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But A Real Friend Wouldn't Do That...

Lets talk about friends.


I personally have had a rollercoaster of experiences when it comes to friends, and I think because we change so much as we grow up, it's important to cover the different types of friends people may have and how those relationships may have changed.


Lets dive in besties!!



I want to start off with the friends we make around the elementary school years and maybe even a bit before then. I would say even for me and assuming most people as well, we typically made friends when we were younger because our teachers put us in groups to work or play together. From there, a lot of friend groups were formed from the parents who knew each other, playing the same sports, or just being involved in similar activities outside of being in school with these people.


For those of you who don't know, I grew up with a severe peanut allergy that started when I was about 5 years old, and because of it I was sent to eat my lunch typically alone at the peanut free table at lunch time. Did I start having my lunches usually all alone until some of my friends started to sit with me? Yes. Did it make me feel excluded from everyone else during lunch time where there is so much pressure about where you sit and with who? Yes. Moving on.


I have one friend that I would consider to be one of my best friends that I met in elementary school, and the rest of the friends I had were either just classmates or we grew apart.


Now lets get into middle school. For me, middle school was grades 6-8, and it combined all of the surrounding elementary schools together for those 3 years...yeah.


While I did make a lot of new friends, I would say maybe 2-3 of them are still in my life today and that I still have an ongoing relationship with.


Not much happened in middle school that I can remember, besides a girl that I was friends with thinking I was in love with her boyfriend and then me losing a girl friend and a guy friend (her boyfriend), but shit happens. Here I am trying to make it like it's nothing but when it happened it actually did hurt because all of her friends were on me about it all and I did lose two of my friends, but I don't really talk to either one of them anymore anyway so I guess it wasn't meant to be.


On to high school. OOOOFFF


Incase you didn't know already, high school really, really, REALLY sucked for me. It was a huge rollercoaster with friendships, romantic and family relationships, my own personal development, and my body image.


I would say the first experience of losing a friend that I experienced was during my freshman year, and it was when my friend basically told me that she didn't want to be involved with me anymore because I was having a hard time and was hurting myself.


Now lets step back a bit.

I totally understand when it's too much for people to be around other people who are self-harming and how it can be uncomfortable and all the things. However, what bothered me was the way that they said how they didn't want to deal with it/me anymore... not the best choice of words to say to someone who has confided in you about what they're going through and especially when it was the first person I had ever opened up to about it all. That was an example of a friendship that I was better off being out of, and it seemed to be the best for them too.


I have been out of high school for about 6 years now so I truly don't remember other specific instances, but I do remember how I used to be bullied and made fun of for the way that I looked or the things that I was interested in, and there were a good amount of instances where things I said were twisted and I had people mistreating me based on incorrect information. It also didn't help that sometimes they got their older siblings and their friends involved, so I had dirty looks at me from all grades.


I would say high school was a difficult time for me as far as forming friendships because it's such a developmental time of everyone's lives and I definitely wasn't the most confident in myself.


In college, I transferred going into my junior year and didn't leave many friends behind. I also still am close or keep in contact with the ones I was friends with during those 2 years to an extent, but when I transferred and made new friends, I won't lie and tell you that I have the same relationship with them.


This isn't a trashing session. I was incredibly done wrong, lied to, lead on, and taken advantage of by majority of the people I met and became friends with during my last two years of college, and actually decided to finally move back home for the remainder of my college career because of how bad it got. By this point, I had a lot of internal struggles and finally came to the point where I thought it was about time I started looking inward.


While I understood and still understand that people are who they are and I can't change that regardless of what work I did to look more into who I was being to them, I couldn't seem to get past the fact that maybe something is wrong with me that I keep having such bad experiences with trying to make new friends.


Spoiler alert, it wasn't me, they just weren't the best people for me or I wasn't the best person for them. That's ok!!


Step back and look at what is important to you when it comes to making new friends; what kind of qualities do you look for, do you want them to have certain beliefs or ways of doing things, do you want them to have the same/different interests than you, what amount of effort to do you expect from a friend, etc.


Pretty simple questions, but they do end up having a big impact on if the people you surround yourself with are right for you, and even the same for you being right for them. Just like romantic relationships, if you're not meant to be together or just don't work well together, you just won't work.


