Foreword: The following article contains expert advice from Tanya Bakshi, the founder and creative director for YoUniverse who is also a mental health enthusiast.
Is it normal to not have one best friend? How to deal with friendship breakups? Is it okay to seek validation in everything from my friends for almost everything? How to not cave into peer pressure? Does anyone else feel left out in their friend circle?
Friendship is one of the hardest terms to explain, there’s no fixed handbook to friendship and it is different for all. But what matters the most is understanding and accepting the purpose of all the friendships that make or break you through the different stages of life.
Tanya Bakshi, a social entrepreneur, spreading positivity, urges all to understand the impact of friendship on their mental health and how to combat it. She strongly believes that friendships keep you afloat all your life, they are the supplements you need in life who aid to redefining yourselves. There’s something magical in every friendship, be it temporary or life long.
At some point in life, if not your own self, you have witnessed someone becoming a victim to the atrocities of peer pressure. Be it at a small scale or large, peer pressure can take a toll on your mental health. From being influenced by the brands or clothes they wear to their career choice, it can happen at any stage of life and it is imperative to understand the root of how it happens, in order to tackle it. An activity the positivity influencer, Tanya Bakshi recommends is to pen down a list of 10 things you hold dear to yourself for the next 2 years and 10 things you love, this way you get to know yourself and can easily place the differences between you and who you surround yourself with. Once you know who you are, it’ll be easier to believe in yourself and what you stand for instead of falling prey to what others stand for.
A commonly seen mistake in all sorts of friendships, be it personal or professional are misunderstandings which according to the positivity psychologist widely occur due to expectations. She strongly recommends setting high expectations for yourself and low expectations for others in order to maintain a healthy friendly relationship. Another frequent flaw seen in all forms of age groups of friendships is the lack of communication. In this social media era, it has become facile to block the issue out by blocking the person. What you miss out on is the possibility of a misunderstanding that is costing an entire friendship. Thus, communication being the golden key to a nourishing and fruitful friendship.
However, through the course of life, everyone often come across various types of friendships, be it a toxic friendship, friendship breakup, an overly dependent friendship, friendship turned into a one sided love, etc. the key to getting out of this trapped box is to not blame yourself, you aren’t the only one going through it and you will rise above it. Tanya Bakshi emphasizes on the fact that every friendship has a silver lining. It may be covered with rainy clouds, but not losing hope and carrying on will bring out the sunshine.
At times, you may feel alone, lonely, like you don’t have friends, although you do! There may not be a definite solution, but, the positivity psychologist suggests to flip the coin and look at the other side. The reason you feel this way is because you expect your friends to fill the wholes you’ve created in yourself. Having the perfect friends isn’t the key to feeling wholesome, instead being your own friend and understanding your needs will help you climb the ladder towards a happy life. It is vital to be your own magical wand for your wound.
Quarantine has proved to be a testing time for many friendships, some have broken and some have mended, but what is of utmost importance is for you to become your own best friend because you may be alone but this way you will never feel lonely.