True friends will show you their love by being supportive and allowing you to follow your own path. They will listen to you without judgement when you talk to them. They will respect you as a person and not say things that lower your self esteem.
You can tell if you have a great friend by how you feel when you are with them. You should feel comfortable when you are with them and they should not do or say things to make you feel bad about yourself or to make you doubt yourself.
Your self esteem should go up when you are with them and never down.
Rather than viewing your friendship by only looking at things that your friend does, it is more important to think about how you feel. Even if someone does nice things for you but you still feel your self esteem lower when you are with them, then they may not be a good friend for you.
A friend is someone who you spend time with and while you are interacting with them, you feel good about yourself. In turn they should feel good about themselves when they are interacting with you.
There are certain combinations of people that are better together than others. No matter what, a good friend is someone who pulls you up mentally and emotionally. You can be yourself without fear of judgement. They want for you to be able to be yourself.
The same goes for intimate partner relationships.
No one can tell you that they are a good partner for you. They cannot decide for you that they are good to you. Only you know whether you feel good when you are interacting with someone. You always know yourself better than anyone else does.
There are certain kinds of manipulative people that will tell you that they are good to you because they did this or that fav or for you. They will try to convince you that they are a good person for you and that you should appreciate them.
Someone telling you that they are good to you does not mean that it is true.
Some people just decide what they think you want and need. Other people intentionally try to control and manipulate you. A real friend will ask you and pay attention to what you need, what you like and what how you feel.
If you are in a relationship and you are not sure if it is good for you, one way to evaluate the relationship is to pay attention to how you feel mentally and emotionally. Here are a few situations to think about.
In order for this to help you, it has to be done in a way that is honest with yourself. Think about it objectively like a science experiment and you are having to gather data. What are the actual emotional feelings and also feelings in the body.
- When the person tells you that they are on their way over to your house, do you feel anxious and upset? Do you feel relaxed or excited? Are you looking forward to this visit or are you secretly hoping they will not come?
- When you hear the text message sound on your phone, how do you feel i your body? Tune in to your body and think about the sensations that occur. Do you get butterflies in a good way? Do you get twisted knots in your stomach?
- What words are said in your head when you hear the text sound? Do you say “Oh no” or do you rush to the phone thinking “I hope I can talk to them”
- How do you feel when you hear their car pull up in the driveway? Does your body react in a way that feels uncomfortable? Do you get a rush of dopamine and feel good?
- How do you feel when your partner is in the house with you? How does this compare to how you feel when they are not there? Do you feel anxious or nervous when they are in the house? Do you feel safer and comfortable when they are in the house?
- How do you feel when you hear your partner coming closer to the room you are in? What is the first thought that goes through your head when you hear your partner?
- When you have to make a decision about something that you will have to relay to your partner, how do you feel? Does the thought of having to tell them you made a decision make you worry about how they will react? Do you feel that they will respect your decision and you ability to make decisions? Do you have fear or anxiety about what they will say?
- How comfortable do you feel sleeping when they are in the house? Do you feel safe to be vulnerable and sleep?
- If you accomplish something like getting a promotion, how do you feel when you think about telling your partner? Are you looking forward to telling them? Are you nervous about telling them?
- How do you feel when you make a mistake about something they wanted you to do? If you cannot make them the dinner they requested because you forgot one ingredient at the store, are you afraid of how they will react?
The above list are some of the questions that can help you to get a more objective perspective about the relationship. You can think of some of your own to add, if you like.
No one should ever be afraid of their partner, friend or family member. You should not always have anxiety and nervousness around them. If you are afraid to be near someone then it should be a red flag. This includes being afraid of feeling embarrassed or criticized or being made to feel bad in any way.
You should not feel like spending time with them is taxing, draining or lowers your self esteem. You should be able to maintain feelings of self worth when you are around them.
The relationships should have balance.
You should not spend more time thinking about how to please someone than you spend thinking about yourself. They should not always be focused on what they need and neglect your needs.
Discussing any problems in the relationship should allowed and not make you feel afraid of any punishment, including emotional punishment.
What I mean by that is that you should not feel that you cannot express your feelings about the relationship to them. If there is a problem you should be able to speak about it without the fear of angering them or the fear of them leaving or threatening to leave you.
Friendships and partner relationships should be positive and have the effect of building up your identity. You should not be losing your identity or feel like it is being taken over by someone.
You should not feel overshadowed or dominated by a friend, a partner or a family member.
Each person should have a separate identity and an equally important role in the relationship that is valued and appreciated. You need to spend time with people who allow you to be the best You that you can be.