Today we’re going to talk about 5 Mental Health Tips for Friendship
I’m Angela Howard, my passion is to break the stigma of mental illness among fellow Christians. I’m here to help you live a more purposeful life with God, and with one another. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can get the first updates of new content.
#1 Maintain Healthy Boundaries.
It’s easy to throw around the word boundaries, but we rarely articulate what healthy boundaries look like in a friendship. Healthy boundaries in a friendship are: the ability to say no, showing support and empathy without allowing their bad day become your bad day, being a friend that cheers the other person on—whatever their goals, not someone who competes and compares.
#2 Be Okay with Differences.
How boring would it be if we were all carbon copies of each other? We don’t have to share the same views, or the same parenting styles, or even the same beliefs to love one another. Deep friendships are able to weather the storms of differences.
#3 Accept That Some Friends Are Just For a Season.
I don’t say this lightly. I deeply value lifelong friendship. My best friend Jennifer and I have been friends for close to 40 years and I would move heaven and earth to maintain our bond. But the truth is that I don’t have to do that, because we respect and love each other deeply. But with other friends, there have been times that it has become obvious that we perceive our friendships differently. Expectations are held that the other person can’t meet. This is especially true when dealing with mental health issues. At times the healthiest thing you can do is appreciate the friendship for what it brought to your life, but accept that some friends are not for life. It might be time to move on from a friendship if the other person is unable to honor changes in seasons, or is causing emotional distress.
#4 Understand Everyone Has Varied Capacities.
You might be the life of the party, while your friend is ready to leave after 15 minutes. You might be available to get together weekly, while your friend is only up for a monthly dinner out. Each person has different capabilities at different seasons of life. While my friend Jennifer was in grad school we rarely got together. She was worn out from her hectic schedule. I knew it wouldn’t last forever, but she needed support, not a guilt trip
#5 Be Intentional About Listening.
A healthy friendship is reciprocal. Stephen Covey said it perfectly, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” It takes intentionality to be a person who focuses on understanding prior to sharing their response.
Scripture: A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Proverbs 27:9
What’s the greatest challenge you face in maintaining healthy friendships? Comment below, I’d love to hear for you!
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