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Friends and Friendships…Healthy or Toxic? How Do You View Yours?

How do we view our friends and are our friendships? Healthy or toxic? Have you found yourself arguing with your friends after they’ve disagreed with you? Do you see your friendships as healthy or toxic? Do you view them as someone only for your benefit or as someone you can call, but they can’t call you? Can they call you at any given moment, but you can’t call them for any of your needs? Is letting go, if it comes down to it, something you are willing to do? These questions are good questions to ask yourself when you want to know what your friendships are all about to learn your place in people’s lives.

What is a Friend?

Friends are people who hold each other up through the highs and lows of life. They also hold each other accountable for the other’s words and actions because they have hurt someone. As I do my best to live by Bible principles, one comes to mind concerning friends. “Two is always better than one.” If one falls, the other can help them up. Click here for a great reminder that has helped me as to why we need friends. It comes to mind, especially when one of my friends completely gives of themselves to help me. What about your friendships with your friend or friends?

Are our Friendships Healthy or Toxic?

Now that we’ve defined what a friend is, we need to define what a friendship is and is not. A friendship is a relationship between two individuals with mutual love and affection that moves one to take action for the support and well-being of the other. After defining friends and friendship, can you tell if yours are healthy or toxic? Is it healthy or toxic based on your or your friend’s actions or both? What do you each put into the relationship?

To develop a successful friendship, you have to be willing to get to know each other over a period of time. As a result, you would have gotten to learn someone’s behaviors. Furthermore, you will have learned what helps them thrive and what stops their growth, and the same with you. You will have had time from day one to decide if a friendship is worth putting in any time or energy.

Healthy friendships

Are our Friendships Healthy?

Furthermore, a friendship is not burdensome, and a friendship is not a means to control someone else. A real friendship does not bring harm. A friendship is not one-sided. Friendships take work over a period of time. A friend is approachable in any circumstance. Finally, healthy friendships allow people to learn and grow together.

Although relationships at home with your family may be thriving, the need for interpersonal relationships outside the home grows. From infancy, we depend on someone else to fulfill our basic needs. As we grow, we see human interaction to fulfill our basic needs, so we keep searching for that same thing through life. This doesn’t mean that we are incapable of fulfilling our own needs. When you’re around others from infancy, your emotional and social needs were met hourly and daily. These needs include praises, love, respect, and affection. And having a friend helps us to continue to fulfill these needs.

Are our Friendships Toxic?

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, friends are a part of the psychological needs section within the hierarchical pyramid. The hierarchy pyramid is a model showing 5 levels of human needs, with the bottom being our basic human needs. It starts from physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness, and love needs, which means friends. Next, going upward, there are esteem needs and self-actualization. Since friendship is within psychological needs, we can see friendships are important for healthy mental development and healthy brain function.

Hierarchy of Needs for friendships

We need those emotions fulfilled, leading to a sense of belonging and that we are loved. As mentioned above, friendships fall into psychological needs, which are love and belonging. All of these things are a necessity to healthy mental development towards yourself and life. When a person feels like they belong, they’re motivated to take positive action in their life. When someone feels as though they do not belong, their growth is stunted, and their thinking will be full of self-doubt and unworthiness.

What’s Your View of Your Friends and How Do They View You?

Friendships are built on a basis and foundation. The basis or foundation of friendships ranges from a variety of similar interests. First, a good friendship starts with people getting to know each other and taking action on each other’s behalf when the time arises. You will begin to see evidence in their love for you or your love for them. Good friends allow each other to express their views. Based on their views and actions, you can decide to be friends or not be friends. Are you viewed with love and understanding, and do you view your friends as important in your life?

Moreover, as we look back on the past year, we all can understand how precious life is. Precious enough to turn things around and appreciate the moments that we share with each other. In fact, turning things around in this text means turning things around for yourself and your attitude towards life. We don’t always have to appreciate the happy times where we are smiling. In the same way, we can appreciate people for being there through times that sometimes seem unbearable.

Stick with Your True Support System

Friends supporting each other in their friendship

The people there during difficult times with the sole intention of supporting you are the ones that you stick with. Know where to draw the line with others and yourself. Realize when it’s time to step away if and when a friendship starts or becomes forced. Just because you can get along with someone and they make you laugh, or they laugh at your joke does not mean that a friendship is necessary. It’s okay to let go and grow in separate directions.

Find friends that bring value to your life; those are healthy friendships and are equally balanced because you will bring value as well. Enjoy friends that lift you up loudly (or silently) if you don’t feel like talking. Sometimes we have to stop looking and start fully working on ourselves too before taking on any relationships. Taking the time and effort to work on ourselves places us in a position to be strong enough to voice and move on with what we will and will not endure as a friend.

Click here for more about healthy and toxic friendships.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, it’s employees, sponsors, or affiliates.

Natasha Grant

Natasha Grant shares the joys and privilege of parenting three spectacular and creative children who are ages 20, 16, and 4 with an intelligent and loving man of 19 years. She is the daughter to a beautiful and resilient woman and was born and raised Wagoner, OK. She now lives in Tulsa, OK with her family. She is currently a stay at home mom, and home schools her two youngest children. Before she decided to home school her children, she enjoyed working in the health field for 14 years as a Certified Nurse’s Aide, Phlebotomist, and Home Health Aide. Her love for writing was found during college through her beloved English Composition courses. From that time forward, every thought on her mind and feeling in her heart concerning how to help someone feel better has come out in the form of poetry. Her goal is to reach as many people as she can by using the gift of speech and building others up to live a mentally wealthy life. This goal inspired her to create Loved and Needed, which are shirts and hoodies that display direct messages of love, support, and encouragement. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram!