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Healthy vs Unhealthy Friendships

Let’s talk about something that’s been on my mind: friendships. I’ve specifically been doing some thinking about the difference between healthy and unhealthy friendships lately. 

It’s kind of like navigating a tricky path, isn’t it? Figuring out who’s really there for you and who might be waving those red flags nice and high. 

I’ve got some insights to share about this – it’s been a bit of a journey for me, and I think it’s something we all deal with. 

So, let’s dive into this together. It’s a topic that’s close to my heart, and I bet you’ve got your own experiences to share, too.

Healthy vs Unhealthy Friendships

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Before we get into the details, I recently did a podcast episode on the topic! So, if you want to give it a listen, I’ll drop the links below!

Navigating Friendships

You know how friendships can be a lot like anchors? They either keep you steady or pull you down into murky waters. Over time, I’ve figured out how important it is to have a sort of ‘friendship radar’ – you get what I mean, right? 

Here’s what I’ve figured out:

  • Spotting the real deal: These are the friends who have your back, no matter what. It’s all about knowing who’s genuinely in your corner. Real friends are there through thick and thin, while others might just be around for the good times.
  • Recognizing the red flags: Those warning signs that a friend might be more trouble than they’re worth. I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) to spot the warning signs of toxic friends. These could be things like constant negativity, selfishness, or just a feeling that something’s off.

Honestly, it’s a learning curve. It’s not always easy, I know. Sometimes, those red flags are hidden behind good times or old memories. But it’s key to know who’s truly there for you and who’s just… well, not.

The Company We Keep

Ever thought about how much the people around us shape our day-to-day mood and our overall well-being? They seriously impact our mindset and our well-being. I’m a big believer in the idea that our friends should add to our lives, not drain them. 

Here’s what I value in my circle:

  • The Power of Laughter: Friends who make you laugh, the ones who find humor in everyday life – they’re gold. Laughter really is the best medicine, especially on tough days.
  • Keeping It Real: Then there are the friends who stay true to themselves and to you. They don’t hide behind social media filters or pretend to be something they’re not. That authenticity? It’s refreshing and so important.
  • The Stress-Free Squad: Those friends who just roll with life’s punches and don’t get tangled up in drama. They help you remember not to take things too seriously.

I’ve always sought out these kinds of friendships because, let’s face it, life’s too short for anything less. A good friend can turn a bad day around with just a smile or a word, and that’s something pretty special.

Authenticity Over Everything

Let’s get real for a moment about authenticity in friendships, especially in this age where social media seems to run the show.

Have you noticed how everyone online seems to have a perfect life? Well, here’s my take on it:

  • It’s like everyone’s competing to show off a flawless life. But behind those screens, it’s often a different story. I’m all for keeping it real instead of chasing after this illusion of perfection. It’s unattainable, and people want to see the REAL you anyway. 
  • I’ve had my share of friendships where things felt a bit… forced. You know what I mean? Those interactions where you sense the insincerity, and it just drains you. So now, I actively steer clear of that kind of vibe.
  • Seriously, isn’t it tiring trying to keep up with a façade? Pretending to be something you’re not or agreeing with things you don’t believe in just to fit in? I’m done with that. It’s just too much work and, honestly, not worth it.

I always say to my friends, “Be you, the real you.” That’s the kind of people I want around – those who are:

  • Genuinely Themselves: Friends who are comfortable in their own skin, who don’t feel the need to put up a front.
  • Honest and Sincere: I appreciate friends who tell it like it is. Even if it’s not always what I want to hear, I know they’re coming from a place of honesty.

At the end of the day, it’s about finding those who are true to themselves and, in turn, true to you. That’s the kind of authenticity that makes friendships last and become a meaningful part of our lives.

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Evaluating Your Circle

Take a moment to reflect on your current friend group. Kind of like doing a little self-check-in, but for the people we hang out with. Do the norms and behaviors within your circle align with your values and priorities? 

Here are some things to evaluate:

Do they pass the vibe check?

Are the vibes in your group matching up with what you value in life? Think about it – do the jokes, conversations, and general attitudes reflect what you stand for?

Do your values align?

It’s crucial to see if your friends’ behaviors and norms align with your own values and priorities. Like, if you’re all about positivity, but your group is constantly negative, that’s a mismatch, right?

And here’s the thing: it’s not about pointing fingers or playing the blame game. It’s more about mindful reflection and considering your well-being. 

What I mean by that is…

  • Taking a moment to reflect isn’t about judging your friends. It’s about being aware of how these relationships are affecting you. Are they helping you grow or holding you back?
  • If there’s a disconnect between your values and your friends’ actions, it might be time to think about some space. It’s not easy, I know, but sometimes distancing yourself can be crucial for your personal growth and well-being.
  • This whole process, it’s not about cutting people off left and right. It’s about finding balance and understanding that your happiness and needs are important and also about making positive choices. Choosing to surround yourself with people who support and uplift you.
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Emotional Intelligence in Friendships

I’ve been thinking a lot about how emotional intelligence really plays out in our friendships. It’s like you can learn so much about the strength and health of your relationships just by observing how everyone reacts in different situations. For instance, when things get a bit heated or emotional, the way our friends respond can be pretty telling.

I’ve always had this appreciation for friends who manage to keep a level head and give balanced responses, no matter what’s going on. It’s a sign of maturity and understanding that isn’t always easy to come by. It reminds me of this time when a friend gave me some tough feedback. It was hard to hear, but the way they approached it – with such honesty and yet so supportive – it really made a difference. It didn’t just show their genuine character; it actually brought us closer together.

There’s something about receiving honest, straightforward feedback from someone you trust. Yes, it can sting a bit, but when it’s given with good intentions, it can really strengthen the bond between you. It’s these moments, especially during emotional times, that can show you who your real friends are.

So, the next time you’re in a group, take a moment to notice how everyone handles the emotional stuff. It’s quite enlightening. This whole thing has made me realize just how valuable it is to have friends who aren’t just great for a laugh but who are also emotionally wise. Those are the kinds of friendships that not only lasts but also provide a deeper sense of fulfillment.

Final Thoughts: Fostering Positive Relationships

So, there you have it, my take on the whole friendship thing. Figuring out friendships can be a bit of a rollercoaster, right? But, trust me, it’s totally worth it when you find those people who really get you, who make the ride so much more fun.

I really hope you found a bit of yourself in what I’ve shared. Maybe it got you thinking about your own friends, the great ones, and even the not-so-great. Just remember, when it comes to friends, it’s not about having a huge crowd. It’s about having meaningful connections – those few who really add something special to your life.

I hope this blog post resonates with you and helps you reflect on your own friendships. Remember, it’s about quality, not quantity!

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Mindy Wender

I’m a down-to-earth, small town, girl next door dedicated to empowering women to create their own success and unlock their full potential.

My hope is to be your “go to” BFF for all the things us Moms/Women need. I love helping women THRIVE in all areas of their lives.

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