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Why our friends define us

0UR-FRIENDS

Just as our family and partners play a huge role in shaping our character, our friends are an integral part of what defines us as individuals. Our friends are the people we share our lives with; they know us inside out and all of our stories. They help make judgement on our decisions and are open about their opinions. To have a group of people who have such a detailed view of our lives it can’t help but define the person that we become.

Childhood friends

The person we are as a child is not the same as the one that we become, and so the friendships that have battled through all of the stages of life with us are rather special and are few and far between. A change in personality through puberty and big life experiences naturally changes those who go through it, so naturally the bond we once had over our likeness as a child is often lost in the process. This may continue throughout our teenage years until we finally come out of the other end as the rough version of what we would like to be. It is here, in our adult years, that those who we choose to surround ourselves with define the kind of person we are, or would like to be and reflecting on these people can help us understand our own character.

Common core beliefs

When shaping ourselves we often focus our development around our core beliefs that we develop throughout our life experiences.  If we find friendships that contain no likeness between these beliefs then they do not often work. For example, your friends would need to believe that lying or hurting is an inappropriate way to treat friends otherwise the relationship would be damaged. Therefore, sharing similar views on how to treat people is often something your friends share. It may be that you have friendships with people at work who are self serving in pursuing what they want, yet this is natural and understandable to you. Yet for others, this kind of friend may be lacking some qualities they believe are vital. Acceptance of the way our friends choose to live their lives shapes the way in which we behave ourselves and judge others. And so our friends define the way we choose to conduct ourselves.

The nature of the friendship

The way we allow our friends to treat us clearly marks the ways we view ourselves and so can define our character. Friends who are unreliable, selfish or lazy could represent that we do not feel we are worth the same as them [31 ways to increase your self-worth] and so allow ourselves to be treated worse. On the other end of the scale, we could ring our friend up when we needed them but feel no interest in their life, maybe because we feel we are better than others. The nature of our friendships defines the kind of person that we are, due to the way we allow others to treat us, and the way we treat them in return. All friendships are different, and depending on the person, the level of depth and intensity a friendship reaches is specific to the individuals. But a real friendship should pretty much balance out as being equal individuals who respect each other, even if they choose to do it in different ways. Obscure relationships could be useful in evaluating the way we think about ourselves.

The emotions of friendship

Our friendships are filled with many emotions and we all experience ups and downs. But the way we feel around our friends can help define what they contribute to our lives. If our friends are the people we need to speak to when things to turn difficult or as a pick me up, then it suggests that they introduce a certain amount of positivity in our lives and help provide us feeling of fulfilment, confidence and happiness as they should. However, friends that cause us anxiety or negativity could define us as someone who is regularly unhappy, as those who are supposed to provide us comfort are not doing so. The influence others have over us is hard to identify alone, it may be subconscious thoughts and feelings as a result of these people, which may affect our mood or behaviour. Often we think the big culprits may be our partners or those at work and we tend to not attribute such strong feelings to relationships such as our friendships. But understanding just how much our friends shape our personality can help us realise the huge effect they have on defining how we feel.

The Pink Moods community is a group of women with the aim of supporting and comforting each other. Realising your friends may not provide this for you can be upsetting, but if you have access to the right people around you then you never know the difference it could make in how you feel. (Community)

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Tags:emotional, fed up, frustrated, upset

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.