There is no underestimating the value of friendships in our lives. Unlike family, which we have no say in, friends are people we have chosen to love. These people share our core values, have our best interests at heart, and encourage you to be the best version of ourselves. What happens when things change? A relationship recon can help you figure out whether you and your friends are still together for good reasons.
“There is substantial evidence in the psychological and sociological literature that individuals with richer networks of active social relationships tend to be more satisfied and happier with their lives,” says a 2018 study titled Social relations and life satisfaction: the role of friends.
Moreover, the compassion present in healthy friendships can help in reducing stress from day-to day activities, build resilience, and aid in personal growth.
However, despite our best intentions, people can change and our needs can outgrow our current friendships. A friendship audit can help us identify and resolve friction within the friendship. Not all friendships are nurturing. A review of your friendship circle can give you a chance to see whether the relationship is still serving us in a positive way.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when reviewing a friendship.
Do you feel supported?
The reality of adulthood is that our time is split between many things. Between work, parenthood, and romantic relationships, there is often little time left for other things. However, if you find that your friendship consists of you constantly reaching out to someone who can’t make time for you, it might be time to look into whether or not the relationship is good for you.
Do you feel inspired?
Old relationships are the perfect space to be yourself. These are people who have seen you grow and mature. However, there is a danger of stagnation. Sometimes, we create roles for each other in friendships and these can keep us stuck as a certain type of person. If you were the party girl or boy in your youth, you could find that some friends want you to remain that way even as you mature. It’s important to check whether your friendship is nurturing your growth or keeping you stuck in an old role that you no longer want to play.
Is there honesty?
Honesty is the cornerstone of all relationships. If you are unable to be honest with your friend, resentment can build up within the friendship. “Resentment typically arises when we feel an injustice has been committed towards us. A person who feels resentful may have felt personally attacked and subsequently allowed a grudge to fester,” explains Ash Alves, writer, author, and certified spiritual life coach. It’s important to create space to clear the air. If this issue keeps coming up repeatedly, it may be time to ask yourself whether the relationship is worth keeping.
Are you enabling each other
Friendships are a great space to be vulnerable without judgment. Sometimes, this environment can create a culture of enabling unhealthy habits. This is particularly important if you want to make a big change, you can find yourself sucked back into negative patterns if your friendships are not about holding you accountable. This is not to say that your friends are your parents. However, there should be room to have difficult conversations about negative habits.