What’s reliable, accepts you as you are, and is there for you whenever you need a nice, warm hug? No, I’m not referring to that fluffy robe you wear on Sunday mornings. I’m talking about your best friend!
There are many qualities that come together to create a wonderful friend, but as with any healthy relationship, friendships require nurturing from both sides. So when one student realized a so-called friend was taking much more than she was giving, she decided to put her foot down. Below, you’ll find the full story that she recently shared on the Petty Revenge subreddit, as well as some responses invested readers left her.
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This student was pressured by a friend to purchase an expensive gift for her birthday
Image credits: Yaroslav Shuraev (not the actual photo)
But after realizing that their relationship had become lopsided, she decided the former friend didn’t deserve her gift after all
Image credits: Mike Mozart (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Liza Summer (not the actual photo)
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Image credits: Charlotte May (not the actual photo)
Later, the woman shared an update, solidifying the fact that the friendship was over
Image credits: peachbunx
The student also responded to several readers and provided additional information on the situation
Maintaining healthy friendships is important for our mental and physical health
While adults are often taught to prioritize romantic relationships, we should never underestimate the value and importance of great friendships. According to the Mayo Clinic, friendships are actually beneficial to our health, as they can increase our sense of belonging and purpose, boost our happiness and reduce stress, improve our self-confidence and self-worth, help us cope with trauma, and encourage us to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits. Verywell Mind even reports that social isolation and loneliness are linked to a variety of health issues, including high blood pressure, substance abuse, heart disease and even cancer. So don’t be scared to invite that colleague out to brunch or call your childhood best friend to catch up!
Friends provide us with the emotional support that we all need, regardless of whether or not we’re in romantic relationships. We need to have people we can trust and rely on for support and friends to call when we simply need to have a good time. In fact, happiness is contagious among friends, so if you’re in need of some laughs and smiles, don’t hesitate to text your bestie. According to HelpGuide, a great friend is reliable, thoughtful, trustworthy and accepts others for who they are, without any judgment. Because of this, the experts at HelpGuide recommend focusing on how a friendship makes you feel, rather than how it looks on paper. For example, if you feel comfortable, supported and like you can be 100% yourself around this person, they are likely a friend worth holding onto. You should leave interactions with them feeling uplifted.
Image credits: Mental Health America (MHA) (not the actual photo)
But one-sided and toxic friendships have the power to hold us back
On the other hand, just like any other relationship in our lives, friendships have the potential to greatly benefit us or to hinder our mental health. Jennifer Litner, PhD, at Healthline warns readers to beware of one-sided friendships, as they can leave people questioning themselves, not knowing what to expect, and feeling lonely. She notes that balanced friendships should never make us wonder whether there’s something wrong with ourselves, which can lead us to become hyper critical of ourselves and even spiral down a rabbit hole of negative self-talk. Consistency and reliability are also very comforting to us as humans, so friends who leave us wondering if or when they’ll ever respond can put us on edge.
Unfortunately, it’s quite a common experience for friendships to be, or eventually become, lopsided. According to a 2016 study from researchers at MIT that asked college students to rank a number of people from strangers to friends, only a measly 53% of the friendships turned out to be mutual. “These findings suggest a profound inability of people to perceive friendship reciprocity, perhaps because the possibility of non-reciprocal friendship challenges one’s self-image,” the study’s authors wrote. That doesn’t make it any less painful, however, when we realize that someone doesn’t cherish their relationship with us as much as we do.
Image credits: Keira Burton (not the actual photo)
It’s important to recognize when a friendship has run its course
When we find ourselves in an unbalanced friendship, it’s important to make a decision to either work towards salvaging it or choose to call it quits for the sake of our own mental health. Psychologist Ayanna Abrams told Vox that realizing a friendship is one-sided does not necessarily mean that it is toxic or unsalvageable. It might just need addressing to fix the issue, so she recommends resisting the urge to jump to conclusions. First, gently “let them know you’re reaching out to them out of a desire for their company, and not accusing them of what they’re failing to do,” Abrams says. Give them an opportunity to put in more effort. Perhaps there was something going on in their personal life that required more of their attention than usual; it might have nothing to do with you.
But if you’ve tried being patient and flexible, and you haven’t seen any effort made from your so-called friend, author Kat Vellos says that might be a sign from the universe that it’s time to end the relationship and focus your attention elsewhere. Any friendship that is exhausting you mentally and/or emotionally is not worth the effort. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries, and nurture the friendships that you know are worth keeping.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Have you ever had to end a one-sided friendship like this one? Then, if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing a similar topic, we recommend checking out this piece next!
Image credits: Antoni Shkraba (not the actual photo)
Readers poured out support for the woman in the replies, some even had similar personal experiences to share
Bored Panda has reached out to the woman and will update the article as soon as we receive a comment.
The post One Blender And A Ghosting: Woman Enjoys Banana Smoothie After Cutting Off Toxic Friend first appeared on Bored Panda.