Recognizing Unhealthy Friendships

It is arguable that my final year of secondary schooling has taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I will be able to apply to countless scenarios in my life, and one of the lessons it has taught me is the importance of having the ability to recognize an unhealthy friendship.

While the concept of an unhealthy friendship is entirely subjective and may differ amongst various individuals, I have my own understanding of what a good friendship is and what a poor friendship is, and although is is unfortunate I have definitely learned how to identify a poor friendship. It arguably happens to a vast majority of persons meaning it is nothing to stress over nor is it something to be ashamed of, and I believe possessing the ability to recognize when a friendship turns sour is an important skill to have.

By no means am I suggesting to entirely abandon a friendship the minute things begin to get rocky. All friendships have their ups and downs, and the highs and lows are certainly normal. However, it is crucial to acknowledge when a friendship has more lows than it does highs despite a conscious effort on your behalf to mend the relationship, and if the other person affiliated with the friendship is not putting forth an effort to the same extent you are, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the relationship and determine how to move forward.

I feel as though in some scenarios persons hold onto a friendship regardless of how unhealthy it is because of guilt. They feel guilty if they cut ties with a person they have known for years and feel as though they have lost a significant component of their lives. I think this is completely normal, however it is important to consider your own well-being and how the friendship may be negatively impacting you and in doing so you are placing your own happiness first. If you’re unhappy, how can you expect a friendship to mend?

Friendships are a wonderful thing, but it is important to acknowledge that they sometimes fail. Try your best to mend to root of the issue, but if things are not improving perhaps it is a sign to move forward.

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