Mindful Mondays: Can we repair frienships?

'Instead of saying it’s fine, admit why it’s not fine and how you feel.'

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Mindful Monday
Do you recognize these memes?
  • Don’t surround yourself with people who don’t see your worth.
  • Standing alone is better than being around people that don’t value you.
  • Don’t waste your time with people who deserve your silence.
  • Surround yourself with people who push you to do better.
  • Once you’re avoided by someone, never disturb them again.

It’s not that we shouldn’t keep good company, but most of these memes seem to be about perfectionism and emotional unavailability. It’s easier to avoid someone or to break off friendships when we get uncomfortable and hurt instead of having honest and open conversations. I think most of us have learned that our intimate relationships grow because of the hard conversations and experiences we have within them. When we’re pushed to look at our own stuff and speak our truth in kind and honest ways we build strength together, develop resilience, grow our trust, improve our health.

Unless you’re loyal to a fault, have few boundaries and struggle with feeling walked over and often overextended, having people around you who see the world differently is important. Yes, it’s more comfortable to not be challenged, but is it healthy? Is it healthy to want our friendships to be easy instead of real?

It’s a hard life when we look to our friends to make us feel capable, worthy and whole. There are people who love me deeply but do not believe in my dreams, yet I’m not going to throw out years of relationship because my ego is hurt or I’m not able to feel secure in my own decisions. I don’t require the people in my life to hold me up.

Why aren’t there quotes about having honest conversations with friends instead of about gossiping about them? Why is it so hard to be vulnerable and so easy to close the door? You don’t have it all figured out; so why do the people in your life have to? We all make mistakes more than we think we do, BUT what about having honest conversations with our friends and letting them know how we feel instead of ignoring the issue, or worse, dismantling a relationship?

We reject others in the guise of new age ‘enlightened’ language that only creates more separation instead of connection and belonging. Which is exactly what we need – more connection and belonging.

In a world of quick fixes, scrolling, ‘cancel culture,’ polarized views, and dating fashion that’s based on how people look and not who they are, we could surmise that we’re living in the most narcissistic time on this Earth. Our draw to abandon community and focus on self-indulgence and our desire to fixate on perfectionism in ourselves and others keeps us isolated and in a state of avoidance (aka lack of personal growth). I believe developing the skill to have difficult conversations (it’s a skill, we’re not born with it) is where our collective growth lies.

Learning how to feel safe with conflict and understand that your world will not fall apart with it. Conflict with intention seeks resolution, conflict for the sake of a fight creates divisiveness.

When it comes to friends we can be easily dismissive and lack the ability to develop social skills and graceful communication because communication is sloppy at the best of times. We learn how to build friendships by learning to fumble through the hard times together. That’s what makes a friendship.

You can’t stay friends with everyone, but we don’t have to be so dismissive. We have this belief that “you have to make me feel this way, and if you don’t, then ‘bye bye’.

What if we had memes like:

  •  Don’t dismiss people in your life because they have different perspectives. Instead, develop skills for becoming open minded and listening.
  •  Care for those close to you; it takes years to build a relationship and minutes to throw one away.
  •  See how you’ve been supported, instead of fixating on how you want people to support you.
  •  Make sure the people around you love you, even if they’re different from you, and remember what love feels like, not what you think it should feel like.
  •  Relationships are not 50/50, sometimes you support your friend 80/20 or vice versa. Stop expecting perfection or equality in giving
  •  Be brave enough to have the difficult conversations that build stronger friendships and relationships.

Does anyone go to therapy with a friend? We tend to go for ourselves and for our intimate relationships, but we’re averse to healing the relationships that are really important to us, friendships.

Instead of saying it’s fine, admit why it’s not fine and how you feel. Understand that the other person will have a completely different perspective, but we need to give each other space without trying to convince others of our truth.

The worst mistake you can make is walking away from the person who actually stood there and waited for you. ~ Drake

Noelle Bovon