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It’s Interesting How People Define “Friend”? Are You Too Loosey-Goosey With Letting People Use You as a “Friend”?

Sorry, But Not Everyone Is Your Friend… Even When You Call Them That…

What do you do when your friend group is planning something, that you believe you’re a part of, but then are informed by a “friend” that your input is not required or desired. Ouch!

To me, this screams of bullying and exclusion–and I’m sorry to say–it happens all the time especially amongst groups of girls (this is a personal observation not an attack).

Source: Unsplash Melissa Askew

When there’s a large group of friends, there will always be smaller ones within. Everyone feels equal but ohhhh…. it’s all an illusion.

I’m not saying that the friendship group is a lie, but it’s natural for some to connect on a deeper level and be closer than others. This can then lead to feelings of betrayal, rejection, and isolation.

Read HERE about gaslighting and HERE specifically about toxic friendships.

I Thought We Were Friends…

If you’re the one one the outs, then there’s confusion and often self blame. Questions like: what did I do? How can I fix this? Why don’t they like me? I thought we were friends…

It’s often discovered (too late) that people who you thought to be friends turned out to be selfish, judgmental, and oblivious to the pain they were causing.

(Some may be very aware of the pain they cause but we won’t go there today because those people are selfish narcissists who seriously need psychological help).

Life isn’t fair, and never will be.

That’s a plain and simple fact.

It can be a tough lesson for some to learn as they navigate through personalities, insecurities, and communication break downs.

Note: Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you think about this.

How Do You Define Friendship?

 Ask yourself these questions: What does it mean to you to be a friend? Are you a good one?

While the questions sound simple, the fact of the matter is that the word “friend” and sentiment behind it, means something different to every person. There are varying degrees of loyalty which plays a huge part of how successful or meaningful a friendship is.

Any definition of friend or friendship speaks of common interests, a mutual affinity to spend and share time together, a sense of trust, of being accepted without judgement, and a feeling of being truly cared for. Your friend is your ally and you watch each other’s backs.

Is The Friendship Toxic?

One thing that you have to keep in mind is that there are degrees of friendship and if you and your friend aren’t thinking in the same extent of allegiance it can make for misunderstandings, resentment, and toxicity.

If you’re feeling trapped in a toxic friendship, it can be as bad as being trapped in a relationship. There can be gaslighting and abuse happening in the name of “friendship”.

Source: Unsplash Icons8Team

Be aware. It is okay to end a friendship or walk away from a friend group when things get to be too much. Reach out and talk to your mom, an auntie, pastor, or teacher…someone who can give you perspective.

Friendship is one of those things that requires not only a leap of faith, but also trust and communication. 

You may have a buddy with whom you share very specific interests but not hang out on a regular basis. While on the other hand you may hang out with some and share very little in common.

It’s a catch-22 and you can easily be caught in the middle especially if it’s a friend group.

Things like gossip, personal agendas, and jealousy can take over and wreak havoc between individuals.

Believe me when I say that sometimes it’s better to be alone than have friends who abuse the privilege.

Those who don’t understand the concept of sharing and caring will use you to their own advantage without stopping to consider how it makes you feel. This is not okay. 

When Does it Become Bullying?

It’s also not okay to have a friend group exclude, tease, or degrade other members at any time.

That is not friendship.

When someone comes to me in tears and says that “my friends dumped me or they forgot to include me,” my reaction is let’s look at the definition of a friend.

True friends don’t treat each other like that and it sounds to me like you need to find some new ones.

A Friend Is Not…

A friend is not one who will make you feel guilty when you question their actions. A friend is not one who seeks you out to make their life easier because you have something they want.

A Friend Is…

A friend is one who will support, cheerlead, and champion your cause without thinking of what’s in it for them.

Redefine “Friend”…

It really is okay if you just have a ton of acquaintances and buddies.

This may be a perfect balance to explore new activities or relationships while still having one or two “friends” who know the deeper parts of you.

We have different names apart from the word ‘friend’. Try them on for size:

  • buddy
  • co-worker
  • colleague
  • classmate
  • advisor
  • play date
  • acquaintance
  • pal
  • ally
  • team mate
  • secret keeper

Set Yourself Up For Success…

First and foremost, set yourself up for success and be your own best friend.

Source:Unsplash Womanizer-WOW tech

Treat yourself with dignity and respect.

Pamper when necessary and refuse to engage in the negative self-talk.

You are worthy and deserve to be treated well.

It starts with you.

Stand tall. Be proud of who you are and realize that anyone should consider themselves lucky to call you their friend.

Friendships grow and blossom over time. Choose carefully

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