Having friends to lean on during difficult stages of your life is so important to your mental well-being. Unfortunately, sometimes people in our lives are unsupportive, adding an extra burden to an already challenging phase of life. And if you’re a people-pleaser like me, their disapproval is almost unbearable. If you’re currently struggling with this dilemma, follow these 5 tips for coping with an unsupportive friend:1. Find comfort in not needing their approval: It may feel like you need validation from the people you love to move forward on a decision, but you don’t. This is your life, and sometimes the people who care most about us won’t always understand how important something is to us. Do what you need to do to make yourself content. You are your biggest cheerleader, and true happiness can only come from within!
2. Have a conversation: Set up a safe space, like a local park or coffee shop, and invite them to a conversation. Make sure to clearly state what you want to get out of this interaction, and express how their lack of support makes you feel. Focusing on how you feel rather than accusatory statements prevents the conversation from turning into an argument. Although it may be stressful, being transparent may allow you to find the support you’ve been needing. Opening up instead of shutting down will help you set the tone for your life, your needs, and your boundaries, even if your friend doesn’t fully support you.
3. Understand why they are unsupportive: Perhaps they are unsupportive because they truly do not understand your perspective, or maybe they believe they are even helping by not supporting you. For instance, they might disapprove of your relationship because they do not think your partner is good for you. Their intentions may also be motivated by their needs, like not supporting your move to a new state because they fear losing you. Communication is the only way to discover the underlying reasons, and truly bridge that divide. If they are a true friend, they will understand and move forward with you in a healthy way.
4. Find another outlet: If you feel as if your friends or family aren’t understanding, it’s important to set up another foundation for support. That may be created by making new friends or joining a support group. The worst thing to do would be to close yourself off and shut down. You are deserving of positive, uplifting energy in your life!
5. If all else fails…cut out the toxicity: Sometimes the best thing to do is to cut off the friendship. If you’ve tried all other avenues, and nothing seems to be working, this may be your healthiest option. Having that negative weight in your life will leave you feeling disappointed and stressed all the time. Friends should encourage you, and make you feel capable of anything and everything. Losing friendships can be so difficult, especially long-term friends. At the end of the day, your mental health is so much more valuable than a friend who doesn’t validate or recognize your needs.
You deserve to give your time to people who reciprocate that same love and energy back. Navigating friendships can be so difficult because everyone is dealing with their own battles that we don’t always see. Even so, it is important to surround yourself with people who engage in healthy communication, and make you feel cherished, special and SUPPORTED!
Written by: AprilInstagram: @Aprll