This editor consulted the publications of Dr. Nicole LePera, a Psychologist for holistic therapy, to figure out some of the root causes of friendship heartache.
4 important things we get wrong about friendship - Expert
Friendship can be a different experience from the idea we hold of it. Here are some things about them that we get wrong.
Here are four times we get friendships wrong.
They are meant to last
According to Nicole LePera, a Psychologist, friendships are not immune to change or breakups. Dragging out friendships beyond their health can lead to a lot of unnecessary suffering.
"There's a misconception that friendship should last forever and that if it doesn't, someone was a "bad friend." Friendships, like romantic relationships, can run their course for lots of reasons. It doesn't mean anyone's in the wrong. It means life has shifted," she says.
Moreover, as people change, there are people who will appreciate that and others who won't be along for the ride.
Breaking up with friends is hard
Staying in a friendship you don't like is harder than ending things. However, the general belief that friendships don't have expiry dates can be limiting. Friends are the ones with our secrets, our safe place when everything else is tough. So breaking this bond even when we want to, can be hard.
"Breaking up with a friend because you no longer want to spend your time drinking or gossiping is difficult because there's so much shame. Culture has us believe that all friendships are meant to last 'forever.' And we feel guilty for having deeper desires," LaPera says.
Your friends are always available
Sometimes life gets rough and we need the support of friends. But they may not be available when we want and that's okay. If it is a problem then that's another matter to talk about.
"They understand your emotional capacity and that sometimes you'll give more, sometimes you'll give less depending on what's happening in your life," she says.
"People support us in different ways: don't expect everyone in your life to offer a huge sense of moral support. They may not fully 'get it' and that's ok," she adds.
It is important to be there for yourself and focus on getting the help you need rather than be resentful.
Friendship is fun
They can be quite serious contrary to the merry-go-round idea we have of them. There's little wonder that some friendships blow up and the participants find out that the friendship was not 'real'.
Healthy friendships, according to LePera, have such qualities
"They check in on you and also respect your space when you need it.
They know how to cope with their own insecurities which allows them to feel happy for you even when it brings up jealousy.
They respect the choices you're making to be a better version of yourself. Ex: not pressuring you to drink when you tell them you're taking a break from alcohol.
They support you without unsolicited advice of what *they* would do if they were you.
There isn't scorekeeping or records of what you've done for each other (transactional relationship)
You know that when you tell them something it will not be shared unless they ask or you tell them it's fine to cross that boundary."
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