Because every once in a while, we could all do with a support group MOT
The people we choose to surround ourselves with are crucial to our happiness – and therefore our health.
A relationship cleanse gives us the chance to look at our social networks, weigh up who we consider to be true friends, and let go of the people who stop us from being the best version of ourselves – be it the friend who encourages bad habits, the one who undermines our confidence or the one we just can’t rely on for anything!
Or maybe it’s you who could do with a little tweaking to how you treat others? Here’s how to give your support network a little MOT.
Time for a diagnosis
Think about each of your friendships; how you spend your time with each friend and how you feel after you’ve hung out. Does your relationship involve doing negative things like sniping about other people? Wasting money? Slipping from your diet and fitness goals? Do you leave their company feeling drained or frustrated? Or do they encourage you to make positive choices and build you up so you feel ready to take on the world? Do they offer a shoulder to cry on in times of need? You need to think about whether their friendship brings something positive into your life, as your time is precious so you need to be selective about who you share it with.
It’s good to talk
Sometimes a simple chat about you reassessing your goals can be all it takes to recalibrate a friendship and get it back on track, rather than dropping them from your social life entirely – but don’t be afraid to make that call if necessary. Equally, a ruthless Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feed cull can have wide-ranging positive effects on your feelings and self-esteem (you’ve no idea how mood-swinging those “perfect life” posts and online rants can be).
Reconnect with your past
Are there people who have been in your life in the past who were good for you but you’ve somehow lost touch? Relationships you miss? All it takes is a little effort if you want to reconnect. Work, children, relationships and relocating can all encroach on our girl tribe, and breaks between meetups and phone calls can easily become too long. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those people who made you feel good, preferably in person or through FaceTime, WhatsApp or over the phone.
A healthy friendship is a two-way street. Just as you need to make time for your friends, they need to make time for you. If you can see that your bestie’s everyday life is crowding out your friendship, point it out to them – they may have been too busy to even realise. Then get out your diaries and schedule a regular get-together, or weekly phone calls if distance or other logistics make in-person meet-ups impossible.
Ditch the drains
If you have a friend who only gets in contact when they need something or seems to come up with excuses every time you try to make an arrangement, that’s the friend you might want to make less time for. Good friends make us feel special and loved. We all know who they are: the ones who offer to babysit in an emergency or turn up on your doorstep with a bottle of bubbly and a hotpot when you’re feeling down. It’s important you have your social antennae permanently tuned so you can pick up when your friends are in particular need of your support too. It’s said you become the company you keep, so the more you surround yourself with positive, inspiring and generous people, the more those qualities will emanate from you!
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