What happens when your friend no longer feels like a friend? At first everything seemed fine, but after a while that great friend no longer feeds you in the same way. You feel horrible every time you go out what that person.
We believe that every time we make a friend, same sex, opposite sex, it doesn’t matter, but friendship means we ought to remain so for life. But according to a study done recently, many people over the age of 50 have linked negative friendships with illness, specifically high blood pressure in women. The surprising effect of this study is that men did not experience the same problem.
That women are more affected by friendships and attach more importance to them than men is an interesting fact. Women tend to share more. Men, tend to live with less intimacy with friends.
As a woman, I can attest to this. I had a friend who refused a request that would have helped me on a social level and eventually on a financial level. She refused to help me and that refusal hurt my physically. I had to spend a great deal of time evaluating whether my friendship with her was helping me or hurting me.
What we have to remember is that friendship is a voluntary association with other people. If those associations are positive, then we should continue them. If they are negative, then we need to move on. There is no reason to continue a friendship when our physical bodies react in a negative way.
Negative friendships can be fixed when both sides are willing to do what it takes to fix them. In order to change what has become a toxic relationship, look at it this way:
1. Accentuate the positive. Tell your friend what you like about her. This is a common technique, so if your friend knows this approach, she may know that something unpleasant is coming.
2. Be quiet and say nothing when you don’t need to. Some things your friend may say will be painful, say nothing. Your friend will understand that you don’t want to discuss an issue.
3. Be prepared to set boundaries and hold to them. This applies not only to friends, but family as well. We often give in to those we are most intimate with. Stop doing that. Hold strong to your boundaries as a sign of respect for you and for your friend.
Eventually you will determine whether the friendship is worth saving or whether you have moved beyond this friend. It would be a perfect world if you could keep every friend you ever made. That isn’t possible. Know that from time to time, as an adult, you may have to let go of a friendship that has become toxic. There will be a period of sadness and grief, but in the long run it will be for the best.