By: Dr. Darby
Having good friends feeds the soul! I’ve gained and lost friends over the years for different reasons; we grew apart, dishonesty, the season was over, etc. I think the breakup of friendships is something that should be normalized. Things change, people change, and heck some friendships just weren’t meant to be.
I’ve prided myself on being a good friend. A good friend to me is someone who is always in your corner. You don’t have to speak every day, but when you do, you can pick up as if no time has passed. You can call this person at any time, and they will respond. No matter how many times you want to discuss the relationship, you probably should have ended a long time ago, your mother driving you crazy or your kids getting older. You can laugh, cry, yell, scream, or sit in silence for a while with real friends.
I’m currently listening to, I prefer audiobooks right now, the book “Hood Feminism” by Mikki Kendall. It’s a great book so far. In it, she discussed not being a “nice person” which resonated with me. I’ve been told I’m not a nice person a time or two. It doesn’t bother me at all. Instead, Ms. Kendall discussed being a kind person and especially to those she loves. I’d honestly do anything for my closet friends, and they know that. To those looking from the outside, I am selfish, and I don’t care about anyone, well that’s all by design. I need the shirt “I am not for everyone”!! Truly!
I spent many years doing a lot of things for different people whenever they called. Let’s just say that people can take advantage of that. I’ve learned to set limits and have boundaries, but this did not come easily, and with many of the clients that I work with, it is one of their chief complaints. Some feel as though they are obligated to maintain relationships that are not healthy for them. They are more stressed out by keeping the relationship than it is beneficial.
Setting boundaries is essential! It doesn’t matter what the relationship is, mother, father, friends, etc. If a relationship is unhealthy for you, choose not to be engaged or limit the interactions. People will only do what you allow them to. You can’t say “he/she made me angry or made me sad,” it is more about, “I allowed myself to become angry/sad”. Last I check no one can take over another person’s body; it’s about how you respond to something, which is a choice. You can choose not to be mad/sad, etc. Selecting the people in your circle is a necessity. Be careful about who you let in. You have to guard your mental/emotional health just as you do your physical health, and friendships can affect that. I encourage you to find your people. Healthy relationships are reciprocal. I encourage you to evaluate yours!