Friendship can enrich us a lot, but it can also seriously harm us if we don't know how to recognize harmful bonds. Those who are close to us do not always do us good and sometimes the only solution is to move away.
Last update: December 28, 2022
Have you ever wondered if the friendship you have with someone is really positive? Have you ever wondered if you are too demanding or if, in reality, the other person's behavior is toxic and harmful? Accepting that the time has come to end an important relationship is never easy. We would like to help you, therefore, to recognize a true friendship.
We are social beings by nature, so establishing and maintaining meaningful and deep bonds, such as friendship, can offer us tremendous benefits. Nonetheless, not all friendships are positive; some can seriously harm us.
Still, it's not easy to recognize a toxic friendship, let alone act accordingly. Often we maintain harmful friendships out of inertia, out of respect for shared years or out of fear. We can also inexorably justify the other's behaviors to avoid having to end that friendship. The following guidelines can help us shed some light on this.
How to recognize a true friendship
Reciprocity is an essential element in any human relationship. When we bond emotionally to someone, it is important to give and receive on the same level, or at least in similar proportions. If this does not happen, unbalanced relationships arise in which one side appears to have power over the other.
If in a friendship you are the only ones who invest time, energy and resources in the relationship, be careful. We all have personal occupations and obligations, and it is not healthy to demand absolute availability from those around us. However, when someone repeatedly proves to us that our friendship isn't a priority, we may need to reevaluate the relationship.
Over time, we change and become part of different environments as our life circumstances change. We can create new connections in many contexts, but this one it does not imply that we should ignore those who were part of our life before.
There are people who stop nurturing and nurturing a friendship when they find another that they think is better or fulfilling at that moment. Likewise, when the new friendship doesn't go as hoped or circumstances change, they look for old friends again. If you are the victim of this behavior on the part of a friend, you need not be afraid to set limits.
Trust is the foundation of every friendship; is the pillar on which intimacy is founded, trust and mutual support. When we discover that a friend has shared with others what we have revealed to him intimately, thinking he can trust us blindly, or that he has spoken ill of us behind our back or lied to us, our trust will be irremediably broken. Ask yourself: Is it worth having someone in your life you can't trust?
To recognize a true friendship, we must first assess whether the relationship is healthy. This implies, on the one hand, that the bond is free from manipulation, coercion and emotional blackmail. A good friend wants us free, respects our times and our decisions and doesn't try to manipulate us.
Furthermore, a healthy relationship is not tainted with envy. In other words, a friendship in which both parties support, stimulate and encourage the achievement of personal goals. If the other person tries to sabotage you, downplay your achievements, or try to convince you that you won't be able to achieve your goals, you should walk away.
Recognizing a true friendship, what to do next?
If you find that a bond of friendship does not satisfy the above points, think about it. It is important to be assertive and able to dialogue with each other and talk about the situation. It is permissible to give the person the opportunity to change their behavior, because they may not have been aware of the damage they were causing.
However, if these toxic attitudes continue after expressing their doubts, we must prioritize our personal well-being and our mental and emotional health. We are a reflection of the people we spend the most time with, so we need to be careful about who we choose to be around.
It can be difficult to end an old friendship, but if we have opened our eyes to some aspects that we previously could not perceive, we should not feel guilty for taking care of our space.