Having friends is essential. Scientists even believe that people who maintain friendships throughout their adulthood live longer and happier lives. That's because we're social and complex beings and the company of others is usually beneficial to our experience here. Evolutionary reasoning aside, having valued friendships (be it within our own families, our co-workers, our classmates, our teachers, our mentors our neighbors) makes our lives easier. Friends can help us make decisions. They can help us come to new understandings. They can advise us. They can broaden our horizons. They can be our cheerleaders. They can be our shoulders. They can be our compasses, our scales, our judges. But one thing that a friend should never be, is a target of unwarranted blame.
Because many of us come to rely on our friends for advice, it's easy to place the blame on them if things don't work out in our favor. But if you're spending a lot of time getting mad at your friends for giving you advice that proves to be unhelpful, maybe what you really need to do is ask yourself why you're uncomfortable taking your own advice and trusting yourself? Perhaps for some, placing decisions on friends is a way of excusing yourself from the outcome. If someone told you what to do, you can't blame yourself for doing it. But in the end, you're only hurting yourself and your friendships. To avoid getting in a sticky situation with a good friend and to avoid losing confidence in yourself, here are five things you should never blame your friends for:
Allowing You To Drink Too Much
You're an adult, so it's up to you to control yourself. Even if you ask your friends to look out for you when you go out and make sure you don't drink too much, it's ultimately your responsibility. No one can keep you from getting that last drink if you really want it. If you don't have self control, don't put yourself in a position to be tempted by it. Don't blame your friends for your lack of control and don't put them in that unfair position.
Encouraging You To Spend Money
It's happened to all of us: you're out shopping with friends, you hold something up and they all tell you that you "MUST" buy it. When you tell them it's outside of your budget, they'll tell you "it's SO worth it". But if you don't agree, it's on you to put your foot down and walk away from the register. No one knows your financial situation better than you do, so at the end of the day it's up to you to make decisions for yourself. It's OK to ask your friends for advice, but don't ever let them pressure you into doing something you're not comfortable with and then blame them afterward.
Influencing Your Diet
Weather you're on a health kick, whether you have dietary restrictions, or whether you're a vegan or vegetarian, it's up to you to be the gate keeper of your own mouth. Your friends who have different dietary values might encourage you to abandon your own, but it's on you if you do. You've got the fork and you've got the mouth.
Distracting You From Your Job
Sometimes friend drama can seep into the day and be distracting. Sometimes it's not even drama that distracts you, just ongoing communication with your friends. But because you're an adult and because you have a silent button, it's up to you to put your phone and feelings away during the day. If your friend is distracting you, it's because you're letting them.
Being In A Different Head Space Than You Are
Though you and your friends might be extremely close, you're not always going to be on the same page or in the same mental space. Even if it's hard, you have to find it in you to respect each other when you're not aligned. It's not OK to blame or shame your friend for not feeling the same way that you do about something.