Photo by Seth Doyle
I’m very comfortable with being on my own so, during times in life when I had few or no friends, I didn’t feel the need to rush out of the house, grab random people by the hand, and somehow convince them to like me.
But, I also wasn’t too selective with who I spent time with either. I was pretty much willing to hang out with anyone that wasn’t too intimidating.
With no friendship goals, there were no desired traits in mind for these future friends – or so I thought.
Over the years I have learned that this casual attitude towards friendships doesn’t work because I have specific needs that are a MUST for healthy relationships.
As I mentioned before, as someone who deals with anxiety, is considered infamously quiet, is an introvert, and has uncommonly bad luck with matching the right color socks to her outfit, you can imagine the number of relationship skeletons that may be hiding in my closet.
I was haunted daily by some distasteful memory about an unhealthy relationship, or thoughts of how I will never have a great bond with anyone because of something that a former friend told me about myself.
Please grab your favorite beverage, relax, and learn from my sordid life.
The most important lesson I have ever learned about relationships is:
You must have standards for how you allow people to treat you.
Yes, it helps to know what you want, and what your deal-breakers are.
No, this is not always easy to communicate.
Now, this was a hard one for me to learn. I saw being bothered or hurt by someone’s actions as being weak, so I tried to accept everything and never get angry.
Don’t ask me where I got this idea. Anger and hurt feelings aren’t always bad things. They can help you notice that something’s not right. Since I know I’m a highly sensitive person, I would blame myself for being upset and would try to deal with things as if nothing bothered me.
Besides that, I hated confronting people and can’t communicate well impromptu . Needing time to ponder problems, if I somehow find myself in an argument I will do one of the following:
- Not say anything, so it’s more like I’m being scolded or someone’s preaching at me. 😒
- Force myself to blurt out something. 😩 Side note: This is never a good idea. You may think, “At least I’m contributing now.” But, you’ll most likely say things that you don’t mean. Make the person wait for a thoughtful response, even if it means waiting until tomorrow.
Try thinking of confronting your friend as telling him or her what you need in a calm way using specific examples. I never dreamed of voicing a problem with what was going on because I was too busy trying to be patient and understanding These are good traits to have but don’t let them cover up mistreatment.
Putting up with just any kind of treatment is one of the worst things that you can do. In your life, you should surround yourself with people who are kind, encouraging, and most importantly, actually respect you!
This is the bare minimum for a real friend.
There were a few times I realized I was hanging out with someone who did not have much of a regard for me. Since they didn’t value me they treated me however they wanted.
I would ignore all of the tell-tale signs and never acknowledge this problem until I was forced to see it when the relationship ended.
If your friend is doing anything like berating you, mocking you, constantly trying to make you feel ashamed of things, or repeatedly not keeping their word, you need to pay attention to what’s going on, confront that person, or evaluate if the relationship is even worth saving.
I’m no expert, but I think people avoid creating standards and upholding them when they don’t think much about themselves. You have to see yourself as a person of worth before you can expect anyone else to treat you that way.
Don’t be unhappy in a relationship and think that’s simply the way it must be. You’ll attract the right people as you treat yourself with care by having standards.