I personally love when the calendar page turns to September and it is back to school season.
I think of it as another January – a fresh start for a new year ahead. It is a great opportunity for all of us to take a look at areas in our lives that might need a change up as we enter into a new “school” calendar year.
One area I suggest is your current friendships. Not only your close female friendships but your children’s best friends as well. It is funny how we start friendships with people for different reasons but what might have seemed like a good idea a year ago, may not work for the person you are today. We might like a few aspects of their personality at first and are drawn in but over time when we become closer to them, we may notice that they have mean girl tendencies or like to put us down saying they are “only kidding”. Or perhaps they love to gossip a lot more than just friendly talk of what is going on in someone else’s life—it comes across judgmental and condescending.
I can best describe it as that icky feeling you get in your gut when a friend who you think of one way is showing another side to them that doesn’t fit your vision of how a good friend should be. Yes, no one is perfect and as friends we do disappoint each other from time to time but what I am talking about are all those little things your friend is doing that makes you pause and feel bad—whether they are doing it to you or to someone else. Just as research shows we become better people when we witness others doing good for others, it has the same effect in the opposite way when someone we call a “friend” does things that feel mean, spiteful, rude and uncaring and they do it on a consistent basis.
Keep the Friendships that Make you Feel Good and Minimize the Not-so-Good ones
My advice is to take this new season to look closer at the friendships that leave you with a positive feeling and if you have those that leave you feeling less than that, perhaps this is the time to minimize your interactions with that person. If the relationship is feeling especially toxic to you, it might be best to leave the friendship altogether and I will discuss that in future blog posts. When you do, you leave space for other more positive friendships and that is a good thing. Are there friends you might want to leave behind or others you would like to pursue more? Now might be a good time to consider a change.