As Thanksgiving approaches next week, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I am most thankful for this year. It’s been a weird one, to say the least…with lots of curve balls and unexpected twists sprinkled throughout many highs as well as a few devastating lows.
And, as I sat with all of my favorite ladies celebrating the launch of the new face of Tori Talks on Friday night, I knew all of those events were well worth whatever struggles or pain they may have caused, because it led me to exactly where I needed to be…with exactly who I needed to be with.
This year, I am thankful for an amazing support system of wonderful, driven, powerful women who choose to lift each other up rather than bring each other down.
I always thought your family was supposed to be your biggest support system. However, as someone who has moved so far away from her own, and has grown so far apart from certain members…that is just simply not the case for me. So, when I was reading 20-Something, 20-Everything this summer, a huge wave of relief washed over me when I came to the following excerpt:
“We cannot control the families we are born into, the students we went to school with, our college dorm culture, our colleagues, our exposure to the media, or our overall environment. However, as we set up our independent lives, we can choose our support systems. And they don’t have to include relatives. We often forget that just sharing DNA with someone does not necessarily entitle them to be part of the inner circle of our support systems.”
For those who choose to start a life in a new city, this can be a reassuring reminder. It certainly was for me. Having a support system of kick ass, kind, genuine individuals is so essential in your 20s, and sadly they are often hard to find. I have definitely had to distance myself from those who I knew were bringing me down in order to attract those who would lift me up. I’m sure many of you have had that experience as well.
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Think about that for a minute.
Who are those people for you? Who do you turn to when you’re overwhelmed, or look to for advice?
Do these people keep your best interest in mind? Do they really listen? Do they take time out of their busy schedules to see you?
The answer, one would hope, would be yes.
But, what if it’s not? What if the people we’re surrounded by on a daily basis are doing more harm than good in our lives?
Oftentimes, women don’t realize just how toxic a bad friendship can be. The people we hang out with have such a great impact on our overall attitude, health, and well-being. Think about it: we spend all of our free time with these people, we become accustomed to their way of doing things, and we make big decisions based on their opinion. These people should absolutely be a positive influence in our life, as they play a big part in how we ultimately live ours. Who we are is a direct reflection of a lot of things, but one of the most important factors are the individuals we call our friends.
And those friends should support, guide, and better us.
They should want us to be the best person we can possibly be.
Having a toxic friendship can be due to the fact that we’ve known the person forever, or because we run with the same crowd. Maybe we’re even afraid what this person would say or do if we tried to distance ourselves from them. For whatever reason it may be, sometimes we let these people remain in our lives against our better judgment.
My boyfriend always jokes that it’s impossible for women to be friends with other women, but I don’t think that’s the case. Good friends are simply hard to come by, so it’s important to make sure the ones we’re spending our time with are the true few.
Friends are like your family, and there will be times when you fight and make up, and that’s perfectly normal. But there may come a time when the little arguments and disagreements become something bigger and noticeably detrimental. Although it can be hard, sometimes it’s essential to let go of those who are bringing you down or holding you back.
Learn to surround yourself with people who share the same values as you, and who will be there for you without any sort of hidden agenda. A true friend will uplift you and want you to reach your greatest potential. They will pick you up when you’re down. They will push you to work harder and achieve goals, as well as be happy for you when you succeed. If you’re lucky enough to have one of these people in your life, keep them close and treasure them each and every day.
Tori Talks was created to inspire people to become the most authentic and empowered versions of themselves - a space where personal experiences, tips, and tidbits guide others to live strong, grounded, and powerful lives.