How to Know Who Your Real Friends Are

Real friends are those friends who love you for you, stay around for the good and the bad, and tell you what you don’t want to hear sometimes. You probably have a lot of friends or at least many acquaintances if you’re a people pleaser. Pleasing everyone comes from the need to have everyone like you because it’s uncomfortable when someone doesn’t. We (people pleasers) will go to great lengths to keep someone on our good side. Imagine what would happen if you started focusing on what you needed instead of what everyone around you needed.

Bolters

I can tell you from experience not everyone will take the transition so well. This transition is difficult for anyone benefitting from your self neglect. And who could blame them? Most likely they aren’t conspiring to take advantage of the favors you dole out. However, if you back off the favors and they become angry, it might be a relationship not worth salvaging.

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Letting go of a relationship in this scenario isn’t always the answer, but make sure and explore if the other party is willing to accept your new standpoint. If they continue to push back when you are practicing self-care, it’s time to move on. Just like you have to do what’s best for you, they must also do what’s best for them, and it’s good to let them know this. Let them know you value their needs but must meet your own needs as well, otherwise, you’re bringing a shell of a person to the relationship table.

If you’re like me and more introverted, you might not see a swarm of people walk away. But even one bolter will hurt. Like I always tell my clients, get comfortable with your uncomfortable feelings and process the hurt. Long term, both sides will benefit from the split.

Real Friends

This group could be a friend, intimate partner, or working relationship. Whoever it may be, when the time comes for your transition, these people will cheer you on and be glad for you. They will probably express their relief that you FINALLY put yourself first for once. They will not sulk, say “how dare you”, or guilt trip you for your own personal needs.

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It’s difficult to recognize how we people please. Recognizing the beneficiaries of our actions is also difficult. Now tie in family, friends, finances, insurance, basic needs, and anything that could potentially evoke strong emotions. The grief that comes along with this transition can take your legs out from under you. Dont let the pain and grief be a reason to stay stuck and continue to people please. You WILL be miserable for the rest of your life unless you brave the transformation. The peace at the end is so worth it. You’ll need support from your true friends and a therapist.

Don’t try and make the change alone. Reach out for help conveniently from home by visiting BetterHelp | Professional Therapy With A Licensed Therapist.


Jenn Kemp, PMHNP, is a dedicated psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner with a personal and professional commitment to helping others overcome people-pleasing behaviors. Having navigated her own journey through these habits, Jenn combines clinical expertise with genuine empathy to guide her readers towards healthier, more authentic lives.

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