For millions of years, humans have searched for a tribe to be a part of. At first, we did this for protection and finding safety in numbers, but as we evolved the reasoning behind finding a tribe shifted into being less about safety, and more about emotional support. Our “tribe members” eventually turned into our friends. Friendships are an essential part of a happy and full life. Having an intimate friendship can offer just as much support as a relationship with a partner — sometimes even more so.
But navigating friendships can be difficult, especially as we age. It becomes harder to make new friends as we become adults, and our busy schedules can sometimes leave little time to grow and nurture these types of relationships. I often have people tell me that they struggle with adult friendships more than at any other stage in life, and that they often find themselves feeling lonely, isolated, and sad around their lack of a close circle. So, once we find these friendships, how do we strengthen them into something that can unfold into a lifelong connection? Here are some ways to help you forge deep, intimate, and fulfilling friendships — ones that will stand the test of time.
by Jiovann Carrasco, LPC-S
I’m Right, You’re Wrong
It’s a classic. Of all the themes in the history of relational strife, the I’m Right, You’re Wrong story is by far the most common. And like many things common, we often take it for granted or overlook the magnitude of its influence. When couples enter into therapy together, it may be a hidden goal for each of them to convince their therapist that they are right and the other is wrong. They demonstrate this in many ways, either subtly or in more painfully blatant ways. By doing so, they hope to feel validated that they were right after all, and that feels good.
Being right gives you a rush of dopamine, the brain chemical associated with winning and victory. You feel strong, invincible even. The problem with needing to be right is that if we hold it too tightly, it becomes a necessary component for feeling good in the relationship. Anytime you are outsmarted, out-shouted, out-whatever, you feel bad in the relationship. So if this is the game you’ve set up for yourself and for your partner, the relationship cannot logically thrive for both of you any time one of you is right and the other is wrong. When one is right they are elevated to a higher power position and the other is knocked down a peg.
Written by Jiovann Carrasco, LPC-S
Imagine all the ways being overly concerned about what others think about you has kept you from doing something important. Has it kept you from speaking up in a business meeting? Has it kept you from dancing at a party? Has it kept you from talking to that girl? Why do you avoid her when she only rejects you in your mind? We spend a lot of time trying to read other people’s minds. Here’s why that is mostly a waste of time.
People don’t think about you as much as you think they do.
It is you who are preoccupied with you. And guess what? They are most likely preoccupied with themselves. They are worried about what other people think of them! And this doesn’t mean they don’t care about you or don’t like you. They just happen to have a locus of observation that originates outside of your head. So leave them to their perceptions, regardless of how much space you think you deserve to take up in their consciousness.
Nobody is living their life at you.
About Our Blog
Here you will find articles contributed by members of our team. We hope to provide helpful information here to inspire mindful living and general wellness. The information provided here is not a substitue for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need to speak to a professional regarding your mental health, please make an appointment.