8 toxic beliefs about friendship that could do more harm than good

We all have certain expectations from our friends, but these particular beliefs could cause more damage, according to therapist Meredith Prescott

There’s a lot that we expect of our friends.

From being there at our times of need to listening to us rattle on about our relationship woes and career mishaps, the basis of our friendships can vary, but there are certain expectations we all believe and adhere to – which can be both good and bad.

Having expectations and boundaries is key to any relationship, but what about those harmful beliefs we are taught that can negatively impact our idea of what friendship looks like?

Fortnately, therapist Meredith Prescott has taken to Instagram to share some insight on the eight harmful beliefs people have about friendships. 

“It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our friendships should always be perfect,” she wrote in the Instagram post. “But friendships are just like any other relationship – they involve two people and each person brings their own set of baggage and expectations.

“As a result, friendships can be complicated, and it’s normal for there to be ups and downs.”

In her list of harmful beliefs people have about friendships, Prescott says many of us believe we need to tell our friends everything.

“It’s important to be open and honest with your friends, but that doesn’t mean you need to tell them every detail of your life,” she writes.

Prescott adds that others believe that they are obliged to follow their friends’ advice, and while it’s great that your friends are there to support you, “you don’t have to do everything they say”.

“Trust your gut and make your own decisions,” she says.

Next up, Prescott writes that another harmful belief is the idea that friends should know what we need, and if not, they’re “bad friends”.

“Friendships are built on trust and mutual respect. It is not always possible or realistic for our friends to know what we need, especially if we don’t communicate our needs openly with them,” she says.

In the post, Prescott says other harmful beliefs include thinking we have to exchange presents, that our friends won’t hurt or disappoint us, and that we need to be in constant communication with them.

And when friendships come to an end, it’s also harmful to believe that we must have done something wrong when sometimes there is no one at fault.

“If you find yourself feeling disappointed or let down by your friends, or vice versa, take some time to reflect on what you need from the relationship or what it deserves more of from you,” she says.

Having expectations of our friends is important – but it’s necessary to reflect on what these expectations are and where they came from to ensure the right ones are in place for you and those friendships you’ve built.

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