I have recently been contemplating the state of friendship. We yearn for friendship, we seek it out, we need it in our lives. It is an integral part of our emotional well-being … provided it’s healthy relationships.
I was, somewhat recently, introduced to a new lady. We have shared some similar life experiences that can often lead to true friendship. Since then we have connected a few times and every time I struggle to enjoy spending a lot of time with her. She’s a nice lady, but has a bit of an abrasive personality that rubs me wrong. After recently spending some time together, I realized that I have a choice. I am not obligated to befriend her, I get to choose my friends, and who joins my intimate circle.
It’s about boundary setting. I feel guilty if I do not befriend those who are lonely and in need of friends. I feel as if I need to be the one who eases their loneliness, as if I need to be available to them. Our shared experiences do not mean we must become bosom buddies. It does not make for a solid relational foundation.
So, just as I need to set boundaries on any potential future dating relationship, I can, and should, set boundaries on my friend relationships.
It is my choice who I let into my intimate circle. It’s an exercise in trusting my instincts, to re-evaluate the people I invite to influence my and my children’s lives.
Have you taken a hard look at your relational boundaries? Do they apply to all relationships, or do you allow people in your life simply to avoid conflict but instead finding you have invited that conflict in? Is it time to take a look at who you have made a part of your community? Make changes where you need to!
We aren’t to surround ourselves with “yes men”, people who will only agree with us. We need people who will hold us accountable, to be honest and talk straight with us. We need to fill our lives with people who share our morals and our standards. Choose wisely who you bring, and allow to stay, in your life.