I hope you all had a great weekend. I watched two new Netflix Original movies with Eddie this weekend and took 101 naps with Kenny. Saturday morning, Eddie and I went out to grab some breakfast (I mean, I got Taco Bell, but he got breakfast) and it was pretty cool out which gave us a taste of fall. I have to say I’m pretty excited for the start of a new season. That morning was cool and breezy and it was overcast because it was going to rain soon and I kept saying that this is my favorite kind of weather. Which is funny because today’s outfit post is summery and giving off major vacation vibes and I’m writing it as I’m bundled up in an oversize hoodie and drinking hot chocolate.
How did you spend your weekend?
Today, on the blog, we’re talking all about friendships. I have a massive case of social anxiety and making friends has never been easy or my specialty. But, over the years I’ve been lucky enough to meet some really great people who I consider close friends. I know for me personally, I hold myself to a high standard when it comes to being a friend and I expect the same from my friends. Sure, I may not be the most active with texting or I may not be at brunch every Sunday, but I’m always there when a friend waves the red flag and I’ll always be loyal and honest.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my past friendships. Those friendships that I thought were perfect and unbreakable and basically ended with me getting hurt. And as I’ve thought about them, I realize those friendships weren’t as perfect as I made them out to be. I’ve learned a lot these past few years from spending my early twenties in NYC and if I could go back and be a different friend and expect different things from my friends, I would. So today, I’m sharing my thoughts on friendships, what I think makes a good friend and asking the big ole question, are you really a good friend?
ARE YOU REALLY A GOOD FRIEND:
HONESTY REALLY IS THE BEST POLICY
My mother is a straight shooter. Growing up, she always used to say to me “Well, you rather I be honest than you go outside and people laugh at you.”
At times, I used to hate when she said that. Especially, when it had to do with a fashion choice. Like if I wanted to try out a new trend or if thought a yellow and black rugby was sooooo cute, but she told me I looked like a bumblebee. But, as I look back, I realize that every time she hit me with that tough love honesty, she was right and as much as I wanted to ignore her and insist I was right, I’m happy I did listen to her.
And those experiences taught me that, honesty really is the best policy. I’m not saying you should go up to a stranger and tell them what you think of their outfit choice, but I am saying that you should be honest with the people in your life that you care for and value. The people I’m closest to in my life at the moment, are the ones who keep it real with me and the ones who I know won’t get offended if I tell them my true feelings or share my opinions. I think so often, friends can dance around your feelings and worse than that, they can share their true feelings with everyone else but you. And when the situation inevitably blows up, the excuse is that they didn’t know how to tell you or they didn’t want to hurt your feelings.
I had a falling out with my college roommates a few years ago and after a lot of tears and honest conversations, we managed to rebuild the friendship. Or so I thought. We all made a pact to be honest, but it seemed that I was the only one who kept it. I had to hear from one friend that all three of them were unhappy about something rather than hearing it from all of them directly. When confronted, I was told it wasn’t a big deal and they didn’t want to or know how to bring it up. Frankly, I would have preferred an uncomfortable confrontation than feeling like my friends were talking about me behind my back for weeks while I was living in ignorant bliss.
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but growing up means standing up for yourself, speaking up for yourself and having those uncomfortable confrontations. It also means that every confrontation doesn’t have to be nasty and malicious and like the Mean Girls scene where they are wild animals attacking each other. It can just mean an open, honest and well meaning conversation with a friend.
I always strive to be honest with my friends and I would hope that my friends are honest with me. Whether it be something small like, “I’m not a huge fan of those shoes and I think you can find better” to something heavier like “What you said and what you did really hurt my feelings” you should be able to have those conversations with your friends. And you would be surprised, most people like hearing it directly from you rather than hearing it down the line from someone else. Even if you don’t intend for it to be, hearing your opinion from someone else can come off as malicious.
DON’T BE JUDGMENTAL. BE UNDERSTANDING.
You can be honest, without being judgmental.
