I'm no expert, but from experience I know that nothing has more influence on us than the people we surround yourself with. The people we live with, friends, co-workers, and the social media influencers we follow have a major impact on our lives. Think about it! Is is harder to get out of bed and be productive when your roommates are lounging around and being lazy? Is is easier to speak loud when our family dynamic is to yell? Is it easier to smile when your friends are laughing? Is it easier to workout when your favorite influencer starts a new workout series? All this to say, the little things shape what we think, what we say, and how we react. We have to be mindful of who we have in our groups and who is influencing us!
Be intentional with who you have in your group!That doesn't mean not to let new people in, but it means to consider their motives and intentions. 2020 showed me who truly wanted to see our relationship last, who was just using me for something, and who was only around because we either worked together or had the same class. Some people are only meant to be in your life for a season or a short period, not a lifetime. It doesn't hurt to reminisce and remember the good times, but do not dwell on past relationships.
People change! Sometimes we become friends with people because of a similar or relatable interest. I can't even tell you how many friends I made from being apart of fandoms. I would meet up with them to hangout before and after the concerts, tag each other on band posts, and keep each other updated on new releases and tours, but that's about all our relationships consisted of. That is because when it really got down to it, I didn't have much in common with them other than liking that certain group. This goes back to when I said some people are only meant to be in your life for a season, not a lifetime. And that's ok! Who would I be to be sad or force us to get back to where our friendship was previously. I'd be sad all the time because that is not going to happen. People change and grow apart. Even the group we bonded over, broke up -- things happen.
Something I found myself doing a lot in 2020 was trying force relationships/friendships. THIS IS SOMETHING YOU CANNOT DO! I REPEAT! CANNOT DO! Some people will choose to distance themselves from you, and you may not know why, but it is not your job to break your back to find out. Because of the lockdown orders due to the Covid-19 virus, it was hard to stay connected with far away friends. Eventually we stopped talking, but I would continue to reach out. Not only would this 'close friend' not respond, but they would actively be on social media interacting with my posts. After over-thinking it for a long time, giving myself anxiety over something I could not control, I stopped trying. We are cordial on social media, but I had to learn to move on. I am still happy they are in my life, but sad it won't be the same. How to get over it: Be happy with those that you still have close -- the ones who will choose a phone call over a dm -- the ones who always want to see you at your best. Quality over quantity!
There are people that act like friends one minute, but have secret motives. Motive to one-up you, motive to keep you beneath them, motive to use you for something, or motive to simply be happier than you. Steer clear of these fake friends. Trust me, there will be red flags from the beginning. These people don't want to see you happy or succeed unless they did it first. You can easily identify these relationship because simple things like hanging out with that person will feel like a chore and leave you drained afterwards. Have you ever felt like that with an ex-friend? With a current friend? (none of my business *sips tea)
TIP: Instagram has a mute feature that allows you to continue following someone, but their posts and stories won't show up on your feed. This is a great way of not starting drama, but staying away from people who just won't let you be great.
Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed, who want to see you grow, and surround yourself with people who you can grow with. ALSO, surround yourself around older people. Some may not know more than us, but they have had years more experience than we have in the subject of life. Be the friend in the group that encourages the others when they are feeling down. Friendships are the love we get to choose in our lives. Choose so wisely!
2020 was the year of separation for me. Separation from anxiety caused by things I can't control. Separation from those who put me last while I put them first. Separation from self-doubt. Here is what I'm striving for in 2021:
Authentic and organic relationships
Becoming intentional about who I let influence me
Growing with each other
Simple ways to be a Good Friend:
Red flags of a Bad Friends:
workout buddy - motivate each other
study buddy - work for something together
wants to grow together - become better people together
wants to see you succeed and vice versa - push each other
motivates and encourages - when the going gets tough, the tough get together
meaningful conversations and checkins - more than just "i'm fine how are you?"
comfortable talking about almost everything - you trust each other
only asks a questions so you can ask it back - they don't really care what you have to say
comes in and out of your life without telling why -second choice to who, sis?
only puts in effort when convenient for them -it shouldn't be one-sided
doesn't know/want to know yourambitions/goals -they should at least support your ambitions/goals
only has one-sided conversations about themselves -they should be in a relationship with themselves