The year was 1985 and Sally Fields was accepting her best actress Oscar when the now iconic phrase came to be - “You like me, you really like me!” Now, after some actual research and digging into the background of that quote, those were not her actual words and that is a paraphrase of what she said. Yet somehow it has become the infamous quote attributed to her. People have said it now for nearly 50 years and I think that is because it holds some sort of universal truth: we as humans have a craving to be liked and acknowledged. We want validation that others approve of us.
There is nothing wrong with this desire and actually it comes initially from survival instances. We come into this world helpless and without the caring nurture of a parent we would not be able to make it. But, as we grow in autonomy and individuation, our desire to be liked still persists. What happens when your desire comes at a cost?
I want to talk about how to identify friendships that no longer serve you - ie. friendships where you’re always the one initiating or calling. If you stop calling do they call you? At what point do you say something and at what point do you call it their loss and move on?
Oftentimes, the reason we continue to hang on to a relationship is because we want the validation it gives us (or used to give us.) But, when we have that underlying motivation it can be difficult to really step back and see “is this good for me?” Is your desire to be liked and given approval outweighing your own dignity and self-confidence? Then, it may be time to release some friendships that
How to release a friendship:
- Sometimes, you don’t even have to have a formal conversation about it. You can let it die naturally on its own.
- Appreciate the gift that their friendship did bring you for the time you were together. They were there for you for a specific window, and for that, you can be grateful.
- If it does warrant a heart-to-heart try to keep the focus on yourself. Your own growth, your own needs, your own boundaries.
I may not be the first to tell you this, but most relationships will be seasonal. Once you can have that mindset that not everyone is meant to journey with you for a lifetime, you can release people from your mind. Gauge if your motivation of holding onto the friendship is for their validation or because it is something that genuinely serves you still.