So, you want to make some new friends but are just a tad nervous they may disappoint you, or turn out to be high-hassle and not a good fit for your friendship collection. How can you be savvy when making new friends to protect yourself, and not end up in unhealthy relationships? Here are 4 quick tips from my new book, THE HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection:
1. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN
Observe how new friends talk about, treat, and interact with their other friends. If they appear to be gossipers, back-stabbers or two-faced about their other friends, be on guard, YOU could be next! Instead, look for girlfriends who seem kind, genuine, honest, respectful, and nonjudgmental.
2. DRAMA QUEENS ARE NOT WELCOME
If these new friends seem to like drama and are always in the middle of a new soap opera, be careful! You just may be the next new character in this play if you continue the relationship! Some people really enjoy the stage, and they love high drama and being in the middle of an emotional messy situation. But, if that is not your deal, don’t sign up to be cast in the next production. There are lots of drama-free friendships out there waiting for you, GO FIND THEM!
3. CHECK NEEDINESS AT THE FRIENDSHIP DOOR
Do these new friends seem to have a high degree of neediness? Do they require lots of emotional support and ask you to be giving all the time? If so, then evaluate if this is the friendship you will enjoy and benefit from yourself. Friendships should be reciprocal, and back and forth, give and take. If you are always being the one to give, give, and give some more, then ask yourself if this is the right friendship for you.
4. ANTENNAS UP FOR TOXIC FRIENDS
Be careful when encountering people who display negative behaviors of anger, competition, envy, rage, criticism and narcissism. These behaviors are the ingredients for a toxic relationship. Being able to spot these traits in friends takes a little practice, but it is well worth honing your skills to do so. It will save you pain and heartache down the road. For example, be wary if your friend always displays competitive behaviors with you, or she struggles to be genuinely happy for you when things go your way and you enjoy success. True friends don’t behave this way.