Isn’t it funny how, at the end of every year, people are like, “I need to cut some people out of my life”. For all you know, someone might be thinking those exact words about you. We could all be better friends, after all. While no one wants toxic or negative people in their lives, just before you start cutting people off for perceived slights, ask yourself some questions.
1. Has S/He Been Good to Me?
Sometimes, when a friendship is going through a rough patch, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily over or the other person is suddenly being a bad friend. At such times, we often fail to remember the good times, so remind yourself of how good your friend has been to you in the past. Remind yourself of the good times.
2. Have I Reached Out?
Reach out to your friend, if you haven’t. Yes, we often tend to see ourselves as blameless but we rarely truly are. If someone doesn’t call you, call him or her at least once or twice. For all you know, your friend may be going through a tough time and that’s why they’ve been acting off. For all you know, s/he may need you and just doesn’t have the words to explain what’s happening. This leads to the next point.
3. Am I being a Good Friend?
You have to ask yourself tough questions and tell yourself the truth. Most of us think about whether others are being good friends to us or not, but we never ask ourselves if we’re being good friends to them. Really think about it. Have you been supportive? Have you been a listening ear? Have you been dependable and considerate? Or do you both always do only what you want, when you want it?
4. Do I have False Expectations?
Have you noticed that, often, our disappointment come from how we ‘expected’ someone to behave or what we ‘expected’ someone to do for us? Unless someone has promised you something, try not to place your own expectations on them then get disappointed when they don’t fulfill expectations they don’t even know about. Sometimes, you expect a friend to help out when you’re in a tight spot but for all you know s/he doesn’t even have the means at the time.
5. Am I Communicating?
As with all relationships, communication is very important. So important it’s the major key in all of this. Having an adult conversation (free of accusations and emotional blackmail, abeg) will help each of you to know where things may have gone wrong, and how to repair your friendships. In the end, there is no substitute for honest communication.
Learn more about Cultivating relationships that matter in this post.
So, while you should definitely not keep bad friends, don’t be so quick to judge the ones you have harshly. What are some things that have helped preserve your friendships over the years?