Friendship is something that most people want, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Friends are someone that has things in common, same interests and values as you. You make each other happy but you can have ups, downs and can disagree on certain topics.
What are the green flags to a friendship?
- You feel safe and comfortable with each other
- Your success makes them happy
- You are there and support each other
- You enjoy being in each other’s company
What are some red flags to a friendship?
- Lack of communication and trust
- They are controlling or abusive
- Feeling insecure with the friendship
- The relationship is based around being needed
Friends can come and go, you can lose friends and gain friends and that’s ok! If the friendship does not work, don’t try to force it as that can have an affect on your well-being. I’m not saying not try to fix anything between the two but if that does not work, move on. You can also just drift apart as people grow and people’s lifestyles may not come together.
What does friendship mean to you?
Friendship can mean different things to different people. There is no right or wrong answer. There can be different types of relationships and you don’t have to class someone as a friend just because you know them.
How can friendship affect your mental health and well-being?
Mostly, friendships have a positive effect on someone as they can be there as some sort of support unit where you can decrease your anxiety and stress levels whilst you’re around them. They can provide a place of safety, belonging and can boost confidence and self-esteem.
However, friendships can have a negative effect on you as there can be pressure to fit in and overall peer pressure to do something that you may not want to do. There can be judgement and bullying can be easier. This can cause anxiety, depression and cause unhealthy competition between each other. Also, some friends may blame you in any situation even if you haven’t done anything wrong which can lead to guilt.
Friendships are there to accept you for who you are. They can help you find your identity and you can discover what your likes and dislikes are. However, even if your friends help you find your identity, don’t allow them to dictate your every move. The help they should give is for guidance and encouragement rather than being controlling and imposing their identity onto you.
Remember that your identity is different to the people you hang out with even if you may have similar interests and views.
Overall, friends are there to uplift you and are someone to have fun and adventure with. There will be ups and downs but they shouldn’t affect you negatively. However, if friendships start to get you down, rethink your relationship with them and move on if necessary.