Relationships

Friendships: 8 toxic expectations you have of your friends that could be damaging your relationship, according to a therapist

Posted by
Leah Sinclair
Published
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
How to tell if you’re being breadcrumbed in a relationship, friendship or at work

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

You may also like

Friend detoxes: should you be decluttering the old friendships in your life?

“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.

You may also like

How to tell your friends you’re not OK when they ask how you are

Prescott adds that others believe that they are obliged to follow their friendsadvice, 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.

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Image: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Leah Sinclair

Recommended by Leah Sinclair

Family and Friends

Is it ever OK to get involved in your friends’ relationships?

“I do think it can backfire badly.”

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published
Family and Friends

Tried-and-tested methods for building a friendship that lasts the test of time

Here's how to make sure your friendships are foolproof.

Posted by
Charley Ross
Published
Family and Friends

Feeling overwhelmed by friends relying on you for support right now? Try this

Establishing boundaries is crucial during this strange time.

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published
Family and Friends

“Am I the only one who worries they don’t have ‘enough’ friends?”

Do you find yourself comparing your friendships to those you see on social media? You’re not alone.

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published