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Τετάρτη, 29 Μαΐου, 2024

“Red” Friendships


By Evridiki Fatolia,

The word friendship is automatically associated in our minds with commitment, understanding, and mutual respect, without any interest, motivation, or ultimate purpose. But does this apply to everyone? Because if you observe the people around you, but also yourself, people really struggle to maintain their friendships. But what makes it so difficult?

The truth is that people tend to perceive and recognize red flags better in a relationship or family and less in a friendship, despite the fact that they have the same significant impact on their lives. In fact, a research from 2023 proved that a good friendship not only improves your mood and makes you laugh, but is associated with greater empathy, less stress, and thus more stable blood pressure. On the other hand, bad friendships absorb enormous energy. This is not easily recognizable in a friendship as we said, because it is more difficult or discouraging to discern that behind a bad joke is hidden an aggressive comment.

A friend is good in the bad, but friendship also appears in the good. Think of this: You tell your girlfriend that you got a raise, and instead of congratulating you or hugging you, she comments, “I also got it last week.” When a man turns everything into competition, he may not have the best intentions. If you try to discuss it again and the other side does not accept it, congratulations! Another red flag just emerged.

Not being able to apologize

In all healthy friendships, there can be small problems. Like from being late for a meeting, to saying something that is not very elegant without realizing it. In this case, the friends should communicate with each other to find a solution and anyone who has made a mistake, to admit it. There’s a huge difference between “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you” and “I am sorry, but I never thought that would hurt.” A sincere apology and a substantive conversation shows that you do not put your selfishness above everything.

They don’t respect your boundaries

In healthy relationships, people understand that “no” must be respected. If you don’t want to discuss something that’s bothering you or you do not want to go to the shop that only your friend suggests, she has to respect it. Even if something isn’t clear, discuss it. If your boundary is still not respected, then we are talking about a red flag.

Image Rights: FREEP!K / credits: wayhomestudio

Yeah, you’ve found a person you match with and you’re having a really nice time together. Nevertheless, what stops that? Co-dependence, which also occurs in romantic relationships, usually ends up robbing one or even two people of their individual identity (their opinions or their ability to think for themselves). Some common examples include the need to approve of the other person before making any decision or realizing that you cannot spend time in different groups, for fear of making the other individual jealous.

The friendship has extreme highs and lows

There is a difference between occasional quarrels and an unstable relationship, ranging from extreme highs to lows, which can cause a lot of emotional discomfort. The 2023 study mentioned above suggests that in turbulent relationships, people are more likely to focus on negative experiences, such as quarrels and conflicts, than on positive ones, like moments of support. If you feel that this friendship has become too unpredictable, then if it continues it will benefit no one.


 

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Evridiki Fatolia
Evridiki Fatolia
She was born in 2000. She graduated from the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2022 and is currently pursuing her LLM at the University of Reading in the field of International Commercial Law combined with Intellectual Property and Management. She speaks English and Italian and is also learning Chinese, German, and Russian. Her hobbies are photography and hiking.