I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. We’re not perfect. We all handle life differently, we all react to different scenarios differently and we all make different choices so we shouldn’t judge our friends just because their actions or opinions are different than ours.
There’s nothing worse than a judgmental person and if you’re going to be so judgmental just make sure you’re as perfect as Jesus Christ.
Let people live their life. Think about it this way. You can tell a child not to touch the stove because they’re gonna burn themselves, over and over again, but they’re still going to try and until they touch the stove and until they get hurt, they won’t learn or listen to you. To me, that’s like life. You can preach all you want to me, but unless I experience something for myself or make those mistakes then I won’t learn. I have to want to do something for myself not because you tell me to. So don’t be that judgmental friend that just pushes people away, instead be honest, be supportive and be understanding. You may not agree with what I do, but instead of jumping to conclusions and making judgements, start a conversation and attempt to understand the choices I make.
And while we are on the topic of being understanding, like I said before, everyone handles life differently and everyone manages their time differently. There’s a saying like, oh if you love someone you will make time for them. To a certain extent sure, but also everyone treats their time differently. My corporate job gets pretty busy and it takes a lot out of me at times. The other day my work line was ringing off the hook and someone new was coming in to ask me questions for what felt like every five seconds and I thought, this is why I disconnect on the weekends to recharge so I can be that extroverted person my job requires me to be.
I also try to focus on my blog, I try to work out at home, meal prep, self care, get enough sleep, catch up with blogs and shows and read, etc, and it’s a lot and I just don’t want the pressure of constantly having to text or hang with someone everyday. Just because we haven’t talked in a day, a week or whatever doesn’t mean I love you less. I just think it’s so important for us to try and understand others a little bit more and show some empathy and not get upset just because someone is different than you or responds to life differently than you do.
RESPECT THE UNSPOKEN CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT
I think it goes without saying, if I’m telling YOU something, then I’m confiding in YOU.
I think it’s especially important to keep that in mind if you have a group of mutual friends because I think that line can be blurred from time to time. If you confide in your friend that so & so hurt your feelings, then they may bring it up because they think they are helping you or something you said may come up in a conversation because they didn’t think to not say something.
I have personally felt blindsided by friends in the past when something I said to one person in confidence was then out in the open to a whole group. I also think if someone tells you something and you then tell another friend, it makes me question why you are even talking about a friend behind their back. I think even if it wasn’t done in a malicious way, it still leaves a bad taste so I think we just need to respect everyone’s privacy.
If someone tells you something, just listen and move on, don’t play the game of telephone and tell everyone. Plus it burns bridges and the next time I’m looking to confide in someone, it’s not gonna be you.
BE A SUPPORTIVE FRIEND
I feel like being a supportive friend should be one of the main foundations of a friendship.
I pride myself on being a supportive friend. I will be your number one fan and champion you and root for you, no matter what. Because I shouldn’t feel like I have to hide my relationship or my success and neither should you. Even when I was on the job hunt and coming up with no results, I was still happy for my friend every time she landed a job interview. And I have a friend now, who is single and yet we can still talk openly about my relationship rather than me tip toeing around the topic. I think it’s so important to be supportive of your friends regardless of where you are in life because their success doesn’t mean that you aren’t successful.
And I think it’s important to support them and their choices even if you don’t agree with them. I have a friend who is going through some boy drama with an ex and she chose to open up to me about it. I told her point blank that I may have opinions and advice that I want to share, but at the end of the day only she can make choices for herself and only she knows why she makes these choices so I support her either way. I think the worst thing you can do to a friend is to not be supportive so instead of opening up to you, they have to deal with their struggles alone because they don’t want to deal with your judgement. Again, going back to being judgmental, you may not agree with what someone else does, but you should try to be supportive.
BE AS LOYAL AS A DOG IS
Loyalty is the most important trait to me, hands down.
Like I said before, I hold myself to a high standard and I expect the same thing from my friends. I’m ride or die for my friends. I will go up to bat for you. I’ll have your back no matter what.
I feel like there’s so much I can say on the topic of loyalty, but let’s focus on loyalty when it comes to conflict.
We are told that the mature response to your friend having a conflict with someone is to keep an open mind and to not dislike someone just because your friend doesn’t like them. Here’s my issue with that… If someone is downright nasty to me, I just can’t fathom how you, as my friend can still kiki with them. Be nice and cordial, sure. But actually being close friends, is personally a problem to me.
I had a girl in high school who was so mean to me. For example, on my birthday, I wore this pink Forever 21 sequin dress and in class, my classmates and teacher complimented me. Meanwhile, she made a snarky side comment like, oh it’s just some cheap dress from Forever 21. And on top of that, when we had finals, we had to leave our bags at the front of the room. I was using my Louis Vuitton speedy that my mom saved up for to give me for my 16th birthday since I didn’t have a big party like everyone else and on her way out of the room, as she grabbed her bag, she purposely stepped on mine. Not to mention, the fact that she spread so many rumors about everyone but then claimed I said those things. OOOOF! I am getting heated. But anyways, my best friend at the time was always so nice to her and really befriended her and would even kiss up to her and abandon me in social settings to go hang out with her and her group.
I just think, if you’re my best friend and I confide in you and cry to you when my feelings are hurt or if I’m going through a hard time because someone is bullying me, how can you then turn around and want to be friends with someone like that? I think loyalty means something different to everyone, but to me, it’s a friend who always has my back, no matter what. Not a friend who sometimes has my back based on the circumstance or a friend who wants to be natural, I like strong minded people who can take a stand.
JUST BE AN ADULT
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but you just gotta be an adult and sometimes that means making those hard decisions and having those uncomfortable conversations.
Again, there are so many instances I can share where it’s important to be an adult and step up, but I want to focus on the topic of ghosting.
In short, if you don’t want to be friends with someone anymore or if someone has wronged you, speak up. I know I’ve been guilty of this because I let my emotions get in the way and I shut down and cut people out of my life quickly. But, it sucks. It sucks for the person you’re doing it to because they feel sad and angry and confused and shut out and it sucks for you because you keep all of the emotions bottled up inside and have no closure.
I remember when I graduated college, I tried so hard to keep up with my old friends. I would constantly text the group chain to keep in touch and I would share my achievements with them because I was so happy like if I something cool happened at my internship, I would share. But, I noticed that the group chat was quieter by the day and when I would share my achievements, it would be crickets on their end. But, again life is busy and I figured, hey we’re just adapting to post grad life differently so I pushed on.
My university has a fashion show at the end of the year and its an important time for the entire community and the alumni make a point to return and show support. I kept talking about the show and trying to coordinate plans, but would just get brushed off. As time went on, I got busy and brushed off the show and didn’t bring it up anymore.
A month after the show, I found out that my entire group of friends went and didn’t tell me and tried to keep it a secret by not posting photos. I was hurt and angry and incredibly sad. To be honest, it upsets me from time to time when I think about it, but time heals all wounds.
My point is, if I had done something wrong or if they no longer wanted to be friends with me, I would have respected and appreciated hearing that from them more than to feel blindsided by something so shady. Frankly, it sucked and regardless of why it happened, I lost a lot of respect for them that day.
So, as hard as it is to have certain conversations and make certain choices, it’s a sign of growing up and maturity and you have to be an adult and be honest with your friends.
At the end of the day, I’m personally such an introvert. I keep to myself and I’ve realized that I’ve become very selective with who I let into my life. I don’t care if I have 20+ friends, as long as I have one or a handful that are really genuine. For me, the most important thing in a friendship is honesty and loyalty. I don’t want to feel self conscious that you’re hiding something from me and because I rarely let people in, I don’t want to feel like I let you in and got betrayed.
I think we can take our friendships for granted at times because we always assume people are going to be in our lives, but every now and then, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves “Am I really a good friend?” And work to put in more of an effort to show our friends that we value them.
Thank you so much for reading! If you stuck it out with this long post, then my hats off to you. I hope you have a great week and if you’re on the east coast, hope you stay dry in this crazy weather!
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