When you think of friendship what comes to mind? You might think about the friend you see every day, the friend that’s relationship is defined exclusively by text conversations, or a friend that you are in a different season of life than but still have love and respect for one another. Friendships are unique relationships that can come in various forms; a co-worker, a classmate, a childhood friend. Friendships can shift and morph, but also withstand the test of time. It’s said that if a friendship lasts at least 7 years, then there is a high likelihood that the friendship will last for life.
Throughout the various seasons of an individual’s life, friendship dynamics can change and a friend can come in various forms. Friendship is crucial to our mental health, and has the ability to heavily influence our individual experience. A friendship has the ability to push us out of our comfort zone and help reduce occurrences of isolation. Our moods, personality, and energy can shift, depending on the friendships that are in our lives, depending on if they are friendships that support or break you down.
Have you experienced a friendship where you feel less than or energetically drained from? Or a friendship that you experience subtle excitement but also dread towards seeing? This is likely an ambivalent friendship. Ambivalent friendships are a unique type of friendship, due to their negative presence and effects. They are confusing and complicated in nature. An ambivalent friendship is a friendship that builds you up, while also tearing you down; they provide support, while also having a critical and jealous nature. This type of friendship is harmful to mental wellbeing. Out of the various friendship types, the ambivalent friendship dynamic is one in need of communication, boundaries, and maybe even a pause, as friendships are most beneficial and healthy when there is mutual respect, support, and kindness.
Strong and long standing friendships can be thought of as the roots of a tree. They’re crucial to the tree’s existence and support it through the good and bad times. These are the quality friendships that usually are in a quantity that’s less than the fingers on one hand. These are the friendships that nourish the soul, and are the sounding board of life, the close confidants. The people who know you to your core being; the mirrors you cannot avoid in the hard times.
Throughout the lifetime, it’s common for friendships to eb and flow, but also grow. Life is full of different seasons and experiences, and with healthy, supportive friendships, it can make the journey even sweeter. If you would like to talk about maintaining the relationships in your life, give Tx Harmony Counseling a call at (832) 552-1600 or contact us here.