Life Lessons: Friendships

Life Lessons: Friendships

“The people you surround yourself with, influence your behaviours, so choose friends who have healthy habits.” – Dan Buettner

This is so important. It all comes to two questions:

  1. What kind of person do you want to be?

  2. What do you want to put out to the world?

When it comes to self-care, the first step is to align your surroundings with your values and morals.

Letting go of bad friends can be hard, especially if they’ve been around for a while. If you first try helping them and nothing changes, there are no excuses: you just shouldn’t stay in an unhealthy relationship.

I’m not saying block them out completely, but if they are impacting you negatively, just take a step back. A little distance gives you a new point of view, which is great if you need some clarity.

This also isn’t something you should feel guilty about. Be honest if your friend queries the distance, and remember that how they react is about them, not you. It can be difficult to put your needs before others, but it is important to do. Letting go of friends who have a negative impact on you is a big step in achieving what you want.

But how can you tell if a ‘friend’ isn’t good for you?


A friend is someone who is there for you. They should brighten things up for you when you can’t…and if a friend is negative all the time and never has anything good to say, well that might spring off onto you and make you think that way rather than seeing the good in bad situations. So, try and surround yourself with positive and uplifting people. After all, friendships are supposed to be fun!


What type of influence does this friend have on you? If they are pressuring you into doing things you don’t want to – or making you feel like you have to do something because they are your best friend and you don’t want to let them down or disappoint them, it’s called “The Guilt Trip” and is not a sign of a good friend! A good friend should ask if something is okay with you and respect you if you’d prefer to stay out of it.

How they treat people

How your friends treat people is so important! I know they might treat you nicely – but we are all human and if they are treating someone badly, as a friend, you should correct that behaviour.

Always try work on the friendship before distancing yourself from them. Sometimes things get better, other times they don’t, and that’s okay – not everyone has to be your friend!

How to distance yourself in a healthy way

Honestly is the best policy

When speaking to your friend, try not to blame them for anything. Just tell them how you feel. It shouldn’t come off personally if you kindly express yourself. By sharing your point of view, you open them up to seeing the impact of what they are doing and they might realize that things need to change…and remember that we are still learning. If this is the case, help your friend change his / her harmful behaviours and you won’t need to get away from a bad friendship!

However, your friend might take this badly, and they might feel like you are ‘attacking’ them. In this case you should explain that it’s just how you feel and from there, it is up to them how they want to go about it. You just need to take a step back and let things go. Trust your gut and surround yourself with positive people you want to be like; those you can trust. Nobody is perfect and sometimes personalities clash, but standing up for yourself and creating healthy boundaries is key to having good relationship with yourself, which is your most important relationship at the end of the day.

What are the signs of a “good friend”?

  • A good friend respects your privacy.
    They don’t pry. They respect your space and understand that you will only share information with them that you are comfortable sharing.
  • A good friend respects your decisions.
    And if they don’t, they have a fair reason as to why. They voice this in a respectful and helpful way.
  • A good friend doesn’t criticise you, or your other friends.
    If anything, a good friend should encourage you to have other friends. Everybody is different and no single person can give you everything you want and need. For example: It’s not fair to expect your “party friend” to be with you during your down days, and it’s not fair to drag along your quiet, supportive friend to parties. Different relationships are there for different reasons.
  • A good friend listens to what you have to say and encourages you to express your own unique point of view.
  • A good friend takes responsibility for their own problems. They do not blame everyone else around them. They come up with solutions and ask for help when it’s appropriate.
  • A good friend doesn’t let jealousy or competition get in the way of your friendship.
  • A good friend genuinely wants what’s best for you.

The simple trick is to remember how a friend has made you feel. If you are always leaving a friend feeling drained, then maybe it’s time to create some distance and look for healthier, more uplifting friendships.

Thank you to our guest writer Jaime Peetz for this submission!
Check out her IG account for travel inspiration, simple healthy recipes and genuinely good vibes! @Jaime_Peetz

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