Good friends...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Snuggle Buddies
Originally uploaded by
Magpie Skinny.

The years since college have zoomed past. I find myself chilling out more, partying like a rock star less... And equipped with a better sense of who I am, what I want out of life and what I want out of relationships in my life.

Because of this I've started questioning a couple friendships. Are they worth the time and effort, if I'm feeling blah about the relationships. So I went online and found this little gem of info (here- directed at college students, but I think it holds true with relationships in general):

What is a healthy relationship? Generally, a healthy relationship is one that is respectful and caring. Jean Miller Baker, author of "A New Women's Psychology," says that healthy relationships empower all people involved in them. She defines "Five Good Things" that identify a healthy relationship. Simply put, they are:

1. A sense of zest or well-being that comes from connecting with another person. For instance, you may leave time spent with this person feeling energized at times and quietly content at other times.

2. The desire and energy to take action within the relationship as well as in other situations. For example, you may want to clear up a problem in the relationship. When involved in healthy relationships you also enjoy being involved and active in your life.

3. An increased sense of knowing yourself and the other person. In a healthy relationship you will, with time, find yourself more confident of who you are, and also know the other person better.

4. An increased sense of worth or feeling good about who you are. Again, as you are around people who are caring and respectful, you develop a gentleness about yourself and know that you are valuable and good. The more that you’re around healthy relationships, the more this feeling will grow.

5. A desire for more connections beyond the present ones.

I'm not sure that these relationships I'm questioning fit these 5 things. Unfortunately they leave me feeling:

1. A sense of being unheard and boring.
2. An increased desire to take a break from the person.
3. The knowledge that if something is going really well for me I should keep it to myself or the other person will get jealous and shut down on me for a while.
4. Feeling I know every last bit about the other person and they know nothing about me.
5. Feeling emotionally drained, like I've been swimming, towing a deadweight for hours.

I know I can be a bit sensitive. But despite trying to stick it out and not be so sensitive, I'm still left feeling blech about the relationships. Sure, occassionally we have a great time, but not as often as I'd like. Are these people toxic friends?

I found this article about Toxic Friendships and it says: “You want the right amount of reciprocity of affection and assistance in a friendship,” says Isaacs. “So if you’ve got a friend who is always in need, always in trouble, always wants to talk about her problems, then there isn’t any reciprocity if there isn’t any room for you in the friendship. It doesn’t have to be 50-50 every minute, but overall there should be some kind of balance in which you feel you are getting your needs met, and so is she.”

hmm... Any advice out there? Lay it on me. :)

@--/------- Magpie

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