Friendships can be one on the most challenging, complex relationships Millennials have today. They can be filled with uncertainty, questioning whether they’re mad at you because you had to bail on a planned dinner and noticed that they didn’t even “like” your last three posts. At times, it’s seems your so sensitive and in need of their approval, you try and steer clear of upsetting them, mask your feelings, avoid another friend they aren’t fond of, or hide something personal that you’re embarrassed they may judge you for.
Everyone’s guilty of hanging on tight to people they shouldn’t any longer or even just trying to validate a friend’s ingenuity with a plethora of excuses. You find yourself wondering why your circle seems much smaller than years prior, and why, every so often, you lose a person who you thought would always be there.
Not all friendships need to have forever attached to them.
When is it finally okay to let go of certain people, or at the very most, keep them at a healthy distance? Which qualities are crucially important when it comes to being a true friend?
True friends don’t judge you by your mistakes. Instead, they help you grow from them.
When you make a mistake, especially a big one that may seem life-shattering at the time, a true friend isn’t going to hang it over your head. They won’t focus solely on your mess, acting like It’s a reflection of who you really are. They won’t find the time to tell you, “I knew this was coming.” Or, “I was afraid that you would do this.” That’s not on their agenda because they will immediately recognize your pain.
Rather, they assure you that everyone messes up, a truth so obvious yet easily forgotten. They’ll promise that this is not a piece of your character; it’s just a bad thing that happened, even if you were the one who ignited it. They are going to help you understand that apologies need to happen if, when, and where they are due, and that soon after, its door should be forever closed. They’ll tell you that it’s not okay to beat yourself up repeatedly because that hasn’t fixed anything for anyone ever. They’ll check-in when they’re worried and give you space to deal when you may need it. More importantly, they absolutely will not judge you, lecture you, or seek even more ways for this mistake to follow you long after it’s overdue.
A true friend doesn’t care if you’re busy. They’ll be there whenever your schedule is finally clear and you can pencil in a catch-up.
Sometimes, you find yourself scrambling to keep up with your own self-care, laundry is piling up beyond belief, and keeping up with friends outside of your close proximity is seemingly impossible. True friendships don’t let busy schedules prevent them from keeping the #BFFL tag attached to it. They won’t be upset with you because you have been MIA for the last three weeks, and they’ll most definitely not care if you didn’t reply within the last three hours. They’re not going to assume you’re fabricating your busy schedule because you enjoy the sympathy from others about your hectic life.
True friends are going to understand that life can be uncontrollably chaotic at times, and at the end of the day, they know that the two of you are still besties. They look forward to when you can finally get together, as the two of you share an app and bottle at happy hour, exchanging each of your most prior and craziest encounters. They get it, and they know that if they ever needed you, there’s a reason why you’re still listed as 1 of their 3 emergency contacts. They’ll be there, when you can find the time and are able, as they know you would undoubtedly do the same for them.
A true friend is never going to share your dirty little secrets with someone. They’ll hold them near and dear, reminding you that your trust is important to them.
Sharing a DLS with one of your best is meant to be intimate and private, and it’s certainly never expected to go from your mouth to theirs. True friends don’t receive your juicy gossip with anticipation bottling up to share it soon after with someone else. Secrets are hard to share and even harder to keep. If someone in your circle lends your personal deets to another’s ear, they should no longer hold a spot in it.
Unquestionably so, they are someone that you can place enough trust in to share your most exclusive details with. They may laugh, cry, or poke fun at whatever sort of dirty you decide to spill for them, but they do so knowing that it’s meant to stay between the two of you. True friends demonstrate their loyalty by keeping your dirty little secrets right where they belong: with them.
True friends won’t care if you’re at different places in life. The timing of meeting life’s milestones doesn’t need to have a similar agenda.
You may share posts on Pinterest, planning all the in’s and out’s for each other’s big day, particularly that David Yurman you’re jokingly fighting over. When it comes down to it, your Pinterest collection isn’t a representative of your friendship, and odds are, you’ll get there at completely different times in each of your lives. Find reassurance in knowing that a true friend won’t care if they’re calling you the “most gorgeous bride” before it’s even a potential reality for their life. They won’t place an unrealistic wedge between your friendship simply because one of you has met one of society’s pedestaled milestones prior to the other.
A true friend is going to accept that everyone’s life goes by a different playbook. They don’t need to share the same rules, exceptions, or standards as you because they love you for being exactly who, what, and where you are. They’ll encourage you to go with whichever path is best for you. They’ll support you, as they expect the same, in taking on the endeavors and adventures that you’re meant to be on. They’ll be your biggest fan, wherever you may choose or need to be in life, without the expectation of hitting that next major benchmark together.
As hard as friendships may be at times, there’s beauty in having those that are meant to be yours forever. Hold on tightly to the ones who deserve to be a part of your journey, and without hesitation, don’t be afraid to say goodbye to those that have long outlived their purpose.