I have had a good amount of friendships where we just went our separate ways naturally and never talked again. On the other side of it, I also had friendships where I knew that the only reason why we were still "friends" was because I was the one doing the reaching out, but I got tired of that. It came to the point where I learned that if I feel like I'm forcing someone to give me what I believe I give to them, why would I want to be friends with them anyway? It was a hard pill to swallow then, and I still find myself having the same troubles now.


I'm not sure if anyone else is with me, but I have the hardest time realizing that not everyone has the same heart and mind like me. (peep the merch (; ) Which is also ok!!


I don't say that in a "omg i have the biggest heart and live my life just to be the best I possibly can for other people" because that's not true, but I do know that I think in a way many people I know do not, and I think of showing ways that I am thankful and grateful without thinking in a way many people do not as well. I know it stems from younger me who felt like I was easily replaceable and had a hard time seeing what people who wanted to get close to me saw, but now it's truly just because I love the people who are in my life because they make me love my life more.


example:

I would be the one to drive hours on hours to see a friend for their birthday even if I was only going to be able to stay for a bit.


I would fly or drive to see a friend if they needed me/had something important going on.


I get Valentine's Day cards for everyone I could possibly think of that means something to me so that no one feels left out and so those people feel special.


I will doordash food to a friend after interrogating their boyfriend about what their favorite food is from what restaurant when they tell me they have been so busy they haven't even had time to eat anything that day and are too stressed to see anyone to get lunch with them.



These are all things that I will just have pop in my head if the idea or opportunity presents itself and I act on it. I don't just sit around thinking what can I do next for my friends, it's this weird natural want to just show love and gratitude to the people who give it to me and always make sure I am there for them in the ways they are for me. Make sense?


I would be lying to you if I said I have never acted a certain way in order to gain more friends or to be part of a specific friend group. I have literally been stood up by friend groups who then walked by me like they didn't even know I existed and weren't excluding me right in front of my eyes and I still felt like I needed to be around them. However, for all of you reading this who are looking to see what friendships may not be good for you anymore, I want to talk about the signs of a bad friendship.


BIGGEST SIGN OF SOMEONE WHO IS NOT THE BEST FOR YOU IS IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE PRETENDING TO BE SOMEONE ELSE WHEN YOU ARE AROUND THEM.



READ THAT AGAIN. AND AGAIN. AND AGAIN.


If you feel like you are constantly acting a certain way in order to be accepted or feel comfortable around someone you are friends with, they may not be the best friend for you. Friends are supposed to be an extension of your family in the sense that you may not share blood, but you are still who you are around them and feel comfortable and accepted being that way.


Another factor is if you feel like you can't trust them.


I have a best friend who has been in my life for over 10 years and was in with the group that constantly left me out but I dug myself into regardless. I knew when I wasn't around that all they did was talk about me or be happy that I wasn't there, but I only cared about being seen with them. Trust is one of the most important things in any type of relationship you have, and if you feel like what you want to talk to them about in confidence are things they use to make the rest of their friends laugh or rumors start getting spread around, it may be time to move on from them. Also, if you feel that they can't trust you it may be worth talking about or maybe moving on for the both of you.


The last point I want to make is when a friend makes you feel like they are the superior one in your relationship.


This could be when they constantly feel the need to compare their romantic relationship to yours, themselves to you, or even your other friends/family to their own. Every relationship is going to have a bit of competitiveness and that isn't a bad thing, but when it gets to a point where you feel like they have too much negativity to say about the other relationships you have in your life, it may be worth talking about why that is. Bottom line, if they don't make you feel good they probably aren't good for you.


Overall, I honestly couldn't be any happier with the people I surround myself with. They all have a great balance of letting me talk but also correcting me if I'm wrong, they are open with me and let me feel that I can be open with them, and most importantly, I feel like the best and most authentic version of myself when I am with them (u know who u are)


If you are struggling to figure out if a friendship is healthy for you, you can always message me! Sometimes it helps to have an outside person help you to look in, and you can even become aware of other parts of your friendship that you didn't realize were happening before.


As always, be nice to each other, learn that everyone grows up and changes (and so do their minds), and talking things out can lead to a world of hope and answers.



Always here to chat!


XO








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