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Navigating Through Friendships

Written by: Maryann Rivera-Dannert, MSL, CLC, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

When you hear or read the word friendship, what thoughts pop into your mind? What emotions come up when you hear about friendships that have lasted 15+ years? What about the term best friend how does that word make you feel?


To be quite honest, friendships are tricky for me, and I’ve had this love/hate relationship with them for the past 15 years.

When I think about friendships, I believe that friends should stick by your side no matter what. Even if they believe you are making a mistake; they should be there for you. Friends claim to know you, and if they believe that you are making a mistake, they should be there to lift you and navigate the rough waters that may await you. I also believe that true friends should never find out about personal happenings in one’s life through social media. In my opinion, that’s distasteful, and it devalues relationships.


There are times when you have grown, and therefore, you make decisions based on that growth. The difficulty comes in when your friends are holding tight to the old version of you, the broken, needy, insecure, doubtful version of you, and when they see you making certain decisions, they judge and assume the worse. I’ve had friendships that were 20+ years long end because of assumptions. I’ve also had friendships end because they did not value the friendship. I’ve also grown apart from close friends because it felt like I was the one always reaching out and making an effort to connect.


As I get closer and closer to turning 50, I want to share five realizations I’ve made as it relates to friendships.

  1. When it comes to friendships, the amount of time you’ve known someone means absolutely nothing.

  2. Friendships are like marriage, just platonic. It takes two to make it work, and one person cannot be doing all the giving.

  3. Friendships do not need to be forced. It either is, or it isn’t. Make your feelings heard, and then move on.

  4. Ask yourself: “If I met (insert name) today, would we connect?” And if not, decide to move on; if yes, then have the difficult conversation as to what and how you’re feeling.

  5. It is totally okay to have more than one close best friend. And that person may see someone else as their best friend, and that too is okay.

We are all busy: whether we are juggling careers, family, personal development, entrepreneurship, taking care of aging parents, etc., we are all busy. But I go back to point number 2 above: friendships are like marriages. Society is quick to point out that the grass is greener on the side that you water and take care of most. Then why is that not the same view for friendships?


This leads me to another point of view.


I believe the saying is true: some friendships are for a reason, some are for a season, and others are for a lifetime.


For a reason: Friendships in this area are here to serve a specific purpose. Whether it’s to meet a need or teach us a lesson, they’re not meant to be forever. The struggle may come when that reason has been met, and we want to hold to them forever. If we try to force the friendships, we may grow resentful because it feels one-sided.


For a season: Friendships in this area are to help us grow, learn, and possibly be a guide for someone else. You could have met someone during a particular job, or while in school, etc. They were put in your path to teach you something, a skill, a lesson, or you could be teaching someone else something. You could perhaps be taking life way too seriously, and this person will help you see things through a different lens or vice versa. These friendships could also be there during a time of transition, and they are there to remind you that it will all be okay and that you have it within you to triumph and channel the warrior within.


For a lifetime: Friendships here withstand the test of time. They persevere through marriages, divorce, children, illnesses, careers, relocations, etc. You may not communicate every single day, but you know they genuinely love you and care about you. They listen without judgment. They offer advice when needed. They support you when you venture into something new. They celebrate you and honor you. They share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly. And you undoubtedly know they have your back, and you have theirs.


Because some friendships seem and feel effortless, we want to hold on to them forever.


I invite you to change your perspective, especially if what I’ve shared resonates with you. If your current circle makes you feel depleted, doubtful, not challenged, and doesn’t inspire growth, reflect on the points above. Be honest with yourself first and foremost, and then call a friend. Be real about how you’re feeling, talk about what you feel is missing. This could the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Conversely, it could be the end. Hold on to the memories, relish on the lessons learned and move forward.


If you’ve enjoyed this article, I invite you to check out my other writings and let’s connect.


If this article made you pause and think and you would like more content like this, let’s connect via Instagram, Facebook, Website, LinkedIn. If you are ready to silence your insecurities, build healthy boundaries and live your best life, book a complimentary discovery call with me.



Remember, you are Fearless and Fabulous, you are a priority, and you matter!

 

Maryann Rivera-Dannert, MSL, CLC, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Affectionately referred to as the Fearless Living Coach, Maryann Rivera-Dannert is the FEAR-less dealer every woman needs in her corner.


The Fearless Living Coach learned early on how to be what she would later become. Striving to be better than what life handed her, the conquering spirit within arose and gave her the courage and realization she needed to recognize her unique value as a woman. With a background filled with adversity, instability, and dysfunction, Maryann had much stacked against her. Yet, she didn’t allow what happened in her formative years to stop her from becoming who she is today.


Maryann is a certified life coach who holds an MS in Leadership and a BS in Organizational Management. She is a 5x published author and 3x best-selling author. She has been featured in various publications, and Maryann is also the host and creator of the Fearless Fridays with Maryann podcast, which seeks to empower and transform women to live their best life today.

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