How to Stop Being A Martyr in Your Friendships

Last summer I did a blog series titled ‘belonging’ and I did some videos on my facebook page about it too. The topic was all about friendships and how feeling a sense of belonging is important to our personal well being.

As I’ve gotten older my friendships have matured too. That suggests I’ve matured when in fact I’ve probably just gotten a lot more boring. Thankfully a lot of the drama has been shed, just in general and friendships are on a lot more stable ground. My personal self esteem and repect has magnified immeasurebly over the years which has a positive knock on effect on relationships. How they are formed, sustained and managed over the long term is all on a lot more of an even keel than it was in my teen years.

Now that my friendships are mutally beneificial it goes without saying that I get a lot more out of them. Friendships are tricky and complex and never straight forward and like any relationship sometimes they’re up and sometimes they’re quiet, I think that’s par for the course. But there are some questions you can ask yourself: 1. Am I consistently paying more into this friendship than I get back? 2. Do I come away from spending time with this person feeling shitty about myself? 3. Is this friend only ever available when I have something they want or need? If the answer to any of those questions is yes I would suggest you take a second look at how much of your time you are investing with this person. And I bet there is someone who popped into your head as you read that.

Female friendships can be awesome when you decide to finally value yourself and stop accepting bullshit. Truly supportive friendships are more common than we’re made to believe in popular culture. Once you give up matyring yourself to friendships that aren’t working for you, you will make space in your life for real, genuine ones.

There is no test for a good friendship but there are characteristics. Those friends who make you feel truly listened to are the genuine ones. The friends you are looking forward to catching up with. Even if you spend time playing ‘let’s meet up’ tennis that’s not always a bad sign, sometimes that’s just life. It’s busy, but those genuine friendships have a bedrock that can be relied upon and that remains firm.

My friendships are not consistent, I would love to see more of my favourite people. Often, being a stay at home mum the loneliness hits and I bemoan a lack of friends. However, over the last few years I have chosen carefully the friendships I pay into. I have chased up the important ones that have slipped, or at least made an effort to. And I’ve let the fair weather friends be just that. And admittedly it’s worked well.

On Insta stories this month I talked a bit about a friend I lost. My friend Rachel, she died from a brain tumour 5 years ago. She was only 38 and our children were toddlers. I miss her.

Some friendships are for a short period in your life and they naturally drift by the wayside and that’s ok. Then we have the friends who know us too well and we bump off of each other for years. Either way, I don’t have the time to waste on relationships with people who don’t care about me. And neither do you.

Pay into those relationships with friends who are as excited about your goals as you are (even when they’re different to theirs). Do yourself a great favour and rather than telling yourself you don’t have the time, streamline. Shrug off the people who are only ever about when it serves them and check in with that friend who you always have a great laugh with.

Oh and one last thing, release the pressure. Friendships ebb and flow and that’s how they work. One more last thing, this post was supposed to be about awesome female friends but turned into something totally different along the way.

And to my friends, my genuine friends who care about me and think about me when they’re doing the dishes and wonder what I’m up to and think they’re going to text me when you’re done but then forget (I know you do because I do too) to you…I’m trying to be a better friend, honestly. Thanks for bearing with 😉 xxx

1 Comment

  1. 1st February 2020 / 8:21 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend Rachel, Kate. I lost my friend Tracy to cancer a few years ago and I really miss her. I think it’s important to align with friends that help you grow as you get older. I’ve outgrown many friends and that’s ok. But I’ve also found new friends that I enjoy being with and there’s a mutual appreciation. It’s not a case of how many friends you have, but rather the quality of them.

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