As we grow older, it becomes increasingly important to assess the individuals who we consider to be a part of our daily lives.
Who we decide to associate ourselves with...
Who we decide to associate ourselves with...
Who we call a friend
I stated in an earlier entry that the word "friend" is a dangerous word to throw around recklessly, because it holds so much depth. The majority of us can probably remember the times back-back-back in the day, when trying to answer the question: "Who is your best friend?" was probably the most difficult task ever, lol. And I am also sure, that the majority of us recall that moment in life when we had that light-bulb epiphany where we realized that our number of true friends were waning and the number of associates went skyrocketing. It's reality. We all face it. It's simply a part of life, growth, and maturity.
Even still, losing a friend is never a feel-good process. We are human beings with feelings and emotions and of course, losing someone that you considered trustworthy is never fun but often times, it must be done. If there is one thing that I have learned in my college experience, it is to live your life for YOU & what makes you happy. Not saying to go through life stepping on other peoples' toes or disregarding other peoples' feelings -- but at the end of the day if something or someone is detrimental to your growth, a hindrance to your progression or are providing unwanted and unasked for dead-weight and stress....something has got to give. I don't claim to be an expert on anything, I just like to share what works for me, so I thought I'd give my:
5-steP guide to making healthy decisions when it comes to your friendships :)
Step 1:: PRAY
A lot of people do not realize, that effective prayer is a two-sided ordeal. If you spend all of your time talking to God but do not take the time to listen to him, communication is flawed. Pray for God to open your eyes to peoples' true character and intentions. Ask Him to show you who you should associate yourself with. Ask for insight and discernment when it comes to people's character. Each semester, I have prayed for God to give me discernment about the people who I surround myself with.
"Remove those around me that do not need to be in my life and bring the people into my life that You want to be there."
Routinely, people begin to show their true colors and eventually we distance ourselves. I am a strong believer that prayer works. If you are seeking an answer, God will always tell you. It is just up to you to take the time and initiative to listen.
STEP 2 :: TAKE HEED TO RED FLAGS
If you ask God to open your eyes about something or someone, He will.
There are always red flags and warning signs in unhealthy relationships --- taking heed to them is another story.
I believe that it is normal for us to overlook red flags because oftentimes we seek to see the best in the people we care about. And we should. Plus, it is judgmental and unrealistic to hound on people's imperfections -- of course no one is perfect. However, there are things that are simply unacceptable. My daddy taught me at a young age that if a person's major character flaws are issues with their integrity, beware. That bit of knowledge has yet to fail me. If people begin doing things that make you question their integrity -- take heed to them. Note them, pray about them and keep them in your memory bank for future reference. If it is a true integrity issue, it will resurface in due time.
STEP 3 :: DO WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU
This is self-explanatory. If a relationship or friendship is having a negative toll on you then you need to figure out what needs to be done to make you happy. No one can tell you what that is but you. By no means is it necessary to always cut relationships off. Sometimes, problems just need to be addressed and patched up. Other times, the relationship might just need a break. Whatever the issue, you usually know what is best deep down -- even if you do not want to acknowledge it.
A good friend of mine always told me, if a friendship is not helping you grow as a person and adding positively to your life and well-being ..... then why is that person being called a friend?
You know when a friendship is becoming detrimental and unsatisfying. Feelings of untrustworthiness, incompatibility, negative attitudes, unnecessary stress or drama, and questions of character are sure signs that a friendship needs to be reevaluated as soon as possible. It's never a pretty situation, but you've got to learn to do what is going to be best for your growth and maturity in life. No need for dead-weight holding you down.
STEP 4 :: REMOVE TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS
Remove yourself from toxic relationships. Simple solution, easier said than done. The hardest thing to do can be working up the courage to cut ties with someone that you were close to. However, if it has to be done, then it has to be done.
Prolonging it only makes matters worse.
When you have prayed about it and understand that it needs to be done, do it. I do not condone cutting people out of your life with no explanation, however. I think that as a "friend" or "former friend" you owe them enough respect to tell them what you are feeling and your ultimate decision. Don't expect them to understand because they probably will not, but then it again, it's not always their place to.
STEP 5 :: UNDERSTAND & KEEP IT MOVING
Realize that everything in life happens in due season. It's important to understand that some people come into your life for a lifetime while other people are only there for a season.
Friends drift apart. It happens.
However, every encounter and friendship that you have was there for a reason, that reason is between you and God. Every relationship touches you some kind of way, it has helped shape who you are as a person. It has given you some level of new insight. Keep that in mind before you want to go around bashing that person or tainting their name.
On a different level, someone might ask how you can "cut someone off" if you are really friends. Easy answer. Understand that a real friend is not going to talking about you behind your back, spread falsehoods about you, lie to you, dismiss your feelings, hurt you, or anything else of that nature.
You are not "cutting off" a friend, you are doing what is best for your personal well-being by removing yourself from the life of someone whose season has exceeded it's expiration date.
Lastly, keep it moving. Please. There is absolutely no need for petty drama, attitudes, mean-mugging, rumors, etc. If it happens between you and a friend, keep it there. The world doesn't need to know. Twitter does not need to know. Facebook does not need to know. There is never an excuse to act uncivilized and immature. If you cannot remain cordial then act as though the person does not exist to you and keep it moving. Realize -- if someone does not exist then their name should not exist in your mouth. Ever. You've just got to completely understand that if it was time to move on, then do so respectfully.
The end ♥♥
Hope this helps someone in the same ways that it has helped me.
oh and P.S.
Always be grateful for the GREAT friends that you do have! :D
Golden Train - Justin Nozuka