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What about your friends: Foes or goals?

Does anybody remember this song and video?? This was my jam!

Growing apart from friends happens often but we rarely talk about it. Sometimes life just happens to throw us curve balls we might not have been expecting. How do you know when to work at it or when to call it a day? There's a saying that goes you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. They say choose your friends wisely for a reason. As we grow older and develop our own families and lifestyles, this is when most friendships are put to the test. Who will stand the test of time? Only time will tell.

Most friendships don't end because of some big fight or fall out but because of lack of communication or understanding for the most part, especially during transitions.

Most friendships don't end because of some big fight or fall out but because of lack of communication or understanding for the most part, especially during transitions.

Here are some ways to be a better friend through growing pains:

Trust your friends to find their own way.

There comes a point in time in every woman's life where she has to grow up and move independent of the thoughts and opinions of others. Each person should get to a point in their journey when they begin to trust their own voice and the power they have in the direction of their own life. When you are younger, friendships are all about doing everything together and talking all day everyday. As we grow into adulthood, conversations tend to become less and less, especially through transitions of moving, marriage, motherhood, etc. Often times, this leads to friends feel hurt and wanting to know why they don't know your every move or every single thing that's happening in your life. The truth is they don't have to. Your priorities have probably shifted. The main thing is to trust your friends to find their own way. Like...if you don't trust them why are they even your friends? Trust that your friends will find their own way and don't be afraid of losing them as a result. Respect and understand their growth and try not to take it too personal.

Know the character of your friends.

It has been my experience that the character of your friends far outweighs the life experiences, transitions and changes that will come in between you. So indeed, choose your friends wisely on their overall character. If you always have to second guess whether they have your best interest or are genuine, chances are it may be something you need to let go. In my opinion, that's too much drama. At least for the time being anyway. I'm a firm believer of having an open door policy with friendship. I give my friends the room and space to allow them to grow on their own terms. If it doesn't mesh well with where I'm at in my life, I understand it's not the end of the world because I know the character of my friends and vice versa.

Check-in before checking out.

You may not be able to chat all day everyday but don't allow too much time to pass without checking in on your pals. Do this if for nothing more than to say that you were thinking about them. Some of my closest friends do this and it's just what friends should do with each other. This is an important step to take before you start creating issues that don't exist. Call don't stall. Sometimes we can create scenarios in your own head about what someone's thinking or feeling about us when all we have to do is just ask. Just pick up the phone as ask instead of taking the "I haven't heard from so-in-so approach". That's not a good approach to take especially when you are trying to maintain a relationship.

Stop being petty and letting pride get in the way.

Oop! Yeah, that part. Who cares who called who last? She may not be able to make it to every trip, event, or get-together. That's ok! Or at least it should be. Everybody's situation and finances are different. Maybe you texted them and didn't get a reply for two days. That's okay too. Again, keep the lines of communication open instead of assuming someone is being shady to you and only you. Don't let pettiness or pride seep in and keep a level head about your friendship. I mean...they are your friend after all, right?

Personalize expectations for friends.

One friend may need more talk time, while another friend may prefer a quick visit. Know your friends and personalize your experiences with them. Everyone expects different things from their friends but you must be open and upfront about what those expectations are. You may love to travel and your friend may be a homebody. If the relationship is worth salvaging, then you will have to find a way to compromise and meet in the middle. You choose who you spend your time with and some friends may notice they aren't getting that time with you and start to question your friendship. To that I say, you should never have to question the character of your friends. No one's perfect and life changes may not always allow certain things to happen as it may be a period of time where you aren't as much of a priority in their lives as you'd like to be. This honestly happens in every type of relationship from time to time and is totally normal. Don't freak out. Which leads me to my last point...

Communicate. Relate. Elevate.

This is a great system to keep in mind for friendships. You should be able to openly communicate with them without fear of being judged no matter what. That's important because who wants Judge-y Judy as their friend? This doesn't mean you friends should ways tell you what you want to hear either (that's another post for another day). But, you should be able to relate to them on several levels and each person should provide something that elevates the other....mentally, physically and spiritually. The main core of your friendship should be elevation and helping one another reach goals. If your friendship doesn't have this core foundation, what are you fighting for?

Always remember, your friendships should support the person you are and the person you are becoming. By allowing anyone to dim your light or stunt your growth, you are only doing a disservice to yourself and we're not doing that! So shine, baby shine! And hopefully, you have a cheering section full of girlfriends who love you and genuinely want to see you win.


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