learnt it's much easier to be open with people and let them know that some days, you simply can't comprehend talking to someone or being social. I've found that if I've not messaged someone back, not even necessarily a friend, that my anxiety magnifies by about 100% and the longer I leave it, the worse it gets and my brain tells me that if I message now, all this time later, I'll be looked at different because I have a tendency not to just tell the truth and let them know, "Hey, my anxiety kept me from messaging you and I feel terrible about that, but I'd like to take the time to reply now and open up the conversation if that's something you'd like". It's very easy to fall into that cycle but it's possible to pull yourself out of it and although we can't control how they react, we can control how we handle a situation. And I would say, if you feel like you've been let down by someone and they come to you explaining they have been distant due to their mental health, responding with kindness costs nothing, you can let them know how it made you feel, you can let them know you appreciate their honesty and you can choose wither or not it's a friendship you'd like to keep going because at the end of the day, we all have that choice, we can choose to move on and continue the friendship or we can be honest and say it's just not working, honesty and communication is the key.

That brings me to toxic friendships, where your friend constantly makes life between you both a competition, where there always has to be some sort of "one up" on you, I personally think these are the types of friendships you just need to nip in the bud, where you say no more. If you feel like you're constantly being put down, made to feel worthless or less of a person then it really is time to say goodbye because in the long run, they will serve you no purpose, stifle your growth and the toxicity will continue spread. It may be unintentional on their part or you could be the one unintentionally doing this, so I believe in holding yourself accountable if it ever is. Friendship shouldn't always be one sided, it should always be take, take, take and it shouldn't feel like you're walking on egg shells. A friendship should mean more than that.

Yes friendships take work, they always will, but if you're both willing to work at it, take note of how you've made that person feel (on both sides) and able to express what you both need from it, then that's a step in the right direction. As we grow, as we learn and as we blossom it's good to have those around us who we can openly communicate with and express feeling to, if you're feeling some type of way towards your friend, open up, talk, keep the communication open and if they are willing to work with you, that's all you can really ask for. Friendships should be more than saying what that person wants to hear in the moment, you should be able to be honest, tell them their make up looks off, that a dress may not suit them, that they have something in their teeth without the other being offended, a prime example of this for me is between my friend Linda and I, there have been countless times where we have said to each other, look, that really isn't your thing, your hair looks awful like that, you need to get new shoes and I think that's why our friendship works as well as it does, we can openly communicate and she knows I will never let her look a fool, I have her back no matter what I know she would and has done the same for me. She has came to me and told me I've been distant and made her feel like she has done something wrong and I respect that so much because it opened up the channel of communication for me to say, hey, I have anxiety and sometimes texts, messages, phone calls etc... overwhelm me which she didn't know. So be open, communicate and how they respond will tell you a lot about them. 

What's your perspective on this? How do you navigate the different types of friendships you have in your life? 

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  1. That's something I've experienced and now I'm that kind of person who doesn't need friends anymore.


    1. Sorry to hear you've experienced this as well, it's a horrible feeling.

  2. Wise words! I can really relate to this. I live in a foreign country and some of my friendships have definitely suffered as a result ("Out of sight, out of mind"). However, others have flourished and nowadays it is easier than ever to keep in touch via the internet. I have the same philosophy that if I am reaching out time and again, and my efforts aren't being returned or appreciated, I take a step back. I keep communication channels open but leave the ball in the other person's court to make the next move.

    1. In so sorry to hear that, I have a few friends, well did have, over in Canada and at first it seemed easy to keep in touch via emails etc... but after a whole it fizzled out and I no longer received replies. I agree, keeping the channels open for communication is the best things to do, if anyone ever comes to me, even after months or years, I'm willing to listen and talk about it all. Thank you so much for commenting x

  3. All a learning curve. Totally relate, toxic friendships and relationship. You only have one life so do what works for you, you know best and trust your gut instinct. Good luck. #TeacupClub