When one thinks about the people in their life who support them, their friends will typically come to mind. Ideally, these will be the people who one can turn to for advice, encouragement and acceptance for instance.
So one is able to be themselves around them and doesn’t feel the need to wear a mask or to put on an act. Who they are is enough and one will also have the same outlook towards their friends.
And while they are accepted for who they, there will also feel that they can grow and continue to develop without being rejected. This is not necessarily going to be something that will be vocalised, but one will sense it and come to know that it is so through how their friend or friends behave.
In the beginning of a friendship, one is going to see the other person as being completely separate and as another person. A certain amount of comfort and trust will need to form before one sees them in another way. And this can happen almost instantly or it can take a while to develop.
As time passes and one feels different towards the other person, how they see them will change. They might no longer be seen as a separate person. This doesn’t mean that one has completely lost their boundaries and become enmeshed to them or has unhealthy narcissism; it is just a natural consequence of feeling close to another.
One can then relax around the other person and no longer needs to have their guard up or to have a heightened sense of awareness, as they might have done in the beginning. This is an essential part of having a relationship with another, if one didn’t open up, then it wouldn’t be possible for a connection to take place.
Now, there are going to be two outcomes through one opening up to another person. On one side there is going to be the opportunity for one to experience a deep connection with another humans being and one that will support them, just as one will support their friend.
And to have even one true friend is priceless and not something that should be taken for granted. And part of being open and dropping ones boundaries means that one is going to seek approval and acceptance from their friend and this often taken place unconsciously.
Ones identity can often end up being partly defined through having this person as their friend. This is not negative per se; it is just part of being human. We often identify with external things and this partly allows us to form a sense of who we are and who we are not.
To seek approval and acceptance from a friend is not necessarily a bad thing; this could be classed as healthy approval and acceptance. What wouldn’t be healthy is if one was to seek approval from everyone. Having this approval can allow one to feel stronger and to be able to have handle life better. That doesn’t mean that one is dependent on their friends, it means that ones life is enhanced by having them and are therefore interdependent.
So when one feels down or like they just want to throw in the towel, their friend is there. Or during times when they have achieved a success or overcome milestone, they are also there. No matter whether one is on an up or experiencing a down, the same support is available. And when things are neither are or down and are simply neutral.
However, when one has lowered their boundaries and formed their identity around being friends with someone who no longer supports them or enhances their life, there could be problems. The other person may play a big role in how one sees themselves and although they are no longer on their side, it can be hard to either break way or to limit the time that they spend around them.
One will not always be aware of how one of their friends or friends in general are limiting them, it could all be taking place without them realising it. And this is why friends can be gift or they can be a curse, and this description may even sound a bit extreme. The need to break away could create feelings of guilt and fear.
When one loses something in their house they are typically going to have certain places where they look. And if it is not in these places then they might end up giving up and forgetting about it.
But, there could be place where they don’t think to look and all because they don’t expect it to be there. After this area or place enters their mind, they are soon reunited with their lost item.
And friends can be very similar to this. As one has been friends with someone for while or even a short time and has lowered their boundaries; they can end up being oblivious to how they are affecting their life. So although one can feel stuck in life and unable to move forward, what doesn’t occur to them is that it could be due to being friends with someone.
One is then stuck and they have switched off or they might know about the damage that is being done. It could be that one has changed and their friend is not willing to embrace that change, and so they still try to make them embody the role that they used to play.
So one might find that they return to how they were around this friend. And all the time this side of them is being supported, they are unable to fully grow into how they now see themselves. If one has changed, one may find that their friend comes on stronger as a way to make one behave as they did in the past.
We all have an energy field or an aura and ones field influences others and another’s field influences them. And at one point in time, their friend’s field may have uplifted, validated and inspired by them, but as time has passed, it now leaves them feeling: drained, invalidated, weak, controlled, trapped and/or disempowered for instance.
This is not to say that one blames their friends or simply gets rid of them. People grow and change at different rates and each one of us has a different path to walk. And so who one feels connected to at one point in their lives may change as time passes.
One may need to reflect on how they feel around them and to listen to their body. To see if they are being nourished by their presence or if they end up feeling malnourished. If it is the second option, them one will need to utilize their boundaries. And to limit how much time they spend with them.
As one lets go of the friends that don’t support them, they will begin to attract people who do. This might not happen straight away, but if one is active and makes an effort to meet people, it will happen.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.