We all need people in our life who love us just how we are. You know, the friends that know our bad habits and accept us anyway.
There’s a fine line, however, between choosing to overlook a friend’s shortcomings and coming to depend on them. It’s when negative tendencies are no longer quirks that are ignored out of love, but behavior that is encouraged.
But why would we do that? Why would our friend do that?
Well, there are many reasons. When those close to us change, it naturally causes us to feel defensive about our own need to change- even if they don’t expect it. It could be we are suspicious of anything that might come between us, so we make sure everything (and everyone) stays the same. Or it could just be out of fear that they won’t need us anymore.
If we’re honest, we not only have a friend or two that fit into the following categories, we likely see ourselves in a couple of them, too.
There’s a saying about our lives being a reflection of the 5 people we are with the most, so if we’re consistently feeling stuck, depressed, anxious or negative, it’s only wise to examine our relationships for some less than helpful friendships.
The You Deserve It Friend
This friend is only looking out for your best interests. She encourages dessert, even though she knows you are really trying to cut out sugar. She insists you go shopping with her and tries to talk you into several purchases, even though she knows you are trying to stick to a budget. She’ll try to set you up with the waiter, even though you are in a committed relationship. Because you deserve all of the things, right?
If you regularly feel like you have to explain (and re-explain) the positive changes you’re trying to make, end up feeling defensive and apologizing for them, then ultimately cave under her pressure, she’s probably a classic You Deserve It Friend.
The Don’t Do It Friend
There’s a friend very closely related to You Deserve It. She is really supportive and loves to encourage us… Until its about something that we’re trying to improve in our life. Suddenly she gets really quiet or even withdrawn whenever you are doing anything to better yourself. She’ll talk about a pointless Netflix series all night, but button up when you begin to share a personal development book you’re reading. She’ll start playing on her phone when you bring up the workout class you just started, then roll her eyes when your mutual friend orders a salad instead of pasta.
If you hesitate to tell her about areas you’re attempting to grow in or find yourself trying to hide the fact you’re doing something positive for yourself, she just may be a Don’t Do It.
The You’re The Only One Who Understands Friend
This friend is very appreciative of your listening ear. always has a story (or ten) of how she has recently been misunderstood or mistreated. The universe always seems to be against her in some way. If things in her life aren’t so bad at the moment, her next favorite stories are of other peoples’ failures. Commiserate and mockery are the themes. She feels safe opening up to you, after all. You get it.
If every hang out time ends up as an exhaustive venting session, or you’ve ever wondered what she says about you when you’re not around, she’s likely a You’re The Only One Who Understands.
The Be Careful Friend
Your safety and happiness are at the top of this friend’s list. Any risk- from your dream to travel internationally to choosing a bangin’ hot green dress instead of classic black- is met with great caution. She’ll want to go through all of the bad things that might happen, the possible consequences and ways it just may ruin your life. She’ll have horrible stories of this thing that happened to her cousin’s best friend’s college roommate to back up her concerns.
If you regularly get talked out of new and different things you were considering, she’s probably a Be Careful.