Do you know what balanced friendships look like?
As empaths we are naturally caring and giving, always wanting the best for those around us and of course we can feel when that is not the case. We tend to leap into action doing what we can to help and support that person to feel better, because as they feel better we feel better too.
What happens in the aftermath is a clear indication of the health and balance of the friendship, once they are feeling back to their old self and the issue is solved, what actions do they then take?
In balanced friendships there will be gratitude for the support you have provided, there will be no silence or ghosting, there will be no lack of contact until the next time you are needed. Most importantly when you are in need of support, they will be right there holding you up in your time of need.
Unfortunately empaths and highly sensitive souls have a tendency to be used in relationships and friendships because they give their everything and don’t always have that favour returned. I know I have experienced this in my life time and time again, I would be the go to person when life got messy, I would drop everything and be there to support them through. The storm would pass and I would be dropped like a hot potato and not hear from them again until the next storm.
I would always ask myself “why does this keep happening, I am a good person, do I not deserve to have contact with them outside of their storm?” Of course when I started to unpack it, I could see it as a pattern within me that needed healing, my walls were down there were no boundaries to be seen, it was like open season.
As a recovering people pleaser I would always do whatever I could do to please others and of course that meant doing so much more for them and being there at the drop of a hat with no consideration for my own needs. All that did was allow them to then also have no consideration for my needs, why would they, I sure didn’t.
I’ll be honest with you until very recently I didn’t even know what a balanced friendship looked like or felt like, thankfully I do now and do you know why I now know that and feel that? I healed the part inside of me, my inner child who had been hurt so many times by people she thought were friends, that I finally felt deserving of a balanced friendship of someone that cares for and believes in me wholeheartedly.
I will take a shot in the dark and say this is probably your experience too, you may have been hurt by people in the past and now its hard to trust, hard to believe that having people in your corner is even a possibility.
“I am here to tell you right now, you are deserving, you are worthy and your soul-friends are just waiting for you.”
The path to your soul-friends is to be open, to be very open to the people you are surrounding yourself with right now. Disclaimer: It doesn’t mean they are bad, they are not, from your unhealed place you have welcomed in behaviour that is no longer acceptable to you.
Just because you have been friends since school or maybe it’s “but they are my family” or “its just the way they are” or “its just always been this way”. These are all beliefs that have most likely been placed on you and they are beliefs that are keeping you from being your true self, because that true self is exhausted under the weight of carrying the burdens of others.
Wouldn’t you just love to let all that go? Start to feel free and know that balanced and soulful connections are possible for you too.
You don’t have to be a doormat, you don’t have to be a sponge. What if the way in which you have been allowing others to treat you is in fact not only stunting your spiritual growth but theirs as well. As empaths we are all about helping, so what if just for a moment you could entertain the idea that there is another way to help those around you.
It is not our job to carry the burdens for others but help, teach and support them to carry it for themselves. Now I know we have a tendency to fix, it’s a natural human desire to take pain way from our loved ones, but in pain lies growth. I see this so much in the work that I do with my private clients, pain moves them to action so much quicker than pleasure ever does.
If you do everything in your power to take away their pain, you are interfering in their growth process, in the growth of their soul. I envision our souls sometimes acting like Homer Simpson saying “DOH” we were so close.
So let’s look at this in the concept of balanced friendships, so of course you are going to want to be there for your friends in their times of need, it is your natural state of being but the question is “is it theirs?”.
There may be a number of reasons as to why it is not theirs, seeing the pain in others isn’t easy, being able to hold space for another in their time of need isn’t easy as I am sure you know all too well. But for empaths we do this naturally, it is our natural state of being, but it isn’t for everyone.
The question you want to ask yourself is “if my friend is unable to hold space for me when I need it, am I okay with continuing to do it for them?”
You might be and that is 100% okay, if you are not if you have had enough, then it is time for change. Like I said earlier in the article, it doesn’t make them bad or you bad, it is just your expectations have changed and you now require more from your friendships and that is also 100% okay.
Now of course in any friendship there are going to be up and down times, back and forth, times where you need more support and times where they need more support. Even periods where it may feel that either you or your friend is needing more and that is okay, the important focus is if the tables were turned would it look similar?
I hope this article helps you to start to assess your friendships and gain an understanding as to whether they are balanced and above all know that you are worthy and deserving of balanced friendships with others where you feel supported and held.
I would love to hear your experience within your friendships, comment below you never know who needs to hear it.
I work with empaths and highly sensitive souls providing support, guidance and healing. To book your online or in-person session click here.