I just kept hearing the old Beach Boys song “Be True to Your School” and couldn’t help thinking that was good but incomplete teaching for being true to yourself. Recognizing who your real friends are. — BadWitch
Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — …I used to be very popular and had a lot of friends. …after that (incident) how do I like myself again? I think after I lost my big relationship I spent all my time and energy on, I lost a lot of friends who maybe weren’t such good friends to begin with. What do you think? — Unsure Friend
Dear Unsure Friend,
Ironic. Just last week I replied to a friend’s lament about one-sided friendships with this: “True friendships are born of sacred geometry — the definition of being comprised of more than one side.”
It seems obvious but it’s not. Acquaintances take two. Any two. But “true friends” is not about just any other one, but the special one(s) who undoubtedly have your back and (as you found out) willingly share their heart in life. Having a great number of friends isn’t necessarily synonymous with actually being popular or having real friends. Take a closer look at why you feel attached to being popular. Are you seeking approval, or are you afraid of being alone? There’s much to be said for (as well as grow into) approving of your self, only a tad less to be said of the differences between being “alone” versus “lonely.” As we all get older (and hopefully mature), it’s quite normal for quantity of peeps to drop while — we hope — focusing on the quality of those friendships we choose or manage to keep around us.
Start by being a good friend yourself. You will naturally gravitate towards some things and pull away from others, so do yourself a favor by seeking the company and deepening the true friendship of those who reflect your values and inclinations (including but not limited to hobbies). Here’s our take on office friends, which actually has a lot in common with your full question (abridged for space and confidentiality) of quality friendships.
“Friend” yourself on- and offline,
Dear Unsure Friend,
Though I cannot speak to “the incident,” but I can tell you nothing that happens in life is “wrong.” Every incident gives you the information and the knowledge that you need to evolve into the being, living the purpose you are meant to live. True, some incidents are less appealing than others, but do not judge yourself so harshly. Learn what you can from the experience and know that you should love yourself through all of life’s highs and lows. You are the only consistent in the equation.
Realize that you have you. I cannot speak to whether the end of these friendships was caused by some betrayal on your part or truly shallow people judging you by the candy on your arm. If it is the latter, I must speak to the women who pretended to be friends when you were with Mr. Popular. ”Wake up, people!” When will women stop judging women by the men they are romantically linked to. Sure, we all want the good looking, successful, financially blessed guy. Does this mean we are so petty that we can’t appreciate when someone else is is dating that guy? It is our jealousy that poisons our own ability to attract and keep loving, good looking, successful guys in our lives.
If backstabbing friends are the reason for your current state of loneliness, realize that you have been given the gift of clear sight. The people in your life who deserve to stay in your life act like they give a shit. Friends check in on one another and genuinely hope and wish for joys for the other. Friends help out whether it’s a ride to the airport, a shoulder to cry on or a show of solidarity in times of struggle. Find new friends. Start by befriending yourself.
If you are shamed because your actions led to the end of your relationship and may have caused friends to side with your ex, leaving you alone, then this lesson becomes all the more pressing. You put all your energy outside of yourself. Successful relationships are two whole people who are living their lives to their best who come together to make great individuals lives even better through the association. Real relationship is not some 50’s version of MaryTyler Moore staying home looking cute and supporting her man. It’s getting out there to do it for yourself. Living fully and enjoying your relationships.
The best way to do that? Self-care. Learn to love yourself. Now that you’ve got more time to focus on you, do it. Find out what makes you happy. Do you need art, sports, reading time? Do you need to reevaluate why you pick the guys and friends you pick and what qualities would better serve you? Do you need to develop your sense of self to reestablish a feeling of confidence? You can find that self-assurance without hanging off anybody’s arm.
Every difficult situation offers the blessing of lessons that can help us learn how to be better people, how to be better at this life/relationship/friends thing and how to be better people for ourselves. If you got a lesson this life changing, take the ride. Once you’ve learned your lesson, there are even bigger rewards waiting on the other side. Trust me. I just graduated to a new level of Life School and though the lessons can be hard as hell to breathe through, the rewards for doing the work get better and better.
Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.
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