Friday, April 12, 2024

Friendships Can’t Be One Sided.

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( “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” – Walter Winchell

As you get older, your friendships with people may change or evolve between you.  That’s typically normal and fine as long as both parties are in agreement assuming the friendship dynamics changed due to growth or life changes.  With any relationship, including friendships, it should be an equal opportunity for all of those involved but in some cases it’s not.

If you are that friend that is always being there for everyone else (birthday’s, holiday’s, baptisms, promotions, weddings, etc.), but when it’s your turn or time to be supported, no one is there…… you are in a one sided friendship.  The amount of time and energy that you put into your friendships should be reciprocated just as in any other relationship.  True, one friend may be able to give and do a little bit more than the other friend simply due to a difference in their lifestyles.

If you are a mother with a husband and a career woman, you may not be able to attend every single event that your single female friend is hosting.  That doesn’t mean that you’re a horrible friend, it simply means that your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to attend all of her events but you can support her event by doing something else other than not physically being there.  Vice versa, her single lifestyle shouldn’t stop her from being a supportive friend to you.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” – Unknown.

In order to have a healthy friendship, it requires both individuals to be open and honest with each other.  One sided friendships only seek to be in friendships with people to support their wants and needs only they have no intentions on supporting the other person.  This is a disaster in the making because usually the other friend hasn’t recognized that this is going on until it’s too late and by then, years have passed and they stay stuck in that type of toxic friendship.

You can’t change a person who doesn’t want to or see a need to change.  Entering a friendship, you should accept people for who they are and as you both individually grow, you should respect each other’s growth and move along accordingly.  If you met your best friend and they ate meat and now you and your family decided to stop eating meat, do you dissolve that friendship?  Aggressively get them to change their eating habits?  I hope the answers to those questions are NO.

Another one sided friendship scenario that I see often is when women get into new friendships and ditch their 20 year friendships totally because the new friend is into whatever the new wave of life they’re on.  You never know when you will need a true friend so it’s not wise to ditch your old friends for new ones, no matter what your reasoning may be.

Friendships are valuable and should be treated as such.  If your friendship that you currently have is one sided, first speak to that friend about your feelings and give them the opportunity to make changes before you completely dissolve that friendship, because friendships involve at minimum two people and can’t be one sided.

Staff Writer; Felicia T. Simpson

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