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Unhealthy Friendships in Adulthood

Something I work on with my clients ALL. THE. TIME. is how to identify healthy relationships. No, I don’t just mean romantic relationships. We’re SO hyper-focused on romantic relationships as a society. We get fixated on how those relationships affect us, failing to look at other types of relationships in our lives.

We learned our lesson when we were younger that some friends, despite how fun they are, just aren’t good for us. Having things in common isn’t enough to sustain a close friendship anymore. With our crazy busy lives, we don’t need someone that contributes to the chaos.

Here are some things to look out for when evaluating your adult friendships – 

  1. If you feel like your friendship takes an enormous amount of energy, it probably isn’t good for you. We’re stretched so thin, and we need people that help us feel more full rather than more empty. We balance work, kids, spouses, family crises, financial concerns, self-care, and everything else that pops up. We can’t possibly pour our entire selves into a single friendship because we simply don’t have enough to give. Of course all relationships take work and effort, but they should also be relatively easy and natural.

  2. One sided friendships can feel so defeating, yet they’re so common. If you feel like you’re the one carrying the relationship, it may be best to set it down. Someone once mentioned to me that in relationships, there’s a gardener and a flower. They take turns. If you’re always the gardener, you’re eventually going to run out of water.

  3. When you’re concerned that you’re a bother to your friend because they take days to respond to you, it’s easy to feel anxious. A healthy friendship consists of communication. That communication may be to let you know that they can’t talk much, but communication, nonetheless. We don’t need to talk every day, week, or even month, but we can’t feel consistently ignored.

Prioritize yourself – it isn’t selfish. Re-evaluate your friendships. Do they still fit into your adult life?

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us at 832-421-8714.


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