Wanting to have better friendships?
That’s usually because you’re not feeling so hot about your friendships in the first place – and that’s a bummer. The reality is, there’s probably a simple fix as to why you aren’t enjoying your relationships as much anymore. So we want to alleviate this pain by sharing four common traps that tend to get us in gal-pal ruts. This is how you have better friendships:
My guess is that you probably hang out with some incredible people. And honestly, how it is even possible not to be jealous sometimes? It’s natural for us to occasionally become the little green monster, and we shouldn’t expect to just rise above it every time. However, I can guarantee a way for you to diminish this feeling tremendously so your jealousy isn’t taking over your life.
When you judge your friend’s healthy five year relationship to your five week fling, or your entry level job after a career switch to Macey’s promotion after a few years, you aren’t being fair to yourself. And you aren’t being fair to them.
Remind yourself about your path, your journey, your story. I can guarantee that you are in a different place in life. The best thing to do is to talk about the work, dedication, and sweat that has been put into each of your accomplishments AND your friend’s accomplishments. Not only will it create context, but you’ll be able to appreciate their efforts and struggles along the way.
Cheer for each other. Listen to each other. But above all else, do not compare.
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2. Quantity over Quality
The measurement of a healthy social circle is not the amount of people in it.
Pick your friendships wisely. You don’t need to surround yourself with a million friends to feel good, you need to surround yourself with a few friends who make you better. They’re not easy to find, so take the time and select the ones who bring out the best in you.
Get out of your head about needing enough people around to keep you entertained. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone. In fact, it’s more than okay to have some casual friends you hit up on Saturday nights to burn off some steam. But you don’t need to convince yourself they’re your best friends. Hang out with people who are fun, and reserve your energy for those who love you.
3. The Expiration Mate
Now that we know to be selective with friendships moving forward, what about the people you already have in your life? Let me guess: there are a few friends with whom you feel like you can’t be yourself (guilty).
Our personalities evolve, our circumstances evolve, and our relationships evolve. If one of your friendships has expired, it’s okay. Let it go! Invest your time into friendships that nurture your strengths, not friendships that accentuate your insecurities. There’s a reason Sex and the City and Insecure only have four main stars: it’s natural to grow apart from others as we get older. But, with maturity also comes a keen ability to cherish the close relationships that remain. You are smarter than you were five years ago. You have worked hard to become who you are now. Let your friendships reflect that.
4. Not Saying No
It’s so hard. Oh so hard. But just say it.
“Hey girl, can you drive me to the airport for the billionth time even though I can afford a Lyft but would rather inconvenience you than spend $20?”
“Hey can you pick up all of my groceries for the week? I will totally forget to pay you back.”
“Hi–will you co-host a shower for my bestie who’s getting married? You’ve never met her… but I definitely cannot afford to do this on my own.”
Oh HAYLE nah.
If you give some people an inch, they will take a hundred thousand kilometers (and then the mile). Friendships are not meant for takers, they are meant for sharers. Create boundaries, set expectations, and try to follow both. If you find yourself saying “no” a lot, it might be a good indicator of #2 or #3. If you still want to keep the friendship, at least you’ll have more energy and less resentment! Just be good to yourself, because goodness knows, not everyone else will be (except Blush–we will always be good–because we are perfect).