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3 Tips to Healthy Friendships

Posted July 21, 2014 by Belinda Chiu in Life After Five
We’ve all heard it before: no man (or woman) is an island. We all need friends to help us navigate the tricky detours and dilemmas of life, from the little things to the BIG things. Yet often, I hear from women – almost proudly – that they have few female friends or that they don’t get along with other women. I hear other women complaining about their “frenemies” – those toxic ‘friendships’ that give the old adage, “keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer,” its legitimacy.

Why do so many Career Girls, for all their successes and sense of self-confidence, spend so much energy on relationships that don’t help them grow as people, but rather, drain them of energy and light? Friendships are critical to Career Girls, but they must be healthy. They must be genuine and unselfishness. Sure, the give and take comes in cycles – at times, you give more, at other times, you receive more. But in healthy friendships, no one is counting.

1. Be honest
Healthy friendships require compassionate honesty. That is different from brutal honesty or selfish honesty. Genuine friends are unafraid to confront the truth or the situation, but do so with the best of intentions and in a thoughtful way to help the other person think through things, learn, and grow.

2. Be generous
Healthy friendships do not count favors or compliments. When one starts taking advantage of the generosity of another, that is when trouble can ensue. It is therefore important to be mindful, yet not count every penny spent. Genuine friends do not worry about tit-for-tat.

3. Be discriminating
Healthy friendships are selective. As we get older, we should be more discriminating about who are our friends are. There is only so much time we have for our friends, family, and all the other things in our lives. Why waste time with toxic relationships then? Knowing what is important to us – our values and interests – can help us be more deliberate about who the people are in our lives who are genuine, honest, and unselfish about giving of themselves, as we should be about doing the same.

About the Author

Belinda Chiu

Dr. Belinda Chiu is a social change strategist, coach, and facilitator. Like you, she believes that everyone has the transformational ability to reach her potential and beyond. Dr. Chiu incorporates a practice of mindfulness to help individuals harness their natural strengths, achieve results, and carve their own paths towards professional fulfillment. For more tips, subscribe to the monthly newsletter, Why Not? on www.hummingbirdrcc.com or follow on @hummingbirdrcc.