"People come into your life for a season, a reason or to stay"
This is one of the best pieces of advice my Mum has ever given me. It might sound a bit weird at first - but if you spend a bit of time thinking it over then it actually makes a lot of sense. It's one of those uncomfortable truths that we don't like to think about. We don't like to admit that we 'use' people. We don't like to admit that we know that we're not planning on sticking around in someones life forever. For some reason we don't like to recognise that not every relationship we form with people will be permanent. We don't like to recognise the transient nature of some friendships.
I think its because we don't like to think that we play that role in other peoples lives. We like to think that we mean something to the people we spend time with. That our friendship means as much to them as it does to us. It doesn't always work that way. Its hard, but sometimes you realise that friendship just doesn't mean the same to some people as it does to you. That a friendship that you thought went both ways in fact only goes one. That you're the only one putting in any effort. When you stop putting in the effort? You very quickly realise that is was all entirely one-sided.
Without sounding too selfish (I hope) I like to think of friendship as a two way street. It's a give and take thing. You take care of each other, you support each other, you listen when its needed & you drink wine, laugh at nothing & share your dreams. It shouldn't be about forcing opinions on each other & making it your mission to prove the other person wrong wherever possible. It shouldn't be about criticising someone whenever you get the chance & redirecting every conversation back to your own achievements. Friendships that work like this are toxic - they damage your mind & affect your happiness.
Friendship should be good for you. For both of you. A friendship that isn't good for both of you isn't really friendship at all & it's okay to let go of it. I'm not saying that we should 'give up' on friends - more that we should learn to recognise who our friends really are instead of investing ourselves in someone who really doesn't appreciate us. We should value ourselves enough to do that. Think highly enough of ourselves that we don't let people walk all over us. Focus our energies on the people that really mater & nurture the relationships that truly add meaning to our lives. Cut the crap & lose the drama.