friendship and growth intertwined

The great thing about friendships is that you get to choose who you allow into your life. But why is it so hard for us to let go of toxic or detrimental relationships?

Just like how binge eating, hair dye, and whole milk are so terrible for us, but so hard to let go, it’s just as difficult to cut off a friendship when the person isn’t purposefully being toxic.

Have you ever sat by yourself and thought about the undesirable factors in a friendship and found that your priorities aren’t in alignment anymore? Is it time to sever ties or should you just chalk it up because the relationship feels safe and familiar?

It’s important to me to be on the same growth trajectory as those I interact with regularly, even if it involves different paths. I'm aware that some people flourish at a slower pace, but for me you have to be receptive to growing and advancing as a person. Is it just me, or is it really hard to connect with someone who's okay with remaining complacent?

Lately I’ve started to ask myself, “What value are you receiving within your friendships? Are you growing as an individual? Are you learning more about yourself? Are you being challenged or stimulated?”

During a recent discussion, an older relative questioned why I was holding onto a friendship where the negative aspects outweighed the positive, and I couldn’t provide her with what she considered a valid answer. My reply was generic, “She's cool. We have fun together.”

Maybe I am the one who's not connecting with this person’s present mindset. Maybe I'm not fulfilling that role as a friend to them. I had to internally reflect and consider this. Do I appear as a bad friend? On the outside looking in, does it come off as a one-sided/parasitic friendship? Or am I just not that invested? I can't give her the things that she needs from me because our main concerns have shifted.

We've all heard the saying that “you have different friends for different situations.”

Isn’t that a true statement? You know which friend you can go to about achievements and they won’t try to one up you. You know which friend is okay with you venting to them and allowing you to show your insecurities. You know which friend you can discuss religion with. You know which friend will be honest/transparent with you. And also you know which friend is solely down for the turn up.

I’m super passionate about my current relationships because growing up I wasn’t sure who I was as a person. I had friendships where I didn’t necessarily relate to the individual and bonds were maintained simply because we had history. But now I get to be selfish and intentional about the persons that I surround myself with. Relationships are an investment. You invest your time, energy, and emotions into another human being. I believe that if I encircle myself with someone or digest their energy on a regular basis, then I am allowed to be picky. Because, if nothing else, I am unapologetically devoted to my friends.

Friendship isn’t always about what your friends can do for you, but rather the important part you play in their life. It’s time to break down the barriers of what something is “supposed to be” and do what is best for you.

“The language of friendship is not words but meaning.” – Henry David Thoreau

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