This week I spent some time with one of my truly great friends. Not my 'longest' or my 'closest' friend but absolutely one of my greatest. Sometimes we see each other every week and at other times it's months apart. It doesn't matter, whenever we hang out the result is the same. I feel uplifted, loved, supported and better for having her in my life. I believe this is how you should feel after spending time with a great friend (outside of those difficult times for either of you).
The reason I bring this up is because we actually had a conversation on this very topic. Said friend and I were talking about how she'd had a buddy come and stay last weekend. At the end of which she was feeling drained. When she thought through why, it was pretty obvious. Her friend made a habit of pointing out her 'flaws' and was generally negative about her life choices from the little to the big stuff. Is it any surprise that she was happy to wave her friend goodbye at the end of the weekend? I think not.
By the way, I am by no means a 'great' friend to all my friends either. For better or worse we all bring out different elements in each other. Sometimes it's competitiveness (not great), other times it's empathy or fun (great). And I find that friendships which were once potentially toxic can grow into much healthier places given time and the right TLC.
As we go through the journey of life, our friendships should evolve and change. From my experience the more maturity you have on your side, the easier it is to spot if there is a need for a friend 'spring clean'. That doesn't mean I'm a pro at following this through, just that I'm aware. My desire to fit in and be liked can be difficult to break free of even when I do recognize what is best for me. So personally I am more likely pull back than walk away. Which is still very good for me when it comes to how I spend my time and feed my soul.
Are you guilty of drifting through your friendships without identifying when they are no longer serving you? Do you hang on even when your time together leaves you depleted and drained? If you answer yes to either of these questions it may be time to loosen or even break those ties. While this sounds scary, making room for nourishing friendships is the first step to attracting them. And that is what I want for you.
If you're still unsure here's some questions to ask yourself about your close buddies, Ill stick to yes and no for the sake of ease:
- Can I trust them with my deepest secrets?
- Do I believe they genuinely have my best interests at heart?
- Do they cheer me on when I'm succesful?
- When we are together do I feel happy?
- When I say goodbye am I energized?
- Do they value what I have to offer the world? Do they 'get me'?
- Would they be there to support me if I was going through something heavy?
- Are they interested in my point of view?
- Do they listen to me?
- Am I confident I give most if not all of the above back to them?
Thinking about all of your close friends and even your family spend some time working through this list. Those people who are 9 or 10/10 are the ones you want to be spending most of your precious time with. I'm not saying to walk away from the others, just that you will be happier and even healthier if you optimize your time to see them less. This may sound harsh but when it comes to your life, its up to you to embrace the great stuff (people). Choose wisely and you will hear your heart sing.