Category Archives: Friendship

friendship burnout

Friendship Burnout, it’s a thing

Whether you have been friends since you were children or just for a few months, it is possible to suffer friendship burnout. Yes, it’s a thing. Even the people you feel like you have a close connection with can eventually get under your skin. 

You might start to feel like this person is driving you “crazy,” or getting on your nerves. Even the smallest things might seem like big things because you don’t have that same connection anymore, or you need a break.  

Change As Time Goes

Life is tricky like that. We all change in different ways as time goes. Different things become a priority than what used to be. We all have changes in our passions, ideas, mindset that happen as we face different life experiences. All of these can contribute to friendship burnout. 

Spending too much time together can also lead to burnout. I remember as a child my mother would make my friends leave after a certain amount of time. I never quite realized why. She would always say “I don’t want you getting sick of each other.” And, she was right. The more I thought about it, those “too long” playdates often ended in arguments. 

The Internal Argument

We all want to be our own people and sometimes after too much time with the same person, it can be hard to feel like we have our own sense of self. That can create a bit of an internal argument leading us to be more easily agitated by our friend. 

Sometimes the solution to friendship burnout can be to spend some time apart. Go your separate ways. Spend time with others in your life. You may eventually come back around to each other. You may just need that time away. Or, you may grow apart. Both are normal parts of life. 

Its Ok

It is ok to grow apart from others, and it is ok to admit you need a break. It is better to separate than to force yourself to stay in a friendship that is always leaving you feeling frustrated or annoyed, and could eventually become toxic. 

friends

How does vulnerability strengthen friendships

Vulnerability is a tough thing. It means letting down barriers, opening your heart, and showing people who you really are. It is so easy nowadays to hide behind an electronic device. When we don’t show our vulnerability our friendships don’t go as deep. They are more surface-based friendships. 

When you allow people to see you when you are up and when you are down and you open up to them honestly about what is going on in your life, what you think about, your concerns, your fears then you begin to create a bond. Being vulnerable strengthens relationships. It is not fake or superficial. It is open, honest, and raw. 

Breaking Down Walls

When you start to let down barriers, then those around you also feel comfortable to knock down their walls. Deep down inside we all want someone to share our ups and downs with. We all want someone that we can “tell anything” too. This means being vulnerable. And, it can be scary.

When you are vulnerable it is easier for you to get hurt. When you show your true self it is much easier to feel the pain or the hurt if someone doesn’t agree with your life choices. But allowing yourself to form real bonds with those around you will also allow you to feel supported, loved, respected in your life. It will allow you to form trusting, deep relationships with those around you. You can create your tribe but you first have to stop hiding. 

It is easy to hold back and keep others at a distance because of fear of being judged but that makes it hard to form real relationships with others. You need to get intimate with those around you, share those deep dark fears, regrets, and insecurities with the people in your life who can lift you up. These bonds will contribute to your overall happiness. They can last a lifetime if you let them.  

When your BFF doesn’t support your relationship…

You have found “the one.” You are in love and elated. You share your excitement with your best friend expecting to receive support, hugs, and maybe even a “congrats.” But, instead, you are met with disdain. Your friend is less than happy for you. He, she, they thinks you are making a mistake. 

Naturally, you are hurt by this response. This is your best bud and you want he/she/they to be excited for you, supportive, and happy that you have found your person. So what do you do now? You probably feel like you don’t want to talk to this friend about your significant other anymore. But, this is your best friend and your significant other is a huge part of your life. How are you suppose to approach this without getting yourself hurt? Or hurting the friendship?

First of all, who is this friend? Is this a person who usually has good judgment. Do you respect their honest opinion, or are they more of a judgmental-type of person. Are they always looking for the bad to dig out? Are they always poking at the negative? This friend’s personality can help you to determine how much weight you should give to their opinion. 

Second, remember that this is another person’s opinion. It is not yours. In a healthy friendship, there is room for a difference in opinion. You can agree to disagree without harming the relationship. 

Third, listen to your friend. Hear them out. It does not hurt to hear their reasoning and maybe you can provide some insight that they haven’t uncovered or vice versa. It can be helpful to view the relationship from a different angle. There is no need to be dismissive about their opinion. Try to open your mind. 

Fourth, help your friend and your significant other to get to know each other better. Invite your friend to double-date or come over for a game night. Make it a comfortable environment so your friend might be able to see things from your view. 

You don’t have to let this type of thing harm a friendship. You just have to be respectful, calm, and open. Not everyone sees things the same way. Besides, that would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it? 

Do you have unrealistic expectations about friendships?

I hear from clients all the time about how they are not able to maintain their friendships. They are kicking themselves, feeling bad, for not keeping the same relationships with their friends over time. 

They used to go over to their friends’ homes, talk on the phone daily, and share all of lives little moments. Now, they have to plan out a girls night weeks or even months in advance. They rarely have a chance to call and catch up. They realize that they haven’t even told their friend they got a new job or that story about how your kid fell asleep in the middle of the kitchen floor. 

Friendships change. As an adult you are busier, you have more responsibilities, more demands on time. You might move to chase a career or a spouse. Your worldview might change. It is ok to feel grief, sadness, loss over a changing friendship. It is ok to miss those phone calls and late night movies. But, it is also normal to lose touch. It is normal, and expected, to put your family and other demands on your time first. That is not to say it is not important to still have friends because yes, of course, it is. You still need friend time but it is probably less frequent and maybe with different friends than you previously had. 

As our lives change our friendship needs do also. Women with children often find they have more in common with other women with children. You share the same stressors and anxiety. You can relate. The same can be said for the working mom vs the stay-at-home mom, the boy mom vs the girl mom, the single mom vs. the married, etc. Maybe you have faced some health challenges and you need someone who can understand your pain and frustration. 

This is all part of life. We evolve, we mature, our circumstances are altered. We drift apart from each other, and that is ok.