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That’s What Friends Are For: Building Healthy Friendships

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

It’s one of the first relationships we ever established and craved LONG before we went in search of Prince or Princess Charming. And, it’s frequently the one (relationship) we turn to when we discover that our Prince or Princess isn’t that charming after all.

I’m talking about friendship, and for many, and in many instances, these bonds can be closer than the ones we have with family. And, ironically they are often the relationship(s) that many of us are willing to work on harder than many may be willing to work on their marriage.

And, while tremendously essential, some friendships are far from being rewarding relationships at all. But, we may have known the person “forever” so, just how and when should we cut our loses?

According to experts, a true friendship is one in which neither party has a clearly defined role. In fact, you have varying roles depending on the circumstance and you each take turns taking care of each other. In fact, you pretty much take turns at “everything” including who calls, who makes plans, who talks, who listens, who gets to be the strong shoulder to lean on, and who gets to have a “meltdown” and weep. Then, there’s those “so-called” friends that you see and/or hear from “only” when there’s a gathering, major event, when they need something, or when their social calendar has a free space. And, that my friends, is NO friendship at all. And, you may just be better off cutting your losses and cutting your ties.

The most common “catastrophic” friendship is the one based on narcissism. While many may claim that they are two peas in a pod, reality would reveal, according to experts that one party is more dominant, if not more “important” than the other. And, that leaves the second person in the friendship and relationship always striving, at their own risk and dignity for the other person’s attention and affections. And, while one person is busy giving, the other is less busy always taking, believing that their friend and the world owes something to them, and that he or she can simply do as he or she pleases, with little or no consequence or repercussion. In fact, he or she may even believe his or her “selfish” ways are simply characteristic of who he or she is, and therefore not “wrong”.

And, these “friendships” typically come to an abrupt end, usually with the more submissive friend feeling a bit “used” and asking for some reciprocity, at the utter shock of her self-centered “soul mate” who may now see her as demanding and harsh, and deems it better to end it with someone who expects so much.

Still, there is hope. If you’ve got a “self-absorbed” buddy, ask him or her to do something that you’d normally do. And, if you’re met with resistance, you can make one “last” attempt before re-evaluating your relationship. Try “ignoring” your “narcissistic” friend…they can’t stand being put off. Then, offer a compliment out of the blue, hopefully reshaping their behaviour and attitude. Otherwise, it may be time to find friendlier friends.

Long Island Relationship Articles > That’s What Friends Are For: Building Healthy Friendships

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