Friendships can be some of the most rewarding places to put our energy when both parties are nurturing the relationship. There is a presence of feeling seen, understood, and trust. On the flip side, friendships can also be an energy vacuum-one sided and sucky. When was the last time you took a step back and evaluated your friendships?
By evaluate, I don’t mean sit back and blame the other person if something isn’t feeling right. Ask yourself “in my relationship with so and so, I feel…..” and answer it with the first word that comes to mind. The results can be jarring. Then ask yourself, “my role in this is…..”. Boom. What are you doing to help create this dynamic?
We tend to feel shameful if a friendship ends, regardless of how it ends. When we were young, making and maintaining friendships was easy. We were constantly surrounded by our peers, very little effort was really needed. However as we get older, the opposite is true. But, allowing ourselves to shed the shame associated with ending a friendship can be liberating-and maybe even necessary to growing into who you are becoming in this phase of life.
As you do this, evaluate which friendships make you feel positive emotions and which ones bring negative emotions. For the positive ones, ask yourself, “Am I putting in as much effort as this person? Do I think they feel the same way?” Take the time to appreciate the people in your life that lift you up. A little gratitude goes a long way.
*For more on this topic, click on the “podcast” tab and listen to our Friendship Evaluation episode!