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Hard times will reveal true friends. Now isn't that the truth? I know you're all shaking your heads in unison.
We all know what happens: a divorce, death, illness, job loss occurs, and the friends we imagined would be by our side are nowhere to be found. The friends we didn't suspect would be by our side are staring back at us with warm smiles.
This article is for those of you who are going through the inner turmoil of how to handle what you perceive as a loss of friends. I want to share with you some perspective-changing thoughts that will differently about this perception. If you can separate your friends into "Lifestyle Friends" versus "True Blue Friends," your world is going to change!
There has to be a genuine perspective shift for you to embrace this concept. If you can do it, though, you're going to feel so much happier!
Those friends that you imagined would come to your aid but didn't are now your "lifestyle friends" (pssst... they always were but you didn't know it). What does this mean? It means they were friends with you for your lifestyle and really enjoyed your company. You need to realize this and not only change your perspective, but change your expectations of them. Realize that these friends of yours are actually a ton of fun, and if you recover from whatever life crisis you're experiencing, they'll most likely be the first ones who will invite you to visit, go on vacation, get together for dinner, etc.
Instead of being angry, be grateful that you have fun lifestyle friends to do lighthearted activities with! We should all be so lucky. Holding grudges against these "friends" is only going to do you harm, because these people will never be what you need them to be. They were never those people to begin with. Once you realize this, you'll see that you put unrealistic expectations on friends who were incapable of delivering what you needed.
True Blue Friends
You may never know who your true friends are until life throws you an unwelcome curveball. When this happens and the friends or family you thought would help carry you through don't, you go through stages of grief. It's devastating. As time passes, you can either be resentful, bitter and heartbroken, or you can be so incredibly thankful that you've learned a valuable life lesson.
I encourage you to do the latter. The people who DO step forward to be by your side are your true friends. You're blessed to find out who these people are, so love them up. Some people will never have this luxury; they'll spend their entire lives surrounded by people who aren't their true friends. Be grateful and cherish your true blue friends, and put your effort into these relationships now.
Having gone through my own health crisis in 2010, I went through all of the stages of grief related to losing friends and seeing who was by my side through the struggle. I was devastated that the friends I thought would come to my aid didn't. For my own wellbeing, I started to follow through with this concept of "True Friends vs. Lifestyle Friends." Initially, it was a coping mechanism for me, but eventually I started to realize it was actually much more. Once I was able to make a full mental and heart shift in the way I viewed my friendships, I experienced appreciation for all my friends! I now feel absolute love and joy for all of them. There's no hidden resentment or underlying sadness. I feel blessed that I have learned this life lesson.
My true blue friends come first in my life, and we cherish one another. I also love my lifestyle friends, because as I heal, I love having a wider circle of friends who will go to Cubs games, have dinner, or go for a workout.
Consider changing your perspective about how you view your friends during and after a time of loss. If you follow my lead, I can promise that you'll banish an abundance of pent-up stress from your life!