I literally just had one of the biggest flashes I’ve ever encountered in my life thus far. Let me tell you…So, I was so annoyed about a job interview I went to like a month ago that I had to follow up the other week over the phone and to only find out I was unsuccessful. I have never felt so discouraged in what I was applying for and was so close to giving up. As a normal person would, I told my mum, my other half and my girls who knew about it all and it was their responses that led me to where I am right now and I couldn’t be more grateful. Words like “I know something great will come, don’t lose faith”, “there’s something better for you” is like music to my ears nothing is more uplifting that encouragement. I love my friends for that. It’s now towards the end of the year and I have got a temp job soon to align with what I want to do, so I couldn’t be happier. (My mini testimony)

I am one of those people who doesn’t really have a lot of friends, I’ve been a part of it all (at least I feel like I have been), from a lot of trust issues to broken friendships. It’s like a mini breakup; you’re in your feels and your heart aches a little. Friendship breakups are a thing too just like relationship breakups; because that time can never be taken back. This is why I’m so thankful for the ones I have. I can’t really say I have that one person I’ve known since “day one” in referral to someone I’ve known since childhood, I was the +1 that pairs would have (A&B; very close +me). The time I had given to people had always been harder for me because I didn’t want to make it seem like I’m invading other people’s friendships which played too much of a role in me pushing people away.

But think about it, who’s to say that your Day 1 isn’t someone you met 2 years ago as opposed to someone you’ve known for 10 years?’ Surely it’s the consistency that matters, quality over quantity. A friend should be someone who has a positive influence you. Never to hinder or make you feel like they are superior and vice versa. There’s nothing more annoying than meeting someone and thinking they are a good person only to find out their real traits much further down the line. So take your time when picking friends, it’s an investment well spent.

People do not have the same heart as you.

This is a phrase I used in reference to most of the people I came across at the start of University or the workplace because those are often the two environments within which you are on this whole rush to get to know everyone and be known by everyone or at the very least be on no ones bad side. (I was in a new city and I didn’t know anyone, what also topped it off for me was the fact that I didn’t live in dorms so I was literally so far off from everyone). You then forget how people become friends. I met the wrong people at the right time and it caused my “University Experience” to go down the drain very quickly.

‘People do not have the same heart as you’ they really don’t; as their values are different to yours. You’d care/help about someone because it’s in your nature to, and then you have people who take that for granted. It’s like they just reap what you’ve sown for yourself and now you have to start again. Your worth to some people is just for them to take what they can and leave. You need to identify those people and delete them. Those are the kind of people who will bite the hand that feeds them and that’s a hell no. If you have to force it, it’s probably shit. Literally.

‘They don’t want you to be great’

My girl said to me “I took an L today but I took it with my chest” your downfall could be the best thing to change your perspective embrace it and learn from it. Some people are out to see you fall rather than excel. You need to lift yourself and you need to lift people around you too, whether they are near or from a distance, always speak positively.

If you love yourself, your vibe, your aura will resonate with other people. People who are like minded and who share similarities in what you do, whether you’re both creative, you like the same music, or even relate to books you’ve both read in the same ways the possibilities are endless. Friends although unique in nature are also a reflection of you even if they are small characteristics. You could be total opposites but one thing makes you guys just work. So if you’ve both put the effort in there’s no room for errors.

Communication is key to any relationship

You have to understand the difference between someone who speaks to you in their free time and someone who frees their time to speak to you. It’s been said that face to face contact with people really enhances your friendship you don’t even need to spend that much time with them either, grab a coffee and a bite and hour catch up it really is another way of taking your mind off the “Internet life” we all have. I’ve always said if you and friend A are on the same page, distance shouldn’t at all stop you we have FaceTime, Skype and finally WhatsApp video call for all users. I should be able to think my friendship is strong enough to hold its own after like 1 week, a month or years of hardly any face to face connection because your friends have also invested their time in you.

Be each others hype man

Compliment them, pray for them, laugh and comfort each other and enjoy the fruits of your friendship/relationship. The most important thing I can tell you is: Be friends with people who lift you higher for they are the people you’ll be laughing with at the end of the road. And I really believe my friends do that for me. You don’t need toxic people in your life. You were born to be great. Tell yourself you are great before anyone sees it. And your friends will be great too. Support from friends really does lift your spirit so don’t take that for granted put that support into what you do and you will achieve greatness.

So you’re wondering how to figure out what friendships need to go in time for 2017?  Bring Me In’s founder Ebi has a couple practical steps she swears by to help you make your decision:

Observe: Observation is key. I’m a believer that there is no friendship that is beyond review from time to time. It’s healthy to sit down and reflect on your friendships and after a couple bad ones this pretty much becomes common place. Look at them objectively. Acknowledge every decision for what it is first without context (so she/he did this + it hurt me) drop the “because” out for now and take it for what it is and ask yourself how you feel about it. After you’ve done this you can start to ask yourself whether the “because” had anything to do with something you did, if not then take that action for what it is and address it.

Pay attention to how they resolve friendship matters and how they treat your feelings in the process: Do they speak over your feelings or dismiss your feelings? Is this consistent? Are they self-absorbed to the point that they don’t even acknowledge their wrongdoings? All of these questions will help you decide who you need to eliminate from your life.

Balance is important in friendships but not everyone gives like you give. Instead of getting worked up about it or having crazy fall outs, make use of this thing called DISTANCE. Major key in this life. Create boundaries within those friendships. Not only is this less stress sometimes, it means that you limit the level of access those you want to distance from, have to you. It also doesn’t afford people the space to use how you chose to say “I’m hurt” against you. People who already have accountability issues are very fond of nit-picking at approach to derail from the issue at hand. Everything becomes about how you chose to address them after ages of tolerating their behaviour instead of their actual behaviour. If they never acknowledge their part to play in a problem; assume they will find every way to distract from the issue at hand so distance is my go to with people like that, talking to them is honestly unnecessary and a waste of time. You don’t always have to have one huge talk about it. Sometimes just put it into action and keep yourself busy with other things.

If you sense an imbalance or you feel as though you’re being taken for granted, fall back on how much you give to those people and put that into those of whom you feel are more deserving of that time and energy. The best way to overcome users is to stop giving what they want especially if you’ve talked about needing the same support back but they continue on in their selfish ways.

Pay attention to how they treat others, one big mistake people make is to think that they’re above similar treatment. Don’t play yourself. If someone is capable of doing something to someone (and it was undeserved) they can do it to you.

WRITTEN by Jackie.

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