Becoming a better friend has been a journey of self-discovery for me, especially as someone who is deemed as being "sociable".
While I was once able to effortlessly connect and maintain connections with folks during my college years, the passage of time and the experience of losing friends have made the area of friendship quit difficult for me.
Losing friends across this spectrum can leave a deep void.
The impact of such losses has influenced the way I navigate friendships as I've grown older. The pain of losing friends, whether physically or emotionally, has curated emotional barriers and anxiety. I must also mention that some losses were the result of my actions, while others were not.
Over recent months, I have taken a hard look at the friendships I've lost due to my own shortcomings. This introspective process has led me to identify 3 crucial steps I needed to take in order to break this cycle of being an inadequate friend.
I'd like to share these steps with you if you also find yourself striving to be a better friend.
Acknowledge Your Shortcomings and Learn from Them
Growth begins with recognition. I had to swallow my pride and admit that I wasn't the friend I believed myself to be. It's not easy to see ourselves from others' perspectives, but it's necessary. This shift in mindset allowed me to understand that my self-perception wasn't entirely accurate.
Confronting my shortcomings compelled me to reflect on my behavior and choices. This reflection, in turn, has given me insights into why I was falling short and why I formed certain friendships.
Engage in Honest Conversations About Your Current Season
Having candid conversations is challenging, and it doesn't necessarily get easier with time. Yet, discussing the challenges you're currently facing with your close friends is vital. This conversation serves two crucial purposes. One, it offers clarity about your current state which manages your friend's expectations. Two, it opens the door for much-needed support, if needed.
Remember, you're not invincible. You can't handle everything alone.
Be Selective in Your Friendships
Not everyone is meant to be a close friend. It's important to categorize relationships based on their nature and depth.
Over these past months, I've had to question if certain individuals truly belonged in my inner circle, in my casual friend group, or somewhere in between. This categorization offers clarity, allowing me to assess how best to show up for different friends.
In conclusion, there are numerous ways to enhance your ability to be a better friend, but these three steps have played a significant role in my journey. Remember, we're all a work in progress, and growth takes time. Extend grace to yourself as you navigate the complexities of friendship. By being honest about your faults, engaging in open conversations, and being selective in your relationships, you can embark on a path of improvement and create more fulfilling connections.