It’s no secret that the quality of your friendships has an impact on your well-being. Research has shown that the quality of your friendships can influence your level of stress, physical health, and the way in which you cope. A good friendship can have positive effects on your well-being and your health, whereas a friendship with a lot of ups and downs can negatively impact your stress level and health.
t’s natural that over time your life may move in a different direction than your friend’s life. Some friendships survive these changes and others end up growing apart. If you begin to notice that your core values differ and you don’t have anything in common with your friend anymore, it may be time to reflect on the role this friendship has in your life.
It takes two people to maintain a friendship. There needs to be reciprocation in order for a friendship to survive. Otherwise, the friendship starts to feel imbalanced and the person putting in energy and effort to maintain the friendship can start to feel resentful over time.
If you notice that you frequently feel drained after spending time with your friend, this a sign to take some time to reflect on what specifically is causing you to feel drained when you’re around them.
f you’re reflecting on the role a friendship has in your life and you’re having difficulty coming up with a reason why you’re maintaining it, this is usually a sign that you’re feeling disconnected from this friend or obligated to spend time with them.
Pay attention to what happens when you express a boundary or preference with a friend. Do they try to convince you otherwise or disregard your boundary? Some examples of boundary-pushing that can occur in friendships are: your friend expecting to be invited everywhere you go, your friend becoming jealous of you spending time with other friends
When you start hiding things from your friend due to fear that they will judge you harshly, this is often a sign that the dynamic in your friendship has shifted and you no longer feel emotionally safe.
In a healthy friendship, you should be able to be your authentic self. If you don’t feel like your friend accepts you and you can’t be yourself around them or if you continuously walk away from your interactions feeling poorly about yourself, it’s time to consider what is happening in the friendship dynamic that is having such an impact on how you feel about yourself.
s your friend only available when they need you? It’s easy to be a good friend when things are great, but you often realize who your true friends are when things go wrong. Consider whether your friend checks in with you and provides support when they know you’re going through a tough time or if they only call you when they are struggling and need something from you.
Disagreements occur in a healthy friendship; however, in an unhealthy friendship, the disagreements may feel volatile, which can have a significant impact on your stress level and ability to trust the other person. The important part to pay attention to is whether disagreements are handled with honest and respectful communication.