Friendship, like any other type of relationship, can either end at some point or last for life. The latter is what we see most often on TV in various TV series, but in reality we are mostly dealing with the former situation. Our friendships never last long because we don’t take care of them. Check out the mistakes to avoid!
Friendship is always about give and take, otherwise it wouldn’t be equal for all parties. But sometimes a relationship can become one-sided when someone only takes and never gives. If it goes on too long, such a friendship becomes a burden. Have you been acting selfishly? Consider what you can do to bring joy to your friend.
Lack of face-to-face contact
Social media makes life easier. They allow you to keep track of what’s going on with your friends on Facebook and Instagram. But virtual friendships aren’t the same as real conversations, so if you don’t have time for your friends, don’t be surprised to see them slowly drifting away from you. The less often you see your friends, the more your bonds weaken.
Conflicts don’t have to end friendships. In fact, they don’t even have to mean that something is wrong. And yet, people find it very difficult to talk about it in a healthy way. Common mistakes people make during conflicts include:
- pretending that nothing is happening but letting the problem grow;
- not listening to a friend when they try to talk to you;
- not raising the problem and then berating the other party;
- ignoring clues that your friend has had enough of certain behaviors.
Think of conflict as a desire to improve the friendship. Approach disagreements with the goal of understanding rather than trying to change someone’s mind or make a stand. Remember that how you say something is as important as what you say.
Lack of communication
You may say, “But we talk all the time!” However, are you talking about the really important things? Are you able to tell a friend that something is bothering you or that you are upset with them for some reason? Friendship isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but also bumps in the road. And if you can’t communicate openly and honestly, your friendship is doomed to fail.
If one of you is jealous of the other’s success, it can easily ruin your friendship. It’s normal to feel jealous, but you shouldn’t let this feeling overwhelm you and ruin your friend’s relationship. If you support him, you can overcome jealousy and celebrate together.
Betrayal of trust
Friendships are built on trust. When you share personal information and secrets with your friend, you expect them not to tell anyone. A person who reveals secrets and gossip about friends behind their backs is not a good friend himself. Lying also qualifies as a betrayal of trust – no one wants to be friends with a liar.
Talking only about yourself
You start telling someone about an amazing trip you just got back from, and then somehow you listen to a friend’s long account of a vacation a few years ago. You start talking about your very painful divorce, and the conversation gets diverted to that person’s breakup story. Unfortunately, it’s easy to make this mistake. Sometimes you begin, intending only to mention your own experience so your friend knows you can understand – but then your brief mention turns into a longer account. Resist the temptation by making sure you quickly get back to what you and your friend originally discussed. And remember that in any situation, you should spend at least as much time listening as you do talking.
We all face difficult moments, frustrations, and disappointments, and being able to reveal them to our friends is one of the things that makes it lighter on the soul. However, if most of your conversations consist of telling how you were treated unfairly or you just can’t catch a break, beware. If your friend has healthy boundaries, they may start to stay away from you. As science shows, listening to constant complaining is actually harmful to brain function.
Incidentally, you shouldn’t accept constant complaining from the people in your life, just as you shouldn’t expect them to put up with your whining. If someone you care about can’t stop complaining, interrupt them and ask them to change the subject. If that doesn’t work, keep your distance.
Main article image: photo by Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy / The Image Bank / Getty Images