PLEASE NOTE: there’s a difference between an acquaintance and a friend. Personally, my acquaintances are people I’m generally cool with. So know the difference and have different expectations.
Firstly, I would just put this out there- YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO HAVE STANDARDS FOR THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE. YOU ARE ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR WHATEVER SITUATION YOU ARE IN, IT’S PAINFUL BUT, WHATEVER SITUATION YOU FIND YOURSELF, YOU ARE IN THE SITUATION BECAUSE OF YOU. DON’T BLAME SOMEONE ELSE.
- Figure out what is important to you – You have to actually know what you want and what’s important to you. Think about what you want in a friend and if possible, write it down.
- Be the friend you want- if you want genuine people in your life you should try your best to be a genuine person. If you want positive people, you should try your best to be positive etc. Whatever you value in a friendship should be what you evaluate yourself on. The bible (Mattew 7:12) says “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets” NOTE: it doesn’t include “only when you’ve been hurt”. Most times, we only regard this statement when someone hurts us and that’s not the best perspective.
- It’s okay to feel offended- Yes, yes and yes. You are human and if something offends you, don’t hate yourself because of that. In the past, I used to feel terrible for feeling offended so I would either over think things and end up being too “confrontational”. We are all different, different things offend us so it’s totally okay to feel offended. Friendship is all about understanding right?
- Communicate- this is basically self-explanatory, Try to communicate your feelings and do it in the best way you possibly can, without anger or hate. If you hurt someone, talk to that person (be prepared for whatever reply you get!) and if someone hurts you, take your time and communicate with love. Apologize if you know you did wrong, don’t let pride get it’s way.
- Forgive; disclaimer: I’m a Christian, I believe in GOD and he has taught us to forgive by forgiving us a thousand times and most times we actually do the worst thing and he still forgives and loves us and this serves as a personal reminder. Forgiving someone actually helps you, your forgiveness isn’t really for the benefit of the other party, it’s for YOU. Forgiving would make you feel better and let go of the anger. PS: not everyone you forgive is supposed to be allowed back into your life 🙂
- Check yourself: I would just share this post by Asiyami Gold here because she practically said it all. Sometimes, because I like to protect my space, I practically don’t want to allow certain things in my life so I “label” people quickly and not in a judgmental way but just in a protective way.
- Let the sense of “ENTITLEMENT” go: 90% of the time, we feel angry/offended/hurt because friend A didn’t do something we felt we deserved (does that make sense?) Yes, you should know what you deserve and all that good, self-confidence stuff but, the painful truth- nobody owes you anything. Basically, because we “feel” like we do certain things for people, we feel entitled to either receiving the same feeling or something similar and this ends up hurting us way more than we imagined because, in your head, you’re automatically the victim and you can give numerous reasons why you feel angry/hurt. This article explains it better 🙂
- Do not be afraid to let go: the fear of having no one or just being alone is a major issue. We are so scared of being alone, so we put up with different toxic things in our lives. We put up with that friend that never has any good thing to say, the friend that doesn’t have your back. Let go, learn to let some people go. Not everyone that was there, in the beginning, would be there at the end. It doesn’t matter if you guys have been friends for ten or twenty years. PS: Know the difference between letting go & pushing people away (I’ve struggled with this).
- Do not desperate; do not be desperate for anything in life. Keep working on yourself, focus on being better (do not beat yourself up while you are it okay?) and the right people would come to you. It’s definitely not easy, but you attract the right people when you do things right.
- Accept the things you can’t control: if you choose someone to be your friend, you should decide to accept that person and not try to change that person. You really can’t change someone, you can only accept that person. Do not expect perfection, find a balance between your expectation and your reality.
- Surround yourself with positivity: the major key! When you’re surrounded with positive friends, you enjoy every bit of that relationship- including the fights because positive people handle things positively (if that’s a thing).
- Pray: pray, pray and pray. Prayer gives you clarity and peace, God practically shows you the love no one can show you. He also helps you develop self-love because he shows you your worth!
Friendship can be awesome when you decide to take control of your perspective in life and when you take control of the people you allow into your life. The best way is finding a balance and not losing yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes, forgive yourself and keep getting better. Maybe five months ago, I probably wouldn’t have been able to write this so you understand when I say I had to learn, I’m still learning and if this would help- it hasn’t been easy for me, it’s a process.