Friday, December 29, 2006

Dream Come True: Weed Your Friendship Garden

Many of us tend to judge our worth by the number of friends we have. However, this is not always an accurate assessment, and it can be tiring to keep up with your lunch dates and Christmas card lists- particularly when you have friends who you can’t be yourself with.

Take some time to evaluate your friendships. Are there people you spend time with who seem to drain you whenever you’re around them? Do you constantly feel like a phony when you’re interacting with them, and watch the clock until sufficient time has passed so you can excuse yourself from the conversation? Friends are wonderful to have, but some friendships just aren’t worth cultivating.

The next time you find yourself trapped in an awkward situation and are afraid to voice your true thoughts, try speaking your mind anyway. It’s likely that one of two things will happen: either the person you’re talking with will be interested in your opinion and you’ll find the conversation moving into genuine territory, or you will notice a sudden drop in temperature and hear those excuses you usually make to escape come from the other person.

If the case is the former, you have improved your relationship and can relax around the person; if it’s the latter, you have just rid yourself of an unnecessary drain on your energy and positive thought process.

There is nothing wrong with ending friendships that just aren’t working out.

Chances are, the other person will be just as relieved as you are, and you will both be able to strengthen the relationships you have with true friends. It will take some time to cull the weeds from your friendship garden, but it will be worth it for everyone involved.

Freeing yourself from damaging relationships helps you kick the approval habit when you no longer have to “fake it” to get along with anyone.

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