I want you to think for a second, to you what makes a friendship healthy and strong? Is it love? Passion? Memories? Loyalty? Well let me ask you this. Did the phrase “being there for me” or “someone who cares” pop into your head? My guess is it probably did, or it has. Today I want to talk about the pressure of being a good friend. In some friendships it might not be there at all which, is great! But it sometimes is. Now. Hold up, I’m not going to start rambling on about some girl called Katie who feels pressured into drinking. 1, this is not a learning for life lesson and 2, I don’t mean that sort of pressure. I’m talking about the pressure to be a good friend in a time of need. I’m talking about the unknown force that is telling you you aren’t helping said person when they most need you because your head is already so full you can’t hold anymore worry.
I’m not going to lie I’m quite a custom to a friend feeling down. We live in a time where everything is whacked out and is way more stressful/hard to deal with than we as humans are able to deal with. I can add even myself to the list of people who find it hard to cope at times, along with my name is the rest of the universe. Even the happiest person ever has felt low, it’s fine, it’s normal. But again with the time we live in we have 24/7 access to our friends lives (no I’m not talking about sitting outside their house spying on them) I’m talking about social media. Everything we post, share, like, comment on can be seen by the world so it’s even easier to see your friends troubles. You’re not able to to just go home and forget you’re surrounded with this constant buzz. It’s worse, it’s worse it really is. I hope you’re still following but when I get an anxious friend sending me a dm or see a tweet from a sad friend I know it hurts because for me I’ve got so much going on already that trying to help them and telling the, you’re there for them is a lot harder than it looks. Once you tell them or send them that message that says “I’m here for you” you’re signing an invisible contract saying you are taking on their problems for yourself or at least it feels like it.
I find myself so stuck in the fact that I must be there for my friends that I forget to think about how I really am. Not the “oh I’ve got maths homework due tomorrow” worry but the worry and the sadness I may still carry from other things. Recently something happened that really reminded me that mentally and emotionally I am not capable to look after every single one of my friends at one single time. It also taught me that I do have people there for me as well. I will be found. I need to talk to them when need as I am not taking what I’m giving. It’s like giving the shop your money and leaving your purchases on the till. I feel like I need to remember to take my stuff with me. I hope that made SOME logical sense.
So we need to remember to be there for our friends of course, but most importantly we need to be there for ourselves and make sure we’re okay before anyone else. The pressure of being selfless is something that shouldn’t exist, but it does and we have to fight it. Be your own friend don’t rely on friends to make you happy, only you can truly do that and it takes time. Something I’ve learned is that I can take time for myself, it’s not selfish, it’s self care, there’s a difference.