LifestylePersonal Growth

Are your friends there when you need them?

This summer I did a lot of soul-searching. I realized I’ve outgrown some of the people in my close circle of friends. What I mean is their idea of friendship is not the same as mine. I’ve always known that, and it never bothered me before. But this year it does.

I’m not saying my idea of friendship is the only way or the right way. I’m just saying it’s what works best for me. Basically, I like to be treated in the same loving way I treat others. I think we’re all like that. The way we treat our friends is the way we like to be treated by our friends. It makes sense.

The older I get the more I realize how important it is that my close friends are my own kind: sweet, affectionate Betas like me. No more Alpha Drama Queens. No more friends that complain, whine, and crank about everything. There was a time when that didn’t bother me. I’m so easy-going whatever rocked their boat was cool with me. I just ignored it. But now I can’t.

Here’s what I mean. If you’re one of my close friends you know how I am. I don’t say, “I’m here if you need me,” and leave it at that. Hey, we’re all busy. But true friendship takes more than that, I think. I check up on my friends if I haven’t heard from them lately. I tell them how much I love and value them every few weeks. If I see you’re having a problem I don’t make you come to me and ask for help. I’m there asking how I can help. To me that’s true friendship. It’s the way I treat my friends, and it’s the way I like to be treated.

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Think about it. Look at your close circle of friends. Do they nourish you in the way you need when you need them? Do their personalities jibe or clash with yours? Is the stress of that clash worth it? Do they come to you with every problem they have, but can’t seem to be there when you need them?

Don’t wait until you’re in a crisis and need strong friend support. You might not have it. Ask yourself these questions now. I’ve been too slack on this issue, and I take full responsibility for it. Have you been slack as well? If so, you might need to do some friend eliminating like me.

And that’s what I did this summer. I eliminated all the friends who couldn’t walk their “friend” talk when I needed them. Afterwards I wondered why I waited so long. My life is much calmer now. I had no idea how much drama these relationships had brought into my life. Whew!

You can do this, too. Start by making a list of all your friends (I used the notepad app on my iPhone). Next, take a realistic look at each one. Keep the friends you can count on and delete those you can’t.

Life changes constantly, and so do we. That means this isn’t a permanent list. It’s one you’ll need to tweak periodically. In fact, I dropped another long-time friend last week. I never noticed how negative she was until I began eliminating stressful friends. Wow. Off the list she went!

I began this list five months ago, and I can’t tell you how much peace it’s brought into my life. The change in energy is amazing. Best of all, when things get crazy and I need strong friend support, I’ve got it. Yay!

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Take a serious look at your friends and create a list like this today. I bet you’ll wonder why you waited so long, too. Oh, well. Better late than never, right?

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