When I was younger, in my teenage years, I used to be so worried about having friends and being liked by people. I always felt like I had to be doing something with someone. The problem was that the people I was “friends” with weren’t contributing to my life in a positive way. I’m a people pleaser, I like making people happy and doing whatever I can for people, but what I was contributing to my friendships was not being returned. My friends kept me around for money, my car and desire to make them happy. Yes I know it’s better to give than receive, but don’t continually give when those who are taking and have their hands out before you even offer. I was unhappy trying to make everyone happy, I wasn’t taking care of my wants or needs because I was doing whatever I could to meet the needs of my friends, but their needs weren’t needs but wants.
Have you seen the movie “The Duff?” If you haven’t you should. It is a real thing, I know I’ve been one. I realize that some friends keep you around to better themselves, so when you hang out in public they get the positive attention and you don’t. If someone had you as a friend to better themselves while bring you down that isn’t a friend, that is a frenemy. If you feel like your friendship is a competition, like keeping up with the Joneses, that’s not a true friendship. Their is healthy completion among friends, and their is competition just to belittle you, bring you down, and prover they are better than you to bring themselves up.
Now in my mid-20’s I like keeping my circle small and am not worried about the number of friends I have. In fact, I can count my friends on both my hands, and I’m okay with that. My siblings, family, fiancé and a few people who can handle my lack of trying are my only friends. With people the cliches are true. “Old are gold,” “quality over quantity,”etc.
I want to say choose your friends wisely. Don’t become friends with someone because they have money, are popular or will gain some material possession. Some of the best things, like people, are free. You need friends who motivate you, push you to be a better person, challenge you (in the right ways like intellectually) and support you (not as in money). Focus on yourself and making yourself happy. If your friends are willing to help you be happy keep them. You and your friend should both add to each others happiness and build each other up. If the people in your life aren’t helping you build a life and future and hold you back, bring you down or cause you stress they aren’t the people you need in your life. Friends can help bring out the best in you without even if our best isn’t perfect.
Love yourself, and when you have friends who love you for who you are then the others won’t matter. Friends come and go, but true friends will stick around and add to your